How To Read Snare Drum Music

If you are a drummer and want to learn how to read snare drum notes, you've come to the right place. An ability to read basic drum notation is a very important aspect in drumming.

Understanding drum notes brings you to a whole new level of drumming. In this hub we'll go through the basics of reading drum notation, with a special emphasis on snare drum. Don't worry, learning to read notation is not as hard as most people think.

If you're really serious about learning how to drum like a pro, I would highly recommend taking a look at Learn & Master Drums. You'll learn everything - from the very basics to the most advanced techniques.

Snare Drum Notes

Snare drum is often considered the most important part of a drum set.
It can be part of a larger drum set, or it can be used as a stand-alone instrument like in marching bands.

Although drum music is written on a traditional music staff that has five lines and four spaces, there is an important difference. In drum notation different lines represent different drums. The notes, rests and time signatures are exactly the same as in standard notation.

The musical notation for a snare drum is usually on the third line, that is - in the center of a traditional bar of music.

Lets take a look at the following image:

Regular notes
Regular notes

At the left of the bar you can see a time signature (a fraction - 4/4) which indicates the number of beats per measure. In our case we have 4 beats or 4 counts per measure. Measures are divided by a line. Our image shows only one measure. By counting the measures and notes you get an idea about the beat.

In drum notation you will see two types of notes. A regular oval shaped, like in our image, or circle shaped with an X in it. The common note values are whole note, half note, quarter note, eighth note, and sixteenth note.

The X note stands for cross-stick technique (crossing one hand over the other to create the distinctive cross-stick sound). Snare drum can be played using cross-sticking.

The best way to learn how to read drum music is by practicing it. It's definitely the most effective way to learn. Remember, musical notation cannot be learned in a single practice session.


More by this Author

  • Screen Name Ideas

    Internet is a crowded place and when signing up to forums, social network sites, instant messaging, blogs or whatever, we all want to use a screen name that is unique, not already taken, and most importantly - it...

  • Metric vs. Imperial or Will the USA ever go metric?

    Fact: The United States is the only industrialized country in the world that doesn't use the metric system as its predominant system of weights and measures. Today only the USA, Liberia and Myanmar still use the old...

  • Mairead Nesbitt - Biography, Pictures, Videos

    Mairead Nesbitt is a Classical and Celtic music performer, most notably as a fiddler and violinist. Mairead is a musician who believes in giving herself fully to the music.


No comments yet.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article