Making up musical/drumming words?


Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Have you ever made up a word or acronym, deliberate or by accident, pertaining to music or your drums or drumming?

I've suprised myself with a few, most of which I can't remember right now, but I did just coin a new word when I was discussing drum sizes for a backlined gig:

TOMBINATION - from tom combination, used to designate the assortment of toms on a particular kit.

"On tour, my tombination is 12, 13, 16."




Platinum Member
In one online lesson I came across the term 'snare-a-diddle'. Another student invented that term... a paradiddle (partially/with one accent) played on the snare.


Platinum Member
I use the term "flam-crash" to describe a flam played on two cymbals, leading up to the second hit being played on the 1. Like if you were going to do a double cymbal crash, but your left hand hit a 16th or 32nd early.


Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Just came up with another -

ATOMINATION - from tom abomination, when a tom sounds really, really bad!

"That floor tom is an atomination... tune it up dude!"



Platinum Member
Nothing quite as clever as that. But I've found that coming up with words that describe a certain kind of drumming can help bandmates tell me what they want when we're working on a new song.

For example, "Painting."

There's a tune the leader of my current rock band wrote that he wanted something specific for but had a hard time describing. It was some light cymbal stuff, in tempo, but not a strict pattern that repeats. More like just highlighting certain notes.

I described it as kind of painting the time, marking certain notes loosely in a kind of ethereal way. Well, he loved that term and now he uses it to ask for that feel whenever he's looking for it during part of a song.

I wish I had something awesome like TOMBINATION. But, alas, I do not.


Gold Member

Term referring to making up or figuring out a musical part on the spot, but of course in a educated way that makes sense with the rest of the band. Analogous to eyeballing something, but specifically in a musical context.

Band Member - "Are you familiar with this song?"
Hired Sit-in - "No dude. I'll just earball it."

Band Leader - "We don't have a drum chart for this song yet, so you'll have to earball it for now."

Somebody calls some tune at a blues jam that you don't know. Ask the bass player if its a shuffle, 12/8, or straight 8th groove, and earball the rest.

lol. I use this term way too much I think.
Last edited:

Anon La Ply

Can't think of any. I like "tombination" and "painting", though.

"Atomination" reminds me too much of my tuning skills, or lack.

Re: "Earball" ... Wsabol, let's just say that if you think you use the term too much, you probably do :)


Senior Member
I was talking about a piece of computer malware the other day called a Rootkit. I now call my drums that when I change my configuration around by taking one of my rack toms off.


Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I cannot remember his last name, but Jeff, the guy from New York with the on line lessons and the horrible drum sounds. He had more made up words than the Bowery Boys.


Gold Member
I've used "Lars it up" for number of years- to describe stuffing up a drum fill/ playing a song in a half-arsed manner/ questionable double bass skills.


Platinum Member
Love TOMBINATION. I'm keeping that in my lexicon.
None of my own for drumming, but some notable ones in band lingo

"Thats a 'betterthan'. Better version that the usual, or last one played. Synonym is a 'keeper'
"Lets make it "thicker". Play the tune with heavier sustaining riffs, or heavier drumming, maybe sloshy hats.

I love when language evolves.