drum tabs

mize387

Junior Member
Hey guys just startin out learnin drums wondering everyones thoughts on learning drums through learning sheet music or drum tabs? pros and cons
 

Frost

Silver Member
Hey guys just startin out learnin drums wondering everyones thoughts on learning drums through learning sheet music or drum tabs? pros and cons
Mostly I'd say learn from ear, it's not like a guitar where you need to know fret positions, you possibly can identify the sounds the snare and the toms are making or at least get a rough idea.

I honestly can't read drum tabs, I find them mind bogglingly confusing, sheet music is not too bad, it just relies on you mostly using a standard five piece kit with a high hat, ride and crash, the bigger the kit gets the harder it is to read from sheet music, particularly the cymbals because they are all above the staff.
 

mize387

Junior Member
oh really thanks a lot. I'm just gettin a kit here in a few weeks and most likely going to self teach, ive been trying to learn simple excersises with my drum sticks right now and was just wondering the best approach to learn them.
 

zakhopper316

Silver Member
you def. want to learn to read, learning by ear is a form of watching and listening to learn and then playing it is a form of mockery, which is ok to do a little bit, really you need to read to understand time and space and possibilities of time.
you want to be able to sing rhythms just glancing at the music.
 

Fuo

Platinum Member
when I wanna learn a song i use tab, but I write it out myself in standard notation (using finale songwriter 2010) and then use that. writing it out myself helps me remember the parts a little better. i figure i'll start transcribing myself eventually, but i'm still new to drumming (i'm about 2 months in), and want to focus more on playing now, and not transcribing...
 

Travis22

Senior Member
Learn to read and write the music you play...you can never go wrong with it. Doesn't mean you will always use it, but it's a good thing to know, just like basic math. If you are jammin with a group for the first time and someone says "gimme an 11/8 pattern" and you don't understand how to read and write at least basic snare patterns, you're going to have a real rough time. Besides, if you are going to self teach yourself this will help you progress faster.
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
i'd say learn both, if you can.

tabs are a lot simpler and more available than sheet music, but they're not as expressive as sheet music. in other words, some things can't be written with tabs. you can write just about anything with sheet music though. another thing you'll find out with tabs is that because they're created by people on the internet they're often wrong. sheet music is pretty accurate because it's usually written by professionals.

it's always good to be able to read sheet music, because it's the universal written language of music. it's what's taught in schools and it's what's used by professionals. if you can read sheet music, that's a valuable skill that could help get you a job or get you accepted to music school, but you'll never get a job because you can read tab.

sheet music is better than tab in many ways, but there are some disadvantages. for one, it's harder to learn than tabs (but still not too bad). another problem is that sheet music for drums is pretty hard to find sometimes. sheet music is usually copyrighted, so that means you have to pay for it, and there's a lot less of it around. you have a much better chance of finding the drum part for your favorite songs written in tab than in sheet music.
 

Frost

Silver Member
you def. want to learn to read, learning by ear is a form of watching and listening to learn and then playing it is a form of mockery, which is ok to do a little bit, really you need to read to understand time and space and possibilities of time.
you want to be able to sing rhythms just glancing at the music.
I compose and write music and I find listening more convenient then reading, why do I need to read something off a sheet when I can hear the beat and what it's made on?

Theory is important but a lot of the best taught drummers don't know a bar of it, because we don't use melodies or harmonies it is far less important than it is on guitar. Take three great examples of self-taught modern drummers, John Bonham, Dave Lombardo and Phill Rudd, all learned by ear.

I know someone who just learn't drumming by sheet music and he can't improvise at all, I consider myself a fairly decent jazz drummer and part of my ability to improvise and embellish comes from not having to always see what to do next from the instructions
 

Travis22

Senior Member
I compose and write music and I find listening more convenient then reading, why do I need to read something off a sheet when I can hear the beat and what it's made on?

Theory is important but a lot of the best taught drummers don't know a bar of it, because we don't use melodies or harmonies it is far less important than it is on guitar. Take three great examples of self-taught modern drummers, John Bonham, Dave Lombardo and Phill Rudd, all learned by ear.

I know someone who just learn't drumming by sheet music and he can't improvise at all, I consider myself a fairly decent jazz drummer and part of my ability to improvise and embellish comes from not having to always see what to do next from the instructions
Learning to play be ear is very helpful. More so when you are working on creativity. But when you are just starting out as he is, you really need to put some time into learning to read what you are doing. Any teacher that he were to get would give him a rudiment chart and a method book right off the bat.
 

