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Thread: Notation Question

  1. #1

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    Hey guys,

    Just joined Jammit.com (seems really cool, though the number of songs is limited), and I downloaded a few old Toto drum parts (can't learn enough from Jeff Porcaro, RIP), but I am still new at all this, and am missing what the two red circled parts of the transcription mean. I know the first one is a crash cymbal, but I don't know the meaning of the three 'flags', and the second item, I'm not sure what the 'greater than' symbol means. Can any of you help me?

    Now, just a tiny bit less than an absolute drum newbie
    DW Collectors Cherry kit, Ludwig Black Beauty Snare, DW SuperSolid Oak/Cherry Snare, DW Sabian Vault Edge Snare

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by cabasner View Post
    Hey guys,

    Just joined Jammit.com (seems really cool, though the number of songs is limited), and I downloaded a few old Toto drum parts (can't learn enough from Jeff Porcaro, RIP), but I am still new at all this, and am missing what the two red circled parts of the transcription mean. I know the first one is a crash cymbal, but I don't know the meaning of the three 'flags', and the second item, I'm not sure what the 'greater than' symbol means. Can any of you help me?

    The three flags simply mean to roll on the crash cymbal if I'm correct,most likely just do fast singles on the the edge of the crash.

    The > is a called accent. Technically an accent basically means play the same dynamic on that note, but with a higher stick height. You basically raise your sticking for that accented note. In that passage, the accent is on 2 & 4, so make sure yo put emphasis on 2 & 4 with a raised sticking, which will produce a slightly louder response from the cymbal/drum/percussion instrument
    Happy Drumming!

    IS15

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by imperialstar15 View Post
    The three flags simply mean to roll on the crash cymbal if I'm correct,most likely just do fast singles on the the edge of the crash.

    The > is a called accent. Technically an accent basically means play the same dynamic on that note, but with a higher stick height. You basically raise your sticking for that accented note. In that passage, the accent is on 2 & 4, so make sure yo put emphasis on 2 & 4 with a raised sticking, which will produce a slightly louder response from the cymbal/drum/percussion instrument
    That is exactly correct. What is not indicated is that the time signature is in 12/8 which is felt in 4 (ie: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 or 1 & a 2 & a 3 & a 4 & a with the emphases on 4 and 10 (in 12) or 2 and 4 (in 4). That is why the dotted quarter note and dotted whole notes in the example.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zickos View Post
    That is exactly correct. What is not indicated is that the time signature is in 12/8 which is felt in 4 (ie: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 or 1 & a 2 & a 3 & a 4 & a with the emphases on 4 and 10 (in 12) or 2 and 4 (in 4). That is why the dotted quarter note and dotted whole notes in the example.
    That too, didn't even realize that
    Happy Drumming!

    IS15

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zickos View Post
    That is exactly correct. What is not indicated is that the time signature is in 12/8 which is felt in 4 (ie: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 or 1 & a 2 & a 3 & a 4 & a with the emphases on 4 and 10 (in 12) or 2 and 4 (in 4). That is why the dotted quarter note and dotted whole notes in the example.
    How can you tell that it is 12/8? Admittedly my reading skills are poor at best but not knowing the song I would count those as 4/4 triplets. is there something in that writing that points to it being 12/8 that I am missing?
    Sonor Essential Force Birch

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    Decide whether this is love for the craft or simply an ego thing.

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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by machinedrumkelly View Post
    How can you tell that it is 12/8? Admittedly my reading skills are poor at best but not knowing the song I would count those as 4/4 triplets. is there something in that writing that points to it being 12/8 that I am missing?
    If it was in 4/4 the triplets would have to be notated with a "3" on top of each triplet, to indicate it is a triplet. You know it is in 12/8, because their is no 3 to identify it as a triplet, therefore the notation says it's eighth notes, and because their are 12 of these eighth notes in one measure, the time signature is 12/8
    Happy Drumming!

    IS15

  7. #7

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    Wow, I'm impressed with the reading ability of all of you! First off, thanks for answering my questions. As it happens, I could have probably answered the first question by listening to the accompanying audio for the song, and the sound is a steadily increasing volume of a cymbal roll. I didn't include the beginning of the notation, but is is, indeed, indicated as 12/8 time! The song, in case anyone wonders, is the Toto song Child's Anthem from the first Toto album.

