Can you read sheet music?

Winegums

Silver Member
Most of the female drummers out there are "posers".
Wow... I think you're in the wrong period of time and the wrong forum.

Please go somewhere else with your opinions about female drummers and women in general. Sex has nothing to do with your ability to play an instrument.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
Cant read music or drum notation, never wanted to. If a piece of music or a drummer inspires me its the flavour and texture of what they play that gets me. So, I try and get that flavour and texture and work with it, and add a little of it to my playing. I am not interested in playing what someone else has, note for note. For session players it must be crucial, they cant wing it. Even the thought of being a session drummer frightens the life out of me.
Not being able to read music doesn't translate to winging it. Have a good ear, experience, and understand theory and you're golden. As a guitarist in a previous band I would listen to the drum parts of complex songs and help my drummer (a drum teacher) understand what was being played.
 

Winegums

Silver Member
As someone who learned drums by playing in a band, I don't find sheet music to be very useful. It's difficult to read and I have never been able to make the connection between the notes and what their values translate to on the kit.

However if you were to just beat box or sound out the beat you want I could play it in a matter of seconds. I'm very much a 'play by ear' drummer and I thrive when placed with band mates who can improvise. I would not make a good studio musician who is forced to play the exact notes in a specific way.
 

tcspears

Gold Member
I don't find sheet music to be very useful. It's difficult to read and I have never been able to make the connection between the notes and what their values translate to on the kit.
To be honest, it's rare that I'm given actual drum notation. Typically, I'll just get a lead sheet that will show me the melody, structure of the song, and any changes. I posted a lead sheet that I had written earlier in the thread.

Lead sheets are just a set of instructions. It's like a blueprint for a house: you need to know the structure of the house and the specific rooms and sizes. Once the house is built though, you can paint it and decorate it however you see fit.

Not being able to read music puts you at a huge disadvantage; that's not to say you can't be a good drummer, but you can only advance so far without reading... it's how musicians communicate.
 

JustJames

Platinum Member
As someone who learned drums by playing in a band, I don't find sheet music to be very useful. It's difficult to read and I have never been able to make the connection between the notes and what their values translate to on the kit.
As someone who learned to recite the Iliad via the oral tradition, I don't find writing to be very useful. It's difficult to read, and I have never been able to make the connection between the letters and what their shapes translate to as words.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I can barely read, and I certainly can't sight-read anything above an eighth note pattern.

When I look at written music, I sound it out in my head "ting ting tah ting tah" and then can play it. I sure that with practice, I could speed it up and make fewer errors, but am not sure that it's where I should be currently spending my time.

I often have trouble reading swing notation, and things like swung triplets written as straight 16th notes. On temporally complex pieces where I'm out of my league, I simply navigate the guitar line (former guitarist).
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
As someone who learned drums by playing in a band, I don't find sheet music to be very useful. It's difficult to read and I have never been able to make the connection between the notes and what their values translate to on the kit.
Hmmm...is it "not useful" because you "find it difficult"? I wonder if there's some rationalisation going on.

Don't get me wrong, you may well be in a situation where it isn't always useful. However, if you "find it difficult" and yet can function as a player in a band, I'd suggest you've had poor reading teachers. Not to blow my own horn, but I can usually get a person in your position - i.e. someone who has played the rhythms being represented - to understand and use basic notation inside of a very short lesson. A bit of work at reading more complex combinations of small subdivisions and rests is usually needed, but it's never been a problem to get the basic concept across. Basically, if you can already play it, you've won better than half the battle. It's then a matter of associating sounds you know with the symbols. It's no different than being able to speak English and having someone show you how to read. And, frankly, reading and writing English is much more complex.

I would not make a good studio musician who is forced to play the exact notes in a specific way.
How do you know? If you tell yourself that, I bet it'll come true.
 
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