First time entering drums - need help

• Jan 7, 2014 - 13:07

OK so I know nothing at all about drums, so I read all the help manuals. I did learn a lot, and now I have my first sheet music that includes drum notation. It looks like a 5-line drumset so that's the instrument I added. The score is in 4/4 time, and the first measure shows 8 "beats" for the high hat (8 -1/8th notes) joined with a beam like any other 1/8th notes - two beams of 4 each. So I figure I would open the drumset menu, select the 1/8th note symbol and start entering the drum notes. But no matter what note I choose from the notes above the score (1/16, 1/8, 1/4. 1/2 etc) the drum notes will only enter 4- 1/4th notes and go on to the next measure. I tried going into the "edit" mode, selecting the note, and clicking on the 1/8th note symbol, but it doesn't change it. Any ideas, suggestions are welcome. Thanks.


When you say you "select the note" after entering note entry mode, are you selecting the rest in the staff or are you selecting the note in the drum palette?

Percussion notation is tricky at first, it took me a while to get used to it.

In reply to by AvenueQ

In other words, I choose a quarter note, half note, etc. just the same as I do for instruments. This is how I get the correct number of beats into a measure. So for REGULAR insturments, for a 4/4 time, I could choose the quarter note symbol, and then begin to enter my notes with my keyboard (F, A,D,C etc) , and Musescore will place four notes in a measure and move along. Or I could select 1/8 note and place 4 of them, then select 1/2 note and place 1 of those, and that would fill the measure, etc. But with the drums when I select a 1/8 note, which is how the sheet music is for the drums (4 beats to a measure, written as 8 1/8th notes), when I try to place a drum note, it will ONLY place 1/4 notes so I can't get 8 in one measure.

In reply to by bill2reg

Have you read the handbook section on drum note entry? Have you watched the tutorial videos? Drum note entry *is* different than regular note entry. But I can't think of what you could be doing wrong that would yield the results you describe. So maybe post the score you are having trouble with and list *exactly* step by step what you are doing. Like,

1) load the score
2) click the first measure of the drum staff
3) press N
4) click the eighth note icon on the toolbar
5) ???

Normally, you'd open the drum palette, click the drum you want to use, and click in the score. I have not experienced problems placing eighth notes this way. Or using the keyboard shortcuts for drums that have them.

In reply to by bill2reg

I'm with Marc on this one, I'm having a hard time understanding why you're having so much trouble. Normally, when I enter drum notes, this is what I do.

1) Select the rest in the measure of the drum staff I wish to edit
2) Press "N" (enters note entry mode)
3) Select which drum sound I want from the drum palette using the mouse
4) Select which duration I want, using either the mouse or keyboard shortcuts
5) Select which voice I want (if applicable)
6) Enter my notes using the keyboard shortcuts I've assigned or the mouse if I haven't assigned any.

This sounds like what you are doing, but since you aren't getting the correct result something is amiss along the way. Can you be more explicit in describing your steps? That will allow us to better help you.

In reply to by AvenueQ

Apparently I was highlighting a drum on the drum palette and then trying to enter it with a letter key on the keyboard. I thought that having a drum sound selected (highlighted) and having a note duration selected (highlighted) would add that drum at that duration. Instead, I have to select the duration, but then click the correct line in the drumset staff. Anyway, thanks for your help.

In reply to by bill2reg

Marc is correct, but you can also add keyboard shortcuts to a drum set, which will enable you to add drums with the keyboard. This is especially useful if you have lots of notes to enter.

Right-click on any measure in the drum staff and select "Edit Drumset". A dialogue box will open. Scroll up and down in the window on the left side of the dialogue box until you see the instrument you want to assign a shortcut to. Select that instrument. On the right side of the dialogue box there is a dropdown menu labeled "Shortcut". Select the shortcut you want from that list. Press OK. You can now enter that instrument using a keyboard shortcut. For example, I usually will assign the snare drum "C" and the bass drum "F" when using a typical drumset setup since I'm used to reading treble clef and this makes it easy for me to remember which shortcut corresponds to which drum (assigning default voices will also help with this part).

Note: You do not have to have the instrument selected in the drum palette in order to enter drum notes using an assigned keyboard shortcut. You only have to enter note entry mode and select your note duration. Once you get good you can enter a lot of percussion music primarily using the keyboard. Good luck!

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