    Regarding the time signature, my teacher has been emphasizing reading, and I should have been able to pick out the 12 'units' in each measure, to give the 12 in the 12/8 time. One thing I need to ask my teacher, or maybe someone could answer here, is how the time signature makes a difference in the sound of the song. Since, in my musically uneducated mind, the way the song sound is dependent on the tempo and the individual note values, I've never been able to really understand the significance of a time signature. Couldn't you write the exact same music in a variety of time signatures, just having to adjust the notes to fit in a measure? Would the music 'sound different' based on the signature?
    Last edited by cabasner; 11-30-2013 at 02:12 PM.
    Now, just a tiny bit less than an absolute drum newbie
    DW Collectors Cherry kit, Ludwig Black Beauty Snare, DW SuperSolid Oak/Cherry Snare, DW Sabian Vault Edge Snare

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by cabasner View Post
    Wow, I'm impressed with the reading ability of all of you! First off, thanks for answering my questions. As it happens, I could have probably answered the first question by listening to the accompanying audio for the song, and the sound is an steadily increasing volume of a cymbal roll. I didn't include the beginning of the notation, but is is, indeed, indicated as 12/8 time! The song, in case anyone wonders, is the Toto song Child's Anthem from the first Toto album.

    Regarding the time signature, my teacher has been emphasizing reading, and I should have been able to pick out the 12 'units' in each measure, to give the 12 in the 12/8 time. One thing I need to ask my teacher, or maybe someone could answer here, is how the time signature makes a difference in the sound of the song. Since, in my musically uneducated mind, the way the song sound is dependent on the tempo and the individual note values, I've never been able to really understand the significance of a time signature. Couldn't you write the exact same music in a variety of time signatures, just having to adjust the notes to fit in a measure? Would the music 'sound different' based on the signature?
    Technically you could make it anytime signature, but for instance if you took that same passage and put in into a 4/4, you would either A. have to make all the eighth notes triplets in order to fit it into the measure, or B. the notes could still be eighth notes but over a variety of measures. When it comes down to it, the different time signatures help with the ease of reading the music.

    The time signatures also help the musicians establish a feel for the music, if you put 3/4 notation into 4/4 or 2/4 time, the feel would be really weird in the song, and of course it would be a little more difficult to read. For instance if the notation in 3/4 read

    (the all caps numbers written as words are meant to be accents)

    |ONE 2 3|ONE 2 3|ONE 2 3|ONE 2 3|

    Well those accents help establish the overall feel of the passage. If i took that and put straight into a 4/4 measure without any adjustments in tempo or anything it would be


    |ONE 2 3 FOUR|1 2 THREE 4|1 TWO 3 4|

    Which one would you rather read for a whole song?

    Now if I wanted to convert that so I have the same feel of the song, I would have to A. change the notation from quarter notes to triplets, and B. slow the tempo down. So that the 4/4 triplets go the same pace as the 3/4 quarter notes.

    So it could be written as


    |ONE & uh TWO & uh THREE & uh FOUR & uh| and it is equivalent in feel to:

    |ONE 2 3|ONE 2 3|ONE 2 3|ONE 2 3|

    AND

    |ONE 2 3 FOUR|1 2 THREE 4|1 TWO 3 4|

    But remember again the triplets would have to be very slow in 4/4 for it to be the equivalent to the 3/4 passage.

    The same 4/4 passage could be converted into 2/4 simply by dividing the measure numbers even further.

    Now again all of those three passages are equal to

    ONE 2 3 FOUR 5 6 SEVEN 8 9 TEN 11 12

    The passage above is equivalent to your song that you posted in the beginning of the thread, which is in 12/8
    Happy Drumming!

    IS15

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by imperialstar15 View Post
    If it was in 4/4 the triplets would have to be notated with a "3" on top of each triplet, to indicate it is a triplet. You know it is in 12/8, because their is no 3 to identify it as a triplet, therefore the notation says it's eighth notes, and because their are 12 of these eighth notes in one measure, the time signature is 12/8

    Ahhh thats right . when I write triplets out myself I never write the 3 above it, I guess I should get in the habit of doing that.. thanks bud.
    Sonor Essential Force Birch

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    Decide whether this is love for the craft or simply an ego thing.

