How to Read Musical Notes of Drums


Musical notes are very important for every genre of music and instrument. If you know how to read musical notes, then it will become easier for you to learn music. There are mainly two types of notations. One is for the lead instruments and the other is for the rhythm instruments.

Lead instruments are those, who play the harmony parts, feeler parts of music. Guitars, pianos are of this genre. The other kind of notations is made for the rhythm instruments like drums, bongos, congas etc.

The main problem with drummers is many of them do not want to learn how to read musical notes of drums. But it is important. Knowing to read the notation will help you to play them well.

Drum notations has one problem. Every other notation follows a basic guideline. But drum notations do not follow any basic guidelines. Below we are providing you a basic notation, which is used for drum music. This will help you to learn how to read musical notes of drums.

Let us start with the basics of notations. A notation book consists five lines. Those lines are named as a, b, c, d etc. and between every two line there is a space. There are four spaces visible in a notation.

Starting from the bottom the lines go up. That means the bottom line is called the first line and the top most line is called the fifth line. This is mainly the basic knowledge of musical notes of drums. Now, let us move on to a more complicated part of notations.

The space just above the first line is for the hi hats. The notation of the hi hats will be written on that space. The space is normally marked with x.

All the four spaces are allotted for toms. Each space is for each tom. The fourth space, which is just below the topmost line, is for the high tom. The next two spaces are respectively allotted for the medium tom and the low tom. If the music of your drum kit consist of more than three toms, then you have to use a dot below the five standard lines.

Snare drums are very important in a drum kit. Notations for them are written in the third line.

Cymbals are manly used above the hi hats. They are also marked with x signs. If you want to play a bell stroke on your cymbal, then place a diamond sign just beside the x sign.

For your feet, there are two notations. Your right foot is for the bass drum. The bottom line is used to indicate the bass drum notation. Notation for your left foot, which is a hi hat foot is placed below the bass drums. That means the space below the bottom line.

Now, to know how to read musical notes of drums, you need to know the values ​​of these notes. Every note has different values. If you find a straight line, which has a dot attached with the top or bottom of that line, then that particular note is called a quarter note.

If a tail is attached with the stem, then it will become an eighth note. If there are two tails, then it is called a sixteenth note.

These are the basic rules of how to read musical notes of drums. Go through this article and you will be able to understand a lot about the notation of drum music.

Victor Epand