Drum note input

• Jan 22, 2020 - 23:44

I hate the pallet system so much. inputting drum notation consists of having to move my mouse all over the screen to different buttons just to be able to insert a single note. its super inconvenient. is there a plugin that i can use, or an setting that i can set to make the drum input function like how all the other instrument inputs work? so for instance, i hover the mouse over the bass drum, i can just click and the bass drum note gets put into the sheet music (without using the drum pallet). then i can hover my mouse where the snare note is, and just click to input a snare note without having to first click the snare in the drum pallet.


The difficulty with such a mouse click input method is that the drum isn't just defined by the line you put the note on, but also by the notehead. How would you let MuseScore know which of the different noteheads for that line you're inputting?

make the drum input function like how all the other instrument inputs work
It does work pretty similar if you use the keyboard input method. Which does take a little bit of getting used to, but is so much faster in the end.

In reply to by Blarba

@Blarba, I'm with you. I don't like the drum palette either. I don't care if the keyboard method is faster. I'm not concerned with speed. But the palette is not likely to change. It's gotten to where I don't write percussion parts in MuseScore. I know people scratch their heads and wonder why I only input with a mouse.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I use the mouse because that's the way I learned in other notation software. I use no software that is keyboard shortcut dependant. My word processing needs ( as in Word) are minimal. My wife does book editing in Word. She knows and uses a ton of shortcuts. But then she gets paid to know them. I compose for fun. I suppose if I were doing a lot of transcription, I would be more inclined to try a faster not input method. As it is, I only compose. I do not mind the extra time it takes to use the mouse. I can be more sure that I have the note I want, where I want it. The extra seconds it takes to use the mouse affords me time to think about the notes and not how to get them on the page. I'm not opposed to learning something different if I need to. But in this case, I see no compelling reason to change. I'm not after what is faster or easier, like most people, is seems. For years I wrote on paper. In comparison, MuseScore is a miracle to me just the way I use it. Well, except for the drum palette:-) 3.4 has not come to me automatically, yet. I know I can get it manually.

In reply to by bobjp

FWIW, I agree what's important isn't speed but as you say, being "sure that I have the note I want, where I want it". And that's exactly why typing to so superior to mouse input. If I want to make sure I have the note I want 0 say, top space "E" - it's not just faster, it's also far more reliably accurate to simply type "E" (and how hard is that to remember, to type "E" to get an "E") than it is to try to position the mouse "just so" between those top two staff lines, and hope your finger doesn't move the pointer slightly as you click., resulting in a D or F instead.

Anyhow, even with previous releases, the drum palette - like all palettes - were a simple matter of double-click. No moving between the palette and score was ever required except when you wished to deviate from left-to-right entry and were as allergic to using the cursor keys as other shortcuts :-). 3.4 just simplifies that even further, to single-click.

BTW, emphasis on accuracy over speed is also why I'm extremely distrustful of apps that purport to let you just draw the notes in. None that I've tried are any more accurate than Siri is in rendering my speech into text, and that's pretty bad.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Marc, you have a good heart. But I'm probably a lost cause. It might horrify you even more that I use the trac pad(which I'm not a fan of) on my laptop and a trac ball on my desktop. Sure I use a few short cuts. Of course it isn't hard to remember "E" to get an E. But there's also duration and octave to deal with. All doable by shortcut, I'm sure.
What the OP was asking for was to be able to input notes directly on the staff without the palette at all. Like other instruments. I just wanted the OP to know that they weren't alone.
In other software I select a note, use a particular shortcut to define the type of text I want (say, a dynamic) then enter the dynamic. In MuseScore, I select the note, open the dynamic palette (I confess to not knowing if there are any shortcuts to do any of this), and double click the dynamic I want. For me, doable quicker in the other software. But speed is not my main concern. I only say all this to offer that I am not opposed to shortcuts, only to having to learn two, or more, completely different sets of them. I'd rather just write music.
I'm sure the day is coming when I will only have MuseScore. But that day isn't here yet.

In reply to by bobjp

The nice thing is, it doesn't have to be one or the other. I use the mouse a lot, too. But not to select pitch, given that it is so much easier - faster and more accurate - to type the letter name. I know many people who use the mouse for duration because remembering shortcuts for duration is too much (note you can customize them, so if the defaults are not to your liming, you can change them) but still the letter names.

I get that the original request was to enter notes without use of a palette, and we explained why this is not really practical - too many viarables in terms of sound, notehead, voice, and stem direction. It would be far more work, and vy far more, I mean on the order of probably five times as many clicks to do the same thing. Using a palette simplifies this immensely. It is only a problem if you are using the most inefficient method possible, where you first click the palette then click on the score. That seems to be what the OP was describing, and that is indeed way too much work, but it has not been necessary for several years now . I think double-click to enter notes directly was added around five years ago.

