Thursday, July 14, 2011

Reading Drum Set Music

Often times I expect people to read my mind, and it has been pointed out to me that I'm expecting my non-student readers (people who aren't taking lessons from me) to guess at what I mean by some of the notation in the exercises I've presented.

Well, here you go:

This is the simple version. In general, the exercises I post will include no more than what you see here, and I'll try to give some indications as to whether you are using the hat or the ride. And I'll add notes if I include more drums/cymbals than this.

As a general rule, stems pointing up are played with hands while stems pointing down are played with the feet.

Another rule (although I break it a lot) is that the instruments are listed in pitch order - higher pitches at the top of the staff and going down the staff as they go down in pitch.*

Leave me a comment below if you'd like more clarification.

Happy music-making!

*The obvious exception to this rule is the snare drum, notated between the two toms (so, below the first/rack tom), when it is usually the highest pitched drum of the set. Another exception is the hi-hat played with foot, at the very bottom of the staff, while its pitch is perhaps the highest sound of the kit.

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