Drum Notation Software


New member
So, after 20 years I am going to start playing again.
Doing some research right now on getting setup, as I am going to have to learn a lot all over again.
Looking to get an electronic set this time.
Anyways, I have been watching some videos by John Williams and his tool covers.
I have seen this in some of his videos.

It looks like it plays the song, along with the notations so you can follow along.
Dumb questions here...What is this software?
Do you have to track this yourself, or will it attempt to pull the drum parts from the song, or can you import something from somewhere?

My thinking is, after awhile it would be cool to have something like this that I can kick the song off, and follow along (learn) the songs I would like to work on.

Terry Branam

Official DW Chief Transcriber
This is Apple's Logic. It is mainly considered a digital audio workstation (similar to Pro Tools). The notation is happening in the MIDI piano roll. These notes were most likely programmed in MIDI, as you can see in the upper window. The song is on it's own track and lined up with the MIDI notes. The notes do not look like this stock, but with some tweaks in the preferences menu you can get there. Best of luck!


Platinum Member
For common, easier songs you may be able to find a transcription, for free even. But probably not a MIDI file. And for more complicated stuff, like the song in that video, you won’t find either. That guy probably typed or keyed in those notes one at a time over a few hours or even days.

You could pay someone to create a MIDI file for you, but it would probably be better if you just transcribe it yourself with good old pencil and paper, and then maybe ask here, and/or find a “drum cover” video, when you get stuck. Usually, when there’s a flurry of notes that seems confusing, there’s some lick or rudiment or combination that’s going on.

Also, don’t be too enamored with the line scrolling through a transcription while the song plays. That’s not representative of how musicians actually read music while playing. Musicians read music like people reading out loud: chunks of words at a time, and reading ahead so it comes out smoothly. It’s not going to make you a better drummer, to have a computer scroll through the transcription while you play.