Many if not most of the projects I arrange for require drum set parts. A drum set part can be as simple as measures filled with slashes that layout the form, to detailed notation showing every drum or cymbal struck by every limb. My experience is the best drum set parts fall somewhere in between, with just enough notation to clearly get the idea across yet not overly notated and cluttered.
In previous versions of all notation software programs drums set parts have always been one of the more time consuming and well, “tweaky” parts to create. With the introduction of Sibelius 6 many of those “tweaky bits” have been smoothed over. Features like numbering repeated bars, multiple bar repeats, the ideas library and a number of new and some revamped plugins have made the process faster and simpler that it has ever been. My workflow has significantly improved in this area and I’d like to bring some of these features and plugins to your attention.
But before do that lets define the different types of notation in drum parts to clarify. Then I’ll show you some techniques I use to create each one.
Drum set notation types
2. Repeat bars
3. Slash bars
4. Rhythmic notation bars
5. Combination notated and slashes
6. Cues for kicks
7. Cues for navigation
Next in this series of blog posts I’ll show you techniques for creating each of these drum set notation styles in Sibelius.
Steve Grimes says
I am striving to write a drum book and are looking for the best software for a person like me who is not very software adept. In other words, easy to learn. I need to be able to do the notation you have included, with the x’s above the staff, but also need more flexibility to include notes with triangle (cow bell), half note with a slash through the center (middle or floor Tom Tom). Can Sibelius do this?
John Hinchey says
Steve, sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner but yes, Sibelius can do that.
Kevin P says
Does current Sibelius First work for this use? Drum teacher creating own exercises.
John Hinchey says
Yes you can do drum set notation in Sibelius First. But Sibelius First does not allow you to install plugins. So many of the techniques I show in this series of posts cannot be utilized in Sibelius First. Best,
Nelson Riveros says
Hello John the #6 notation that you have above, I assume those are hits.
What part of the drum is being played there?
My second question, if I have a full drum chart, how can I hide the parts the drummer does not need, and still hear it in the full score?