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Drum Tabs and Notation

Reading Drum Tabs

A ‘Drum tablature‘, also known as ‘drum tab’ is a tablature in use for drums. An example follows:

 H |-xxxxx-x|xxxxxxxx|-xxxxxxx|xxxxxxxx|-|
 S |--oo--o-|--oo--o-|--oo--o-|--oo--o-|-|
 B |o---o---|o---o---|o---o---|o---o---|o|
 CC|-Crash Cymbal----|
 B |-Bass-Drum-------|

Some alternative lines:

 S |-Snare-drum---------|
 T2|-Tom-2-(low/mid-tom)| Tom 1, Tom 2 etc. can be continued to as many toms as you have.
 F |-Floor-Tom----------|

Generally there will not be that many lines during verses; the above is more common during fills. For example in verse there may be only 3 lines (bass, snare, and HH), while during chorus HH is replaced with RD, symbolizing a ride cymbal. Also, what to use to symbolize the drum can vary from tab to tab (eg. using ‘t’ for LT).

Additionally, there are symbols to depict how the tabs should be played:


 |-x-| Strike Cymbal or Hi-Hat
 |-X-| Strike Loose Hi-Hat, or hit Crash Hard
 |-o-| Open High Hat
 |-#-| Choke Cymbal (Grab Cymbal With Hand After Striking It)
 |-s-| Splash Cymbal
 |-c-| China Cymbal
 |-b-| Bell of Ride
 |-x-| Click Hi-Hat With Foot  


 |-o-| Strike
 |-O-| Accent
 |-g-| Ghost Note 
 |-f-| [[Flam]]  
 |-d-| Drag
 |-b-| Soft One-Handed Roll
 |-B-| Accented One-Handed Roll
 |-@-| Snare Rim

Unlike guitar tabs which often fail to accurately represent timing information, drum tabs usually describe timing information very accurately.

Drum Notation

Notation of percussion instruments

Percussion notation conventions are varied because of the wide range of percussion instruments. Percussion instruments are generally grouped into two categories: pitched and non-pitched. The notation of non-pitched percussion instruments is the more problematic and less standardized. Non-pitched percussion notation on a conventional staff once commonly employed the bass clef, but a neutral staff of two parallel vertical lines is usually preferred now. It is usual to label each instrument and technique the first time it is introduced, or to add an explanatory footnote, to clarify this. Below is an example of drum set notation:


Drum Notation


Drum Cymbal Notation

Dynamic accents

Accents Notation

drum_techniuqes/reading_drum_tabs.1185441549.txt.gz · Last modified: 2007/12/26 03:51 by pasha
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