In this lesson we will look at how to read drum
charts. There are a few different ways that music is written for
contemporary drummers. You occasionally get a chart that is like how
a drum solo would be written - every single note is written. This is
very similar to how classical music is written. At the other end of
the spectrum, sometimes you get given nothing more than a lead sheet
from a Real Book. Most drum charts however, fall somewhere in the
Between composers and arrangers there isn't one standard way of writing charts, although most arrangers these days have clued onto the fact that you need to write more than "play a rock beat" at the top of a fairly blank page. This lesson aims to demonstrate most of the most common signs and symbols you will see.
Most drum charts won't have a drum key or legend, but most instructional books will. In either case it's good to familiarize yourself with that arrangers notation for drumkit. It might look like this..
The first thing to do, is to read through the
drum chart like a road map, so that you will know what's happening
the first time you play the chart. Things to take note of here are:
To save writing the same passage of music more than, section repeats are used. In the example below you play the 2 bars, then repeat, because the double bar line has 2 dots on the inside.
|Drums & Pedals Setup||Tuning Your Toms||Drumstick Choice|
|Jack's Gear Setup||How To Control Dynamics||Different Stick Sounds|
|How To Hold Your Sticks||How To Control Speeds||Sleishman Pro Series Drums|
|Counting Quarter Notes||Classical Technique Vs Drumkit Technique?||Crescendo & Decrescendo|
|Counting 8th Notes||Drum Notation & Basic Theory||Triplets & Flams Chop Builder|
|Counting 16th Notes||Writing Cheat Sheets||Fast Triplet Drum Fills|
|Counting Triplets||Reading Drum Charts|