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  How To Read Drum Set Music With Ease!
  


 

 

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Drum set notation

Notation of drum kit music once commonly employed the bass clef, but a neutral clef of two parallel vertical lines, sometimes referred to as the percussion or drum clef, is usually preferred now. (All note letter names in the "Techniques" section refer to the bass clef.) Drum set notation is not standardized, although there are common conventions. It is usual to label each instrument and technique when it is introduced or to add an explanatory footnote. Below is an example of drum set notation (all note letter-names in the "Techniques" section refer to the bass clef):

Drums

how to read drum music

Cymbals

how to read drum music

Other

Mounted triangle: ledger-line high C with "X" replacing notehead. Maraca: high-B with "+" replacing notehead. Mounted tambourine: high-B with "X" through conventional notehead.

Techniques

Rolls: Diagonal lines across stem (or above whole note). Open hi-hat: o above high-G X. Closed hi-hat: + above high-G X. Rim click: X in E snare space. Stick shot: diagonal slash through note head. Brush sweep: horizontal line (replacing note head) in E snare space with slur to show brush is not lifted. (With stem this looks rather like a long "T" or a long inverted "T", depending which way the stem is going.)

Dynamic accents

read drum set music

 

Anti-accents

  1. Slightly softer than surrounding notes: u (breve above or below--inverted--notehead)
  2. Significantly softer than surrounding notes: ( ) (note head in parentheses)
  3. Much softer than surrounding notes: [ ] (note head in brackets)

(Ghost note is a less formal alternative term which may refer either to anti-accentuation in general or to a particular degree of anti-accentuation--ghost notes are often considered to be especially faint.)

 

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