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For other uses, see Rimshot (disambiguation).

A rimshot is a percussion technique used to produce an accented note. This sound is produced by simultaneously hitting the rim and head of a drum with a drum stick. Rimshots may be used in place of a snare drum in both real and virtual drum sets.

In marching percussion there are three types of rimshots. The most common is the "normal" rimshot, which is played with the tip (bead) of the stick held about three inches from the rim. This produces a prominent, accented tone. The second is the "ping shot," where the bead is struck about one inch from the rim. This produces a high pitched sound. The third is a "gock," which is produced by hitting the bead of the drum stick at the center of the drum while the rim is percussed with the distal shaft of the stick (near the hand). This makes a lower sound.

In Latin percussion, timbale players use rimshots near the edge of the head, but these sound very different from gocks in marching percussion.

In orchestral percussion, a rimshot is performed by placing one drum stick with the stick head near the middle of the drumhead, and the shaft pressed against the rim, and striking with the other stick. This produces a less powerful, but more precise and accurate rimshot than its marching cousin. This is known as a "stick shot".

Rimshots and gocks both produce loud cracks that contain large amounts of overtones.

The rimshot should not be confused with the cross stick technique, in which the tip of a drumstick is placed on the head near one of the bearing edges and the shaft of the stick is struck against the rim opposite the tip, thus creating a dry, high pitched "click" similar to a set of claves.[1]

Drummer Gene Krupa is credited with having invented the rimshot.[2]

The rim shot has become "standard" practice amongst many Black/African-American drummers of Gospel Music and amongst drummers of Popular Music. Examples are Joe Dunn (Joe Dunn and Family and Friends), Ira King and Nisan Stewart (known for working with Timbaland and Missy Elliott).

See also[edit]

  • Sting (percussion) - a musical phrase played on percussion instruments and used to punctuate jokes, sometimes confusingly called a rimshot although many versions of it do not include a rimshot in the technical sense.[3]


  1. ^ Michael Miller (2004). Playing Drums. Alpha Books. ISBN 159257162X. 
  2. ^ "Gene Krupa". Sputnik Musik. 
  3. ^ http://soundandthefoley.com/2013/04/10/of-stings-and-rimshots/ retrieved 17 July 2012