Sting (percussion)

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A sting is a short sequence played by a drummer to punctuate a joke, especially an obvious or awful one. A sting is often used as accompaniment during cabaret- and circus-style shows. The sound of the sting is sometimes written ba dum tsh, ba-dum ching, and occasionally ba dum tis. An abbreviation used in chats is //* .

In the context of percussion, rimshot normally refers to a single stroke of the stick in which the rim and head of a drum are both struck simultaneously by the same stick, creating an accent.[1] A rimshot in this context is only a component of the sting, and does not appear at all in some stings.

An advanced sting in percussion notation

Common stings may feature a short roll followed by a crash or splash cymbal and kick drum, a flam, or a rimshot. The advanced example at right uses a tom then kick, followed by a pause to put the final stroke offbeat, and a final stroke using both the snare and kick drums to support a one-handed cymbal choke, meaning all three are hit at once.

More general use of the term[edit]

In broadcasting, the term sting refers to any short musical sequence used for punctuation, for example to introduce a commercial break during a television news program.[2] Such stings commonly use a full orchestra rather than just percussion, and in television may be backed by a short video sequence.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "RIMSHOTS". 1996. Retrieved 2013-07-29. 
  2. ^ "Glossary of common media terms". BBC News. 2008-07-08. Retrieved 2013-07-19. 

External links[edit]