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How do you create drum tabs?

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Answered 2011-10-20 16:59:22
Find a teacher...learn to read music.By "drum tab", I assume you are referring to the method of writing out a drum part by typing a series of different characters on a grid, which can be easily done using any word processor.

The problem with drum tab is that is extremely counter productive and convoluted. If you want to be able to write out/read drum parts, I suggest that you learn to read standard drum notation, i.e. sheet music.

There is a common misconception that sheet music is difficult to read, and takes years to learn with any degree of proficiency. This is not entirely true. The fact is that, while it is best to learn sheet music from a qualified music instructor, it really isn't very difficult at all. Furthermore, it is much easier to read (and esp. to write!) sheet music.

The basic idea of sheet music is based around the idea of simple fractions. Basically, a "measure" is the basic unit of music (the "one, two, three, four" of Rock Music is a measure) and the "notes" of music are varying divisions of that measure. Hence a "quarter note" is a quarter (1/4) of a measure. That "one, two, three, four" of rock music is actually four quarter notes. Further subdivisions include eighth notes ("one-and two-and three-and four-and").

The division of the note is designated by a "flag" or "bar" on top of the note. This may sound a little difficult, but with the help of someone who knows what they are talking about, it is much, much easier than it sounds. My advice to you is to go to a local music store and ask of they know of any local private instructors that can teach you how to read music. Being able to listen to a song and write out the drum parts in sheet music as well as being able to read music written by other people is a very, very valuable tool.

One more idea for finding a teacher is to call the nearest university (if you have one in your area) music department and ask if they have any percussion majors that are giving private lessons. These people will usually be very knowledgeable and will also be very cheap, as they aren't professional. While they aren't yet of a professional level, they will be able to teach you the basics as competently as most professional teachers will.

Good luck, and happy drumming!


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