relearning percussion notation question.


Hi everyone,

I have restarted my drumming after a 30 year break. I'm trying to brush up on my reading, and either can't remember or forgot.

Example, In the piece "Sanford Double Beat", - How do you read/count the first (triplet?) and the third notation, both with half a line through the top of the notation? If you have an easier example, that would be fine also. I guess my real question is what does the half line notation mean?

Thanks ctdrummer


Platinum Member
the 1st measure would be counted:


or (possibly more clear)

1   2   3   4
there are no triplets in there


Senior Member
Fuo is right on. The first set of notes (beat one) are simply four 16th notes with the third one removed. Maybe that might help you figure it out easier. Starting with the rest (the third beat of the measure), you can look at that just like beat 2 just before it, but it's reversed and you are resting on the first 16th note.

Fuo, you did count this right, so not trying to step on your toes, I just have found it easier when learning things on my own to be able to associate new patterns with a pattern I'm already familiar with.

Hope this helps, and goodluck.


Platinum Member
That's funny, that exercise (or variations of it) has been around for decades, but I've never heard it called that. I'm glad they're attaching Fred Sanford's name to it. Thanks for linking to that site- I'm going to have to root around in there.

Everyone else is right, here's another piece of information: the rhythm on beat one of the first measure is a 16th note, an 8th, and a 16th- the reason for the broken beams is that the 16ths need to have two beams, and the 8th only one.

You would count a full measure of that rhythm:
1e, a 2 e, a 3 e, a 4 e, a