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Thread: Question about reading drumming music

  1. #1

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    Default Question about reading drumming music

    I am starting out reading my first sheet music that is curtailed to the newbie. Prior to this I used some of the beginner drum instruction videos that show you the basic notes and everything and even count out the music and show you which hand to use.

    I am attempting to play a song that is not on the beginner instruction so I went to a certain website and downloaded the sheet music for it. It is set up for the experienced drummer but I am actually able to understand most of it. What I don't, I google for an answer. However there is something I am having trouble finding. There is a certain spot in the music where it has two crash cymbals listed side by side like this (pretend the asterisks are crash cymbals and the letter (I's) are straight lines coming off the crash. The first crash has a straight line with a flag. The second crash is as close as possible to the first crash and has just a straight line with no flag.) I don't hear two separate crashes in the song at this part. Does this mean they are both played together. I can upload an image if it will help and I just may because I have another question as there is dotted note for the bass drum and then a second bass drum after it, but I only hear one bass drum in the song.
    I`I
    **

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Question about reading drumming music

    Quote Originally Posted by TheHeadlessHorseman View Post
    I am starting out reading my first sheet music that is curtailed to the newbie. Prior to this I used some of the beginner drum instruction videos that show you the basic notes and everything and even count out the music and show you which hand to use.

    I am attempting to play a song that is not on the beginner instruction so I went to a certain website and downloaded the sheet music for it. It is set up for the experienced drummer but I am actually able to understand most of it. What I don't, I google for an answer. However there is something I am having trouble finding. There is a certain spot in the music where it has two crash cymbals listed side by side like this (pretend the asterisks are crash cymbals and the letter (I's) are straight lines coming off the crash. The first crash has a straight line with a flag. The second crash is as close as possible to the first crash and has just a straight line with no flag.) I don't hear two separate crashes in the song at this part. Does this mean they are both played together. I can upload an image if it will help and I just may because I have another question as there is dotted note for the bass drum and then a second bass drum after it, but I only hear one bass drum in the song.
    I`I
    **
    Sounds like a tie, where the first note is sustained or carried out.
    - Tom

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  3. #3

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    Default Re: Question about reading drumming music

    I wish I had the eyes to read sheet music and play the drums.

  4. #4

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    Just like what Drummer said, sounds like you've got tied notes in that piece of music. Can you upload a pic?
    "...it's the Paradigm Of The Cosmos!" Stewart Copeland on Youtube

    668: The Number Of The Guy Next Door To The Beast.

    "A random act of kindness; it keeps my heart in shape!" - Late8

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray on the Drums View Post
    I wish I had the eyes to read sheet music and play the drums.
    If you can bring the sheet music up on a lap top you can increase the size of the sheet music as large as you need it. You could even get a projector and project it on the wall if you want.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumbledore View Post
    Just like what Drummer said, sounds like you've got tied notes in that piece of music. Can you upload a pic?
    I will when I get home after 4 today. The notes are not tied together though through their staffs.

  7. #7

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    Now that I look at it closer I see the flag does touch

  8. #8

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    also I have a question about two other things. What does a dot behind a note mean? There is a lot of them in this song. Also if you look at this picture, on the top line, you see a bass drum played in between the ride cymbal. When I listen to the song, I don't hear this bass drum, is this like a ghost note or is there a reason I don't hear it?

  9. #9

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    Default Re: Question about reading drumming music

    Quote Originally Posted by TheHeadlessHorseman View Post
    also I have a question about two other things. What does a dot behind a note mean? There is a lot of them in this song. Also if you look at this picture, on the top line, you see a bass drum played in between the ride cymbal. When I listen to the song, I don't hear this bass drum, is this like a ghost note or is there a reason I don't hear it?
    A dot after a note like that means the note is 50% longer than an undotted version. In that case it's a dotted 8th, so it would be one and a half 8ths, or 3 16ths in duration.

    As for the bass drum you don't hear, it's either there and you just can't hear it, or the song doesn't match this music.

    What song is this and where did you get this music from? That info might help us help you.

  10. #10

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    The dot means to increase the not by one half, so the dotted eight would equal the same as an eighth and a sixteenth tied together. If you figure sixteenths as "1 e & a 2 e & a", then a dotted eighth, sixteenth and two eighth notes would be "1 a 2 &" (1 e & a 2 e & a)

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheznug View Post
    What song is this and where did you get this music from? That info might help us help you.
    Got to agree with Cheznug, what song and where's the notation from? In the earlier example, if you're saying that you only hear one crash, I'd say the two notes, one being an 1/8th, the other a 1/4, is definitely not a match for what you're hearing. Unless they are tied, any drummer like myself reading it for the first time would naturally play two crashes. If they wrote that but tell me that they only want one crash, I'd question it straight away. In fact I have a high school student who's working on Lionel Richie's "Easy" (Faith No More covered this one later), and I don't know who the heck did the chart, but certain notes and rests did not line up with what's actually on the song. Frustration City! I ended up rewriting it.