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  10. #10

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    Also, the dotted whole note is a dead give away.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by cabasner View Post

    One thing I need to ask my teacher, or maybe someone could answer here, is how the time signature makes a difference in the sound of the song. Since, in my musically uneducated mind, the way the song sound is dependent on the tempo and the individual note values, I've never been able to really understand the significance of a time signature. Couldn't you write the exact same music in a variety of time signatures, just having to adjust the notes to fit in a measure? Would the music 'sound different' based on the signature?
    Since we're talking about Toto, compare Hold the Line, which is also 12/8, versus Rosanna, which is 4/4. Completely different feels, and that's partly because of the time signature (and partly because Rosanna is a shuffle). Time signature give a song it's feel and phrasing. Phrasing is especially important for melody instruments.

    If you look at marches, they are often in 2/2 or 'cut' time, which has a different feel than 2/4 time, even though there are 2 beats per measure for each type. Take 3/4 as another example. Sometime it feels like 1,2,3 1,2,3 but if you listen to a waltz it's often conducted in one and feels like 1 . . 1 . . 1 . . .

    Slow 6/8 can feel like 6 separate notes (mainly in classical) or can feel like 2 (just like 12/8 feels like 4).

    Mastering drumming means you really need to understand time signatures and what they can do for you. You will need to learn grooves that are standard for each type, so if you are sitting in and someone says, "This one is in 6/8 but we're taking it in 2," you immediately have a groove for that and know how to approach the song. A drumming toolbox needs a lot of tools, and we're lucky that acquiring the tools is a lot of fun. I mean who doesn't want to learn how to play Hold the Line AND Rosanna?
    Life's too short to play the same solo twice. Improvise!

  12. #12

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    BTW Cabasner how are you liking that Jammit app? I just finally downloaded it and bought 7 songs, have only played with it for 30 minutes and so far I am loving it. I can tell this is gonna be a great way to learn correct drum parts to songs.
    Sonor Essential Force Birch

    Mapex Saturn V

    Zildjian K and Stagg DH Cymbals

    Decide whether this is love for the craft or simply an ego thing.

    http://www.redskymary.com/ NOT MY BAND, JUST A GREAT LOCAL BAND WHO SHOULD BE SOOO MUCH BIGGER IMO

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zickos View Post
    Also, the dotted whole note is a dead give away.
    Exactly.
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by machinedrumkelly View Post
    BTW Cabasner how are you liking that Jammit app? I just finally downloaded it and bought 7 songs, have only played with it for 30 minutes and so far I am loving it. I can tell this is gonna be a great way to learn correct drum parts to songs.
    Absolutely LOVE it, bud! My only issue is how relatively few songs they have, but I'm sure they'll do more. How did you hear about the program? I saw in advertised on a pop-up here, of all places, with the tag line - Learn how to play Jeff Porcaro drum parts. They had me there!!!! But I agree...amazing tool!
    Now, just a tiny bit less than an absolute drum newbie
    DW Collectors Cherry kit, Ludwig Black Beauty Snare, DW SuperSolid Oak/Cherry Snare, DW Sabian Vault Edge Snare

  15. #15

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    I was watching an instructional video on youtube and the guy was using the app.

    I agree and wish they had more songs but there is enough to keep me busy for awhile. Someone on their site is a big dream theater fan as there seems to be 20 or more of their songs on there but I am not a fan at all.
    Last edited by MDK; 12-03-2013 at 05:22 AM.
    Sonor Essential Force Birch

    Mapex Saturn V

    Zildjian K and Stagg DH Cymbals

    Decide whether this is love for the craft or simply an ego thing.

    http://www.redskymary.com/ NOT MY BAND, JUST A GREAT LOCAL BAND WHO SHOULD BE SOOO MUCH BIGGER IMO

  16. #16

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    there should be the number 3 above the straight 8ths triplet parts

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by itchie View Post
    there should be the number 3 above the straight 8ths triplet parts
    Nope, most people would think that though, if it was in 4/4 then you would be absolutely correct, however the pic is misleading, because their is no time signature. But the passage is really in 12/8, so it's just 12 eighth notes in the measure.
    Happy Drumming!

    IS15

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by imperialstar15 View Post
    Nope, most people would think that though, if it was in 4/4 then you would be absolutely correct, however the pic is misleading, because their is no time signature. But the passage is really in 12/8, so it's just 12 eighth notes in the measure.
    i guess that happens when you skip all the posts

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