Understanding drum notation

• Jul 16, 2014 - 22:52

I am trying to understand the drum notation as written in some scores.
I have become familier with the 5 line drum set, and the drums used are based on their position on the lines, my problem is when there is only a single line drum set.
As in the image, 2 voices are indicated, one above the line and one below.
The upper drum line is indicated at the beginning of the score to be brushes on snare, no problem there, other percussion used on this line is also indicated, eg, cymbals.
This lower drum line is not indicated, but would I be correct in assuming that this is a bass drum line?

Attachment Size
drum notation.jpg 42.98 KB


There's no real standard; each chart does it differently. Is there no explanation at the beginning? I'd guess bass drum too, but it could just as easily be hi hat.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

there's no explanation at the beginning other than snare for the top line.
I never thought of hi hat, bass drum was the first I thought of and it stuck.
There are cymbals in a few places, but they are clearly labeled as such.
I may experiment alternating bass drum and hi hat to see which sounds the better, it is an old slow soft jazz piece, maybe the bass drum is not necessary.

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