How to Notate Brushes on Drums? | Everything You Need To Know – 2022

Have you ever played the drums with the proper notation method? If yes, this would be a delightful phenomenon. Don’t you know that how to notate brushes on drums? Don’t worry; we will learn about brushes on drums from beginner to professional level.

What is a notation of brushes on drums? A form of musical notation involving specific notes played by instruments is referred to as Drum notation. We can also relate it with Percussion notation. Like other notations, guides to beat the drum are written in the form of symbols.

In drum notation, “x” noteheads represent cymbals, and ‘standard elliptical note heads’ represent drums.

Different lines and symbols represent other drum kit voices in musical notation, which is called a key or legend—percussive art society designed this system for easy learning.

how to notate brushes on drums

Drum brush notation is not uniform; it may vary according to a single person’s observation and interpretation and may differ from person to person.  People may write down drum brush notation just for describing the notation techniques.

Drum brush notation may be helpful for beginners. After getting basic knowledge of notation and necessary skills for appropriately playing the drum set, you can make your techniques for a better understanding and time management.

Standardized Drumset Notation
Standardized Drumset Notation
  • Author: Norman Weinberg
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 56 pages


Rhythm and Notation for Drums
Rhythm and Notation for Drums
  •  Author: Mr Kev O'Shea
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 69 pages
Drum Notation Simplified
Drum Notation Simplified
  • Author: Tim Carman
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 117 pages

How Do You Write Drum Brush Notation?

So, how do you write drum brushes? Well, in writing the drum brush notation, we write notes on the staff and separate them with vertical bar lines. The area between these lines is termed as “measure.” With each measure, you will tally these beats.

notation drum brush

There is also a difference that all the things in drum brush notation are not followed or played like those in the music sheet. You can get command on time and rhythm skills by writing and reading drum brush notation.

How Do You Read Drum Notation?

In reading the drum notation, start from left to right. The staff has five lines and four measures. You can see notes written below or above these lines determined by the portion of the drum involved in that particular note. You can make a difference by observing the cymbal, snare, and regular drum bass notes.

In drum brush notation, dots mean drums, and “x” means cymbals.

How Do You Notate Drums?

Measures in these songs represent the rhythm organized in a song. Time signature we sue for communicating the grouping. In a time signature, two numbers are shown in the form of a fraction. Accuracy in time signature may enhance your time skills in drum beating.

Drum Brush Notation Tips and Tricks

Just playing with sticks is much more different from drum brush notation. These methods of note are unique, and these may change from person to person. You can enjoy a very expressive experience by using many brush patterns.

There is a difference between drum brush notation and sheet music. In drum brush notation, different symbols guide to other parts of the drumset. There are some techniques of drummers that professional people and drum bands apply.

That is the reason that the techniques of every person are different. In this article, we cannot cover all methods and their types, but we will explain the most important of them below:

Simple Drum Set Notation

You can always consider drum beat notations as a part of simple drum notations. But sometimes, there may be some variations in it. Mostly, the score or book has a legend from which one can learn about what the notation looks like. In a real music piece, there may be no drum notation.

notation drum set

You can hit a drum in several ways. Every beat can make a unique beat in itself. As a drummer, you can control these things by improving the timing and dynamic control over the drumsticks. Drummers know well about where to hard or soft on the same beat for how many times.

Sustained Notes with Brushes

Use your left hand while playing with drum brushes, which will make sustained notes. Sustained notes mean a constant pattern by which we can save our time and divide the beat for the remaining beats.

For this, there are “Football” and “Half football” techniques. For doing so, start with your left hand and make a complete oval or football shape within the allocated time for each note. Sustained notes have minor differences from the regular notes.

Some arrow-like symbols may help you with how to sweep brush and in which direction. There is a trick that you can continue with your right hand on the same drum, making accents when your left hand is busy making the very first complete beat.

Reading of Repeated Symbols

There are many repeat symbols and repeat sounds that need to understand in the drum brush notation. In repeat sound or repeated symbol, we can understand as the restarting your beat after completing one within the same time.

One bar repeat sign shows the percent symbol. One bar repeat sign means to revise the last note again for one time and then continue to the noted music.

repeated symbol

Similarly, the two-bar repeat sign means repeating the last note or beat two times and then continuing to the music. Two-bar repeat can provide very expressive expressions and feels good as a drummer too.

It would be best if you did not confuse drum brush notation with drum tablature. Drum tablature consists of different horizontal and vertical lines with other symbols showing different beats.

Conclusion: How to Notate Brushes on Drums

Well! That’s all about how to notate brushes on drums so far. In most cases, drum brush notation is not used even in professional songs sometimes. But if you want to learn about it, you can learn about it from old notation books.

Some music directors have unique song ideas, and they can make a particular drum brush notation. The thing which matters is how do you notate drums?

The primary purpose of drum brush notation is to convey the sound which you are looking for. You can choose your suitable notes by the hit and trial method.

Leave a Comment