What the difference in writing doubles?


Junior Member
Hey, guys, can someone tell me what's the difference in sound between the first and the second beats of this notation? I was always thinking that they are supposed to sound the same, just written differently, unless came across to the notation where both are used :)


Platinum Member
I’ve never seen the second beat written like that. But it would sound the same as the first beat.


Senior Member
Some books write the same thing a number of ways, just to show the variations you might run into when reading sheet music. There are a bunch of different ways the same thing can be written.

But... I would be inclined to interpret that as illustrated below, on two surfaces. The apostrophes indicate breaks between two phrases. (Woodwinds use apostrophes for breath marks, and I've kept that practice from when I played clarinet in high school.)



Junior Member
Yeah, that "should" sound the same, but why did they write it differently? Does it make any sense? I saw both notations in different books and different places and never bothered with it as I thought they just use different notations. But this time this happened in one bar and obviously, for a reason. My guess is that RRLL should sound as 4 notes (ta-ta-ta-ta) and RR LL should sound as two doubles (tata-tata).
Makes sense?

One more "alternative" notation from this book :) (BTW, this is Wilcoxon, Wrists and Fingers).



Well-known member
yeah...they are both 16th notes....some old engraving/printing companies probably just had different ways to do the type-face. Often times I will see old music with a measure of 16ths (16 individual 16ths) all barred together. In the famous Pratt book of snare solos, he sometimes bars the 16ths along with the rudimental sticking patterns, even through the neasure line....it freaks out my current students who are used to seeing digitally engraved music
Maybe it's written like that to bring attention to the primary strokes of the doubles which fall on the 8th notes. Without knowing the book, they should sound the same.
There are a few threads on the sometimes wondrous notation in Wilcoxon books, by the way. ;)

Terry Branam

Official DW Chief Transcriber
It could mean to use different techniques to articulate the doubles. Maybe check the accompanying text to clarify.


Well-known member
Music theory / notation lends itself to notating things in various ways. Unless Wilcoxon states the groupings should be executed differently for the exercise (writs versus fingers) then it is played / executed the same way.

I used to have and use this book many many years ago but no longer have it.