How to Read Drum Music

Drum music is commonly written on the Stave or Staff. This is made up of five lines and four spaces.

The Staff is divided into sections with Bar Lines.

Each section between the Bar lines is called one bar or one measure.

A Final Bar Line indicates the end of the music.

Two Dots next to a double bar line are called a repeat sign and indicate that the music is to be repeated from the beginning, or from a previous repeat sign.

Here is another sign called a Bar Repeat Sign which indicates that the previous bar is to be repeated. If the same bar is to be played several times in succession, repeat signs are often used.

The percussion clef sign is used at the beginning of each line of drum music.

The Time Signature appears next to the Bass Clef Sign and indicates how many beats are to be played in each bar and what type of notes these beats represent. The time signature shown here is the four four time signature which indicates four quarter note beats per bar.

Drum music is usually written in the spaces of the staff, including the space above the staff, to represent different parts of the drum kit. The most commonly used method is shown below.

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