    Think of a phonetic language like Italian...even if you've never heard a new Italian word, if someone pronounces it clearly to me, I can write it down pretty instantly, as what I write reflects what's been said....unlike English, which breaks the rule book quite often. The same with music. In fact music is a language, once you know the rules that apply to it. The further you practice, read a bit and study, the more fluently you'll speak that language.
    "...it's the Paradigm Of The Cosmos!" Stewart Copeland on Youtube

    668: The Number Of The Guy Next Door To The Beast.

    "A random act of kindness; it keeps my heart in shape!" - Late8

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumbledore View Post
    Got to agree with Cheznug, what song and where's the notation from? In the earlier example, if you're saying that you only hear one crash, I'd say the two notes, one being an 1/8th, the other a 1/4, is definitely not a match for what you're hearing. Unless they are tied, any drummer like myself reading it for the first time would naturally play two crashes. If they wrote that but tell me that they only want one crash, I'd question it straight away. In fact I have a high school student who's working on Lionel Richie's "Easy" (Faith No More covered this one later), and I don't know who the heck did the chart, but certain notes and rests did not line up with what's actually on the song. Frustration City! I ended up rewriting it.

    Think of a phonetic language like Italian...even if you've never heard a new Italian word, if someone pronounces it clearly to me, I can write it down pretty instantly, as what I write reflects what's been said....unlike English, which breaks the rule book quite often. The same with music. In fact music is a language, once you know the rules that apply to it. The further you practice, read a bit and study, the more fluently you'll speak that language.
    The song is by a band Avenged Sevenfold and is titled So far away. You can hear it on Youtube. It is in 4/4 time. I am trying to learn it so I can play as a tribute to my best friend who committed suicide on his birthday last december. He was 25 and served in the US Army. He suffered PSTD. Avenged Sevenfold was his favorite band. I want to do this to honor him and I want to be as accurate as I can. If it helps I can email you the entire composition. I bought it from drum score. Also keep in mind, I practiced 16 years ago for about a year and then stopped. I only have been playing for about 3 months as of recent and basically had to relearn everything. I learned how to read basic music notation from a beginner DVD I bought. It teaches the basics. I googled drum notation when I got confused on some of the cymbals.
    Last edited by TheHeadlessHorseman; 01-28-2014 at 08:34 AM.

  13. #13

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    If you are not comfortable with reading and you are learning just the one song, you may want to forget the sheet music (which may be hurting you more than helping you) and learn it by ear. Just cue it up on a computer and if you use a slow-downer software you can slow it down to 75% speed or even slower without changing the pitch, which would make it easier to learn by ear. There is a software called the Amazing Slow Downer that does exactly that and it's free. WimMediaPlayer used to have that feature too but i don't know if it still does.

    But yes it sounds like your transcription is faulty.

    Also think of this: It may not be super important to be exact, even as tribute to your friend. If a note here and there are not right but you have tried to be faithful to the SPIRIT of the song, that's what's important. What you want to do is get to the point where you are playing with your heart and not your head, because that's when music becomes transcendent. That's when you are honoring your friend.
    Life's too short to play the same solo twice. Improvise!

  14. #14

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    I don't know where in the song that bit of bass drum that you didn't hear is, but I definitely hear the pattern you showed quite a few times.

  15. #15

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    the only thing I am not hearing is that bass drum all by itself in between the rides on the top line. The ride and bass together is played pretty often in the song, its almost a like its a ghost note because I am not hearing the other ghost notes in the song either.
    Last edited by TheHeadlessHorseman; 01-29-2014 at 08:33 AM.

  16. #16

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    Not sure if this will help or not but this attached photo shows more of the song. The top line of the sheet music is the very beginning of the song. So if you listen to the song from the beginning you can follow allong with the music and see what I am talking about. The section in question is at the beginning of the line with the number 9 in front of it. I circled in red the bass note I am questioning It goes crash and bass, open high hat and snare, high hat, (bass drum by itself that I don't hear) followed by bass and high hat twice in a row. If you skip down to line #15 the same pattern repeats itself with that questionable bass note occurring twice in the sheet music. Also attached is a link to the actual song on youtube.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7ry4cx6HfY
    Last edited by TheHeadlessHorseman; 01-29-2014 at 08:54 AM.

  17. #17

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    I think the performing drummer did not make this chart. It was probably done by someone else. What he is playing is not exactly what is notated. I would do is use the chart as a general guide to see where you are and copy some of the basic ideas. The doted eighth/sixteenth is pretty accurate, however and is a pretty common lick in rock drumming.

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