Snare drum on the staff

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
There is, or at least was, no standard. People write what they themselves are used to.

The treble clef C2 is the modern standard, but I've seen A1 and lots of E2 in old marches and so on.

There will be a guide if things are diferent, but I think in a general chart you'll pretty much see.

Tom 1 E2
Tom 2 D2
Snare C2
Tom 3 A1
Tom 4 G1
left BD E1
Last edited:


Platinum Member
That drumeo notation guide is unusual. I've never seen drum kit notation with the snare on the middle line, and I've seen a few hundred different sources - tutor books, drum kit solos, concert band and stage band scores, etc.
Notation software like Sibelius and Finale also puts the snare in the 3rd space.

In old orchestra scores (not for drum kit) the composer writes on whatever line or space they want, then label it snare or bass drum, or woodblock, triangle, whatever they want, usually in Italian. But I've never seen drum kit snare on the 3rd line.