How To Read Music Notes For Drums - The LessonsPosted by Mike Schuck
This article will discuss how to read music notes for drums.
The first thing you will need to do is to learn the songs that are a part of your drum kit.
In a normal western music scale, the beat is made up of half notes and quarter notes. When we first start learning drums, we will usually only be taught on half notes.
However, you have to remember that half notes aren’t the only option when it comes to making the beats. We also learn on quarter notes, which are what most people are probably used to hearing.
If you don’t know your chords or what they are called, think of them like this: If you have a note on your instrument that is half a note, it makes up a quarter note.
It may sound a little odd, but try to remember these two notes will play together to make a note called a quarter note. Also, when you count the notes in a chord, you will often see that a higher note makes up a note called a minor chord.
This makes it easier to remember how notes are built up. We will start the examples on half notes because we can already play these notes with our hands.
On quarter notes, however, we have to use our feet to play them. Half notes are made up of 2 whole notes, a quarter note, and 1/8 note.
Just know that our fingers are smaller, so we can only play a single note at a time with them
When we play the 1/8 note, our right foot is playing the 1/8 note, our left foot is playing the 1/8 note, and we are striking the 1/8 note.
When we play the 2 whole notes and the quarter note, we will be striking both the 1/8 note and the 1/4 note at the same time. When we are striking the 1/8 note and the 1/4 note at the same time, we will be striking a 5/8 note.
By knowing how to read music for different notes, we can learn to play a chord on the drum set in no time. This is one of the reasons why people start with different notes in the beginning.
So, once you learn how to read notes for the basic things on a drum set, there are plenty more notes that you can learn as you get better.
But, before we get into it, let’s talk about how to read music for drums.
The difference between a quarter note and a half note is that there is a quarter note on each beat of the bar (1/8, 2/4, 3/8, 4/8, 5/8, 6/8, 7/8).
This makes it easier to do 12-15 beats per bar. The quarter note itself consists of 2 whole notes, a quarter note, and 1/8 note.
Let’s take a look at how you can make half notes in the bar by using the quarter note:
Our basic approach to reading music is to take the note off the top of the scale, or any note off the bottom. So, if the note on the drum set is an F, we would start our left hand at the low E and strike the F.
It might sound odd at first to begin playing the F with our left hand and E-flat with our right hand. We will be making quarter notes with our left hand.
If you think about it, when you are making the quarter note, you are making the F with your right hand.
Our left hand would be making the second note of the bar (quarter note), the E-flat, so we are just putting it on top of the bar, the second note of the bar.
How are we going to make our quarter note with our right hand? By hitting the F with our right hand, so we can play a 1/8 note with our left hand.
When we hit the 1/8 note, our right hand is hitting the E-flat. Now we have 1/8 notes on each beat of the bar.
Try to think about it as if we are hitting the note with our left hand and E-flat with our right hand. This is why we will hear our quarter note in odd time on our drum set.
When you hear that quarter note, you will probably think about the time signature of barbecue (a 3/8 rest). This will get you used to thinking about odd time signatures as you play.
Once you have learned how to read notes in bars, you can learn how to read music for different chords.
Before I show you how to do this, I should explain how to read chords
For each chord, we want to get our hand to play the entire chord without moving our hand above the bass drum.
When we play chords, the notes on the drum set will be a bit out of tune, but that is not something that we need to worry about at this point.
All we have to do is make sure that we play the chord in our hand and not in our head.
We will be learning about chords using the red note. We will be trying to make this note.
When we hit this note, our fingers should bend a bit. So, if your fingers are straight when you hit the note, you are hitting it in the right spot.
Our problem with this note is that our hand is straight and the bass drum is going to hit the 5th note in the bar. By bending our fingers, we make our hand move a bit to the right.
Since the bass drum is in the corner of the song, it will be hitting the 5th note in the bar with its side-to-side motion. The result is a perfect chord in our hand.
Learning to read chords is very much like reading quarter notes.
The Jam Addict team is a revolving door of writers who care about music, its effects on culture, and giving aspiring artists tools and knowledge to be inspired and keep on creating.
If you have any questions or concerns or just want to drop us a line, don't hesitate to contact us! We always appreciate the feedback.