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Author Topic: How do I read drum tabs?  (Read 12567 times)
zunami
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« on: November 15, 2006, 03:25:04 PM »

I've played drums for 3 weeks now and I got the handle of some basic rock beats from a book. So now I wanna start learning songs. I figured AC/DC would be a good start because the music is awesome and the drumming sounds simple. Can you just tell me what all the stuff means using this song as an example? I couldn't find anything from the book.

http://www.all-good-tabs.com/drum-tabs-bands-acdc-back_in_black-38752.html
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RaginDrummer
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« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2006, 05:07:22 PM »

alright...... here we go.....


hf= hihat foot pedal
B= Bass drum/ kick drum
C= Crash
H= hihat
S= Snare


i don't know thissong but i believe it is in 4/4 time..... in other words 1.2.3.4.1.2.3.4


      1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
C   |X---------------|----------------|
H   |--x-x-x-x-x-x-x-|x-x-x-x-x-x-
S   |----o-------o---|----o-------o---|
B   |o-------o-------|o-------o-------|

on beat 1 it is bass+crash
on beat 2 it is hihat closed
on beat 3 it is hihat+snare
on beat 4 it is hihat closed

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Smelly_granny
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2006, 06:38:47 PM »

Quote
alright...... here we go.....


hf= hihat foot pedal
B= Bass drum/ kick drum
C= Crash
H= hihat
S= Snare


i don't know thissong but i believe it is in 4/4 time..... in other words 1.2.3.4.1.2.3.4


      1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
C   |X---------------|----------------|
H   |--x-x-x-x-x-x-x-|x-x-x-x-x-x-
S   |----o-------o---|----o-------o---|
B   |o-------o-------|o-------o-------|

on beat 1 it is bass+crash
on beat 2 it is hihat closed
on beat 3 it is hihat+snare
on beat 4 it is hihat closed

Couldn't of explained it better  Wink
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PASHA
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« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2006, 11:03:06 PM »

I just added an article about Drum Tabs and how to read them, so you are welcome to check it out, and for more advanced users - you are welcome to expand it as I just included the basic info at this time Wink

Reading Drum Tabs
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zunami
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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2007, 02:29:28 PM »

Thanks. My drumming's going pretty well. I often find myself playing too fast though.
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Smelly_granny
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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2007, 02:50:21 PM »

Metronome  Wink
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Pegasus
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« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2007, 05:35:28 PM »

DONT USE TABS FOR DRUMS EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!PUT ON SOME HEADPHONES AND LEARN THE SONG BY EAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!that is ultimately the best lesson anyone can give you
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Smelly_granny
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« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2007, 05:40:26 PM »

Quote
DONT USE TABS FOR DRUMS EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!PUT ON SOME HEADPHONES AND LEARN THE SONG BY EAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!that is ultimately the best lesson anyone can give you
oooo, opinions! Fun stuff!

I gotta sorta agree, but mostly disagree with you on that one.

Tabs are poo. Its not real music. Its just some charts some drummer came up with to try and make reading music easier, but it really is a very limiting way of writing. Stick to good o'l notation. It will make you much better at understanding music and how it put together as well.

Now, I'm all for listening to stuff by ear, but when it comes down to it, whether you use notation or tabs, you've gotta learn stuff by reading, and get good at sight reading. For a few reasons...

  • When you listen to a song, you don't always catch everything thats going on, and are likely to miss parts out and play them wrong.
  • If you can sight read, it sure saves your memory. Why try and remember an entire book, when you can just read it? Same with drums...If you have a sheet in front of you telling you exactly what to do, you don't need to remember it.
  • If you want to be a good professional drummer, you will be very useful to a lot of people if you can play straight off a piece of paper, rather than taking valuable time to learn and remember the songs.
  • So often while I'm learning new songs with my band, i cant remember that parts that i make up, so i take along some paper to write down the important beats and fills.
  • While practicing a difficult song, a piece of notation is a hell of a lot easier to slow down than a song is.
But in the end, its up to you. I didn't think i would need it at first, but it sure has become invaluable.
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Little-Drummer-Boy
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« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2007, 09:39:54 PM »

Yeah, Pegasus, what about the less fortunate, not me of course Grin, drummers that dont have musical skills that let them just pick stuff out. me on the other hand have mad skills.
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zunami
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« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2007, 07:48:17 PM »

I've thought about whether it's good to read the stuff I play instead of trying to remember it. It feels like I'm not learning as much when I keep reading it while I'm playing. I think you can still develop a good ear for the drumming even if the writing is there to help you out.
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Smelly_granny
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« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2007, 04:19:15 PM »

Quote
I've thought about whether it's good to read the stuff I play instead of trying to remember it. It feels like I'm not learning as much when I keep reading it while I'm playing. I think you can still develop a good ear for the drumming even if the writing is there to help you out.
Yea, thats fine. It isnt for everyone. I think Dennis Chambers cant read music, and look where he is!
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RaginDrummer
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« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2007, 11:56:35 PM »

Tabs are poo. Its not real music. Its just some charts some drummer came up with to try and make reading music easier, but it really is a very limiting way of writing. Stick to good o'l notation. It will make you much better at understanding music and how it put together as well. - Smelly_Granny



Tab and real music scores (if you will) are like the English language. There is a proper way of writing it and an improper way.

Music scores and tabs (time signatures and music notes) are a way of writing the music language down. Much like English, we speak English but sometimes we need to write it down and that is what all the music scores and tabs are, music writen down.
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gmbydmit
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« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2007, 12:08:09 AM »

i use a program called Tab Trax to convert Tabs into Notation (and vice-a-vers-a)
its pretty cool, and works well for transcribing drum parts (IMO)
 Smiley
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