MuseScore Drumline (1.0) - MDL PB&J Guide

• created 2 years ago • last updated 2 years ago
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Getting Started

Before getting started, make sure you have gathered the necessary materials.

For the purposes of this demonstration, we are using:

  • 1/4 loaf white sandwich bread
  • Jar of smooth peanutbutter
  • Jar of grape jelly, raspberry jam, and orange marmalade (we're fancy like that)
  • 1 Rubber spatula
  • 1 Innovative Percussion CP-1R Practice Pad
  • 1 pair of Innovative Percussion SF-PR Paul Rennick Signature Snare Sticks


The Grip

Learning to hold the spatula properly is essential for proper PB&J technique. Observe these photos carefully and copy each step in the process. Make sure to memorize the way the spatula feels in your hand in each step. Over time, this will come naturally to you and will be able to use the spatula correctly, even without thinking.

The Fulcrum

Grasp the spatula loosely between your forefinger and your thumb. You should be holding the spatula at a point on the shaft where it will naturally balance in your hand. We call this point the fulcrum

Your forefinger and thumb should be in contact and thumb should not wrap completely around the shaft of the spatula, with only the ball of the thumb making contact with the spatula.

You should apply just enough pressure to maintain control of the position of your hand on the spatula while allowing the butt and the tip to move freely.


Hand Position

While maintaining hold of spatula as described in the section above, rotate the wrist until the palm of the hand is facing downward. Your wrist should be straight, but relaxed. Fingers should be held loosely to the shaft of the spatula, but also relaxed.

This should be your default position in preparation for a stroke with the spatula.


Other Implements

It should also be worth mentioning that there are other possible implements that may be used, such as brushes or even hybrid implements. For the purposes of this demonstration, however, we will be focused only on proper spatula technique.


STEP 1 - Bread Selection & Placement

Proper Bread Selection

It's just bread. Really. All pieces are the same, well.. except for the ends. If there are only ends left, it's because you're last in line. Probably for a reason. So, maybe you deserve the ends.


Once you have selected a piece of bread, place it gently on the preparation surface.


Repeat the previous step (two slices, you're not in Europe).


STEP 3 - The Scoop

Retrieve your spatula, remembering to hold at the fulcrum with a relaxed grip.


Moving your spatula toward the open peanut butter jar, with the spatula at a 45 degree angle, gently turn the spatula in a counter clockwise motion around the rim of the jar and in contact with the surface of the peanut butter.

If the level of peanut butter in the jar is lower than possible to reach at a 45 degree angle, take a moment to contemplate why you are last in line.


The amount of peanut butter retrieved from the jar and placed on the spatula should be enough to cover one full side of the bread without need to re-scoop.


STEP 4 - The Strokes

Once you have retrieved the peanut butter, gently rotate the spatula to where the peanut butter side of the spatula is parallel with the surface of the bread, hovering slightly above the top center edge.


Moving your wrist down to where the tip of the spatula comes in contact with the surface of the bread, press the spatula downward in one long smooth stroke until it reaches the bottom edge of the bread.

*Note: this illustration uses a more advanced modified grip, with finger extended along the shaft. This may be useful in situations where peanut butter may be dense or super chunky, requiring additional force.


Based on the type or age of the bread, it may vary in surface tension. You should expect that some breads may have more rebound than others, but that you should constrain any rebound only enough to maintain control, letting the spatula do the work on the upstroke.


Repeat the stroke with focus on an even and consistent result.


STEP 5 - Ready For This Jelly

Before moving on to the jelly phase, it is important to note that under no circumstances should you move between phases without "The Cleanup". This is quite possibly worse than the "Double Dip".

It does not matter if peanut butter to jelly or jelly to peanut butter - DO NOT DO THIS.


The Cleanup

Assuming that there are no separate and distinct implements for peanut butter and for jelly, we recommend a technique we refer to as "The Cleanup".

Once the peanut butter has been spread evenly across a single piece of bread, the second, undisturbed piece may be used as a mat to wipe clean the spatula. It is important to clean both sides.


The overall approach, fundamentals and technique for jelly are identical to those used for peanut butter. The only difference is there is slightly less resistance.

Once you have have mastered peanut butter technique, jelly should be quite simple.

*Note: even though jelly may be somewhat easier than peanut butter, under no circumstances do we ever recommend jelly first.


STEP 6 - The Finish

With both peanut butter and jelly phases completed, with palm facing up gently tuck the finger tips of your hand underneath the outer edge of the bread with peanut butter. Gently flip the bread to where it is peanut butter side down and in contact with the jelly side of the other slice.


STEP 7 - Download the FREE MuseScore Drumline extention

MuseScore Drumline extends the capabilities of MuseScore just for marching music.

  • Realistic percussion playback for full range of marching percussion instruments
  • 25+ Templates for marching ensembles
  • Full range of percussion noteheads and articulation

Get MuseScore Drumline

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