Category Musical Elements

Gravity Roll

GRAVITY ROLL

Gravity RollIn drumming, a Gravity Roll is a percussion technique. It is performed by resting the shaft of the drumstick on the rim of the snare drum, while holding the butt. The hand is moved up and down, causing the head of the stick to strike the drum’s head once per stroke and the shaft of the drumstick will strike the rim of the drum on the way down (similar to a seesaw). The spot on the drumstick varies, as this technique requires considerable forearm precision. It helps to press down fairly hard and also following a slow to fast to slow pattern in order to gain more control. Although its origin is unknown, this technique is believed to have been used by jazz drummers such as Buddy Rich in the past.

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Death Growl

DEATH GROWL

A Death Growl is a vocal style (an extended vocal technique) usually employed by singers from Death Metal music genres, but also used in a variety of other Heavy Metal styles. Death growls are sometimes criticized for their “ugliness.” However, the harshness of death growls are in keeping with Death Metal’s abrasive music style and often dark and obscene subject matter. The progressively more forceful enunciation of metal vocals has been noted from Heavy Metal to Thrash Metal to Death Metal.

Definition

Death Metal, in particular, is associated with growled vocals...

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Cymbal Choke

CYMBAL CHOKE

Cymbal ChokeIn percussion, Cymbal Choke is a drum stroke which consists of striking a cymbal with a drum stick held in one hand and then immediately grabbing the cymbal with another hand, or more rarely, with the same hand. The cymbal choke produces a burst of sound which is abruptly silenced, which can be used for punctuation or dramatic fortissimo effects. In some modern music, namely Heavy Metal, it is “often employed to emphasize a particular beat or signal an abrupt conclusion to a passage.” Cymbal chokes are used extensively by classical percussionists to muffle the sound of a cymbal in accordance with the composer’s notation, or in an attempt to match the sustain of other instruments in the ensemble.

In modern music, cymbal chokes were used extensively by drummer Roger Taylor and c...

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Blast Beat

BLAST BEAT

A Blast Beat is a drum beat that originated in Death Metal, and is often associated with Extreme Metal and Grindcore. It is utilised by many different styles of Metal. In Adam MacGregor’s definition, “the blast-beat generally comprises a repeated, sixteenth-note figure played at a very fast tempo, and divided uniformly among the bass drum, snare and ride, crash or hi-hat cymbal.” Blast beats have been described as, “maniacal percussive explosions, less about rhythm per se than sheer sonic violence”.

History

Blast BeatThe English band Napalm Death coined the term “Blast Beat”, though this style of drumming had previously been practiced by others. Daniel Ekeroth argues that the blast beat was first performed by the Swedish group Asocial on their 1982 demo. D.R.I...

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