First, what's the difference between a cymbal choke and a cymbal stop? Is it that a choke is immediate (as soon as possible) and a stop is after the predetermined length of the note (i.e., eighth note, fourth note, etc)?

Second, how do you notate a cymbal choke, and how do you notate a cymbal stop?

According to this answer,

a plus sign indicates a closed hi-hat whenever it was opened before, or a choked cymbal (stopped with the palm)

I've also seen apostrophes (') used to indicate an immediate choke. But how do you indicate a stop?

  • Examples of the choke notation in answers would be helpful! Oct 5, 2023 at 2:45
  • I think it's safe to assume "stop" is another word for choke. Oct 5, 2023 at 3:19

1 Answer 1


I agree that a choke is asap, while a stop is after a prescribed length of time.

Neither will use the palm to achieve the aim - both need finger(s) and thumb.

The stop is easier to show on a chart - write in the length of 'note' needed, just as happens in, say, piano music.

As far as notation goes, there are discrepancies anyway in different publications with what symbols (not cymbals!) are used, so a key at the top of the page would be of great help to any reader - I'd probably use a staccato dot for the choke. It's sufficiently rare enough (I believe) to not have an official notation in any case.

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