Frost

Silver Member
Learning to play be ear is very helpful. More so when you are working on creativity. But when you are just starting out as he is, you really need to put some time into learning to read what you are doing. Any teacher that he were to get would give him a rudiment chart and a method book right off the bat.
I do rudiments as well, but there is no one way to learn, you can't tell me Phill Rudd is a bad drummer, he has a massive sound, you can't tell me he would have been more successful or better off if he'd ever taken a drum lesson in his life, he just jumped behind a kit and ran with it.
 

Travis22

Senior Member
I do rudiments as well, but there is no one way to learn, you can't tell me Phill Rudd is a bad drummer, he has a massive sound, you can't tell me he would have been more successful or better off if he'd ever taken a drum lesson in his life, he just jumped behind a kit and ran with it.
I didn't say anyone was a bad drummer. And yes, I can say that if a person takes lessons or learns to read music it will help them out more so then just passing it over, because it's true. Some people have the natural ability to just sit and listen and duplicate, some don't. With that being said, I would take the bet that more than 75% of pro drummers can read and write music. One guy doesn't and all of a sudden you shouldn't learn to read it either? That's stupidly silly man. That's like telling a grade school kid "oh, you don't need to learn the alphabet or how to count...you can already talk, that's good enough." Knowledge is power my friend.
 

Fuo

Platinum Member
Also, standard drum notation is very easy to read imo, so why not learn it? I don't see how it is any harder to learn or understand than tab. Each line/space is a drum or cymbal just like tab. The only challenge i guess would be learning what the different note values mean, but I would think that if you're playing a purely rhythmic instrument then you should know that anyway. At least the basics... you can always slowly pick up the weird stuff as you go along.
 

zakhopper316

Silver Member
I compose and write music and I find listening more convenient then reading, why do I need to read something off a sheet when I can hear the beat and what it's made on?

Theory is important but a lot of the best taught drummers don't know a bar of it, because we don't use melodies or harmonies it is far less important than it is on guitar. Take three great examples of self-taught modern drummers, John Bonham, Dave Lombardo and Phill Rudd, all learned by ear.

I know someone who just learn't drumming by sheet music and he can't improvise at all, I consider myself a fairly decent jazz drummer and part of my ability to improvise and embellish comes from not having to always see what to do next from the instructions
because as you progress in drumming you will play gigs and sessions (if this is your goal) and public performances where there wont be a recording to listen to, also it limits your ability to learn, if you can read then you have a world of books and educational materials at your disposal to help you under stand and play the full spectrum if certain styles(depending on the books) if you cant read and you say i can play funk look, and you are able to play a few funk songs and switch back and forth between the beats, your not really playing funk, your not writing funk from a foundation, really your just playing pre composed songs, reading will also allow you to understand all combinations in a certain time. and writing fresh stylized songs for an album you are going to need a grasp of reading, even all of the great self taught drummers taught themselves how to read.

and there are so many more reasons, if you want to work in a recording studio you will have to read, because bands are only a part of recording, another part is scores for commercials tv, film ect.

if your happy just jamming away in your room then you dont have to read, but if you want real progression and possibly a career then you are going to read, one does not come without the other.

its hard to write if you cant read, in both music and literature
 

aaajn

Silver Member
when I wanna learn a song i use tab, but I write it out myself in standard notation (using finale songwriter 2010) and then use that. writing it out myself helps me remember the parts a little better. i figure i'll start transcribing myself eventually, but i'm still new to drumming (i'm about 2 months in), and want to focus more on playing now, and not transcribing...
I am still new to Finale, I have Finale Print Music, will this work to write out grooves for practice. I have been trying to figure it out but I get a lot of Cymbal Symbals where a snare hit should be, I get frustrated and give up. So far the tutorials have not really helped. Maybe it is just the wrong program. Any suggestions?
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
I am still new to Finale, I have Finale Print Music, will this work to write out grooves for practice. I have been trying to figure it out but I get a lot of Cymbal Symbals where a snare hit should be, I get frustrated and give up. So far the tutorials have not really helped. Maybe it is just the wrong program. Any suggestions?
I know, that's really annoying- in Finale 2008, to change the note heads one measure at a time, go to tools>advanced tools>special tools>note shape. To change multiple measures use the selection tool and go to utilities>change>noteheads- the drawback there is that you can only change all the notes in the measure, or all of one type.
 
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