the nu-skool music notation?


Silver Member
Something DrumEatDrum mentioned on another thread got me thinking about this:

I can read music to a certain level, I could be better but I've never needed to be any better. Anything i've needed to learn I have just listened and got it so, apart from drum excersises or the occasional piano piece I don't rely on reading.

However, I work in a studio and a big part of modern recordings is sequencing. I've sequenced probably even more piano, leads, orchestral pieces and drum tha I have recordes real drums for people!

Over time I've gotten pretty quick at it and I can read this stuff faster than I can read music notation.
I find it more usefull for learning parts or showing them to others aswell as it's all there and looks so simple.

Do you think over time with the ever growing 'home recording' generation that this will become as popular or even more popular than music notation?

I know you can't really indicate little techniques but you can see velocity. If you can hear the psrt and half use your ears and half use your 'sight reading' could this be the perfect bridge between the gap from 'Suzuki' methods and classical training?

Guitar tabs done alright over the years and tbat is truelly dreadfull.



Platinum Member
Well, since you based this off my comment, I'll assume you mean the piano roll style of sequencing.

It's easier for me because it's laid out like drum music.
Sure, there aren't the dots and cross lines, but you see the quarter notes, eighth, triplets, etc. The high notes are up, lower notes on the bottom. It pretty much looks like the Carmine Appice Realistic rock book I started with a kid, just way more lines.

At P.I.T. we'd take a page of notes and read it backwards, forwards, down the page instead of left to right, and this way and that way. So, again, the piano roll isn't that much different. While reading staff music melodically just wasn't something we went over.

If I didn't have a background in reading drum music, I don't know if the piano roll would be as easy for me. And because I've spent so much time on just drum music and not melodic staff music, the piano roll is easier.

When my song writing buddy bass player comes over, if I show him the piano roll, it looks like goobly gook to him. I have to hit the button to convert it to staff music for him to get it.

So, I think it just depends on where you're coming from.


Silver Member
Thanks for humouring my thread!

I've had more popular turds!

You actually made a good point as when I've shown some guitsrists parts on the piano roll they find it overwhelming and have made jokes about me being able to 'see the matrix'.

I suppose it's like anything, spend enough time doing it and it becomes easy.


Silver Member
I can not comprehend ever preferring that way over standard notation.
I can't so that kind of technical wizardry on my phone!

Have you ever used Cubase, Logic or Pro Tools? Basicslly when you go to sequence parts in there is piano keys on the left hand of the screen going from bottom to top. that is the piano roll.
You place the note and not type on the 'grid'.
It reads real easy I think.

I'm sure someone will post a pic.


Silver Member
If you flipped it to where the notes fall down on the piano like in Synthesia, it would be easier to follow methinks.
Oh God no! May e fpr a guotsr hero piano sesh maybe?
But for me the usefelness lies in it beibg similar to sheet music in the layout (left to right) seeing where the notes are physicslly placed and the lengths of them. But without havibg to explain what that sign means and that sign etc to people who can't read.

But, it's all down to personal preference.

I find that Synthesia thing a bit overwhelming.