I'm confused by your statement about dynamics, though. It has nothing to do with drums as far as I can tell, and you mention using shortcuts, which seems the exact opposite of what you say you like, but that's a subject for another thread, I guess. If you prefer entering your dynamics by keyboard, that's possible in MuseScore too, as of 3.3 - palettes are fully accessible by keyboard. So if you'd like tyo learn more, feel free to start a new thread on that other topic, and make it clear that when dealing with dynamics, you actually like to use the keyboard instead of the mouse, or I'm liable to forget :-)

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

OK, back to percussion. Here is an example of what the OP was talking about. He was referring to a drum kit. In other software, The library has maybe 6 or 8 different kits. I select "rock" when I set up the score. When the score opens I an presented with a 5 line drum staff. Let's say I want to create a simple beat. On beat one, I enter a quarter note on the first space. That's the kick. The first line is a bit lower pitched kick, if I prefer. On the next beat I enter a quarter note on the third space for the snare, and another kick if I want. Same for beat 3 and 4. I can add a high hat, which is above the staff and can be added later without disturbing the notes already in the measure. I have to change the high hat note head to an X. Toms are the other spaces and must be entered at the same time as other drum notes. There is no stem or note head problem. No selecting what sound goes with what note. Ever. It's already there. Easy with a mouse. Probably faster with shortcuts:-)
Gong, crash cymbal, and the like are separate voices for a different staff.
BTW, If I just want four on the floor, I enter the first note and just keep hitting "R" (oops, a short cut :-)) until I want to stop. That seems to only work for measures, not individual notes, in MuseScore.

Yes, drums aren't set up that way in MuseScore, and aren't likely to be. I know.

In reply to by bobjp

Kick and snare are supposed to be entered in different voices, different stem directions. So yes, problem right off the bat if you attempt to enter the notes by just clicking in the staff without first selecting the appropriate note. You'd need to correct that error, which takes far more time than entering it correctly to begin with. And then problem again when you add the cymbal and need to change the head and then also change the sound, because that same staff line may be used to indicate a drum if notated with a normal head. That's the problem - the exact same staff line can be a drum or cymbal or other sound depending on head, and different drums get notated in different voices.

At least, if you are using "standard" drumset notation - and crash is definitely part of that, virtually never notated on a separate staff. But there is some variation there, and if you've adopted your own system that really does place all notes in the same voice with the same stem direction, then you can create a custom drumset definition in MuseScore so all the notes go in that way.

FWIW, "R" repeats whatever is selected, whether that's a single note, a whole measure, a fraction of a measure, or several measures across several staves.

Feel free to post an actual example if any of this isn't clear, and I can walk you through step by step how it works with the palette and explain in detail how it would actually be more work without.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Yes, I understand that the input method I know doesn't work in MuseScore. I understand that the onus is on me to learn how to do things the way MuseScore likes. Someday I might. I'm just not interested in giving up my mouse, yet. Inefficient? Sure. Inaccurate? I guess. I'm not being stubborn in spite of what my wife says. But I'm way more concerned with other aspects of music. I don't make my living producing scores. Does that mean I don't notate properly? Of course not. But I often have to notate things incorrectly to get MuseScore to play things like I want. This is true of any notation software.

FWIW I think "R" only repeats individual notes if you are in note input mode. With input mode turned on you can't select a measure or selection to use "R". So yes, "R" repeats what you want, but it depends on what mode you are in. This probably only maters to a mouse user. Yet I wonder why this is. If I have to be in note input mode to use "R" to repeat a note within a measure because, of course, I'm inputting notes, why do I not have to be in input mode to repeat a measure? I'm still inputting notes. As a mouse user, it would be easier for me to not have to be in input mode to use "R" ever. Not to mention that the first time I try to repeat a note it takes two clicks because the first one creates a rest.
But this is for another thread.

Thanks for your help.

In reply to by bobjp

Again, no one is saying you should give up the mouse. I'm just trying to help you to use it more effectively, when it comes to drum input - the topic at hand. It still isn't clear if you are using the double-click method or the unnecessarily awkward click-palette-then-click-score method, but I guarantee the former method is easier.

You are right that "R" will only repeat a single note (well, actually a full chord) in note input mode, because there is no way to do a range selection there. But you don't have to be in note input mode to use "R" - it works in normal mode too (both for repeating single notes, measures, or any other selection). Not sure where you got the idea that you had to be in note input mode to use "R", that's never true. Also I have no idea what you mean about the first click creating a rest. Probably best to start a new thread to discuss this issue, attach your score and give us the precise steps you are following, and we'll be able to show you how to do it correctly.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Actually it's been awhile. If I remember, the first time I tried drum input, I probably single clicked the lower space in the drum staff and the palette opened. I hadn't the slightest clue what it was, or what to do with it. After fumbling about I got a simple part going. I did read through the manual to try to figure it out, but the drum palette is so different from anything i had ever dealt with, I didn't follow very well. I understand v 3.4.1 is different now. Anyway, I'm not doing any drum parts right now. I'll probably take it back up later.
I'm going to start a different thread about "R"

To be clear: the palette is there to use if you want, but it's not the recommended method. Easiest is normally to simply type the shortcuts - same as for non-percussion music. If you have a MIDI input device you like for percussion, that also works well.

If you do choose to use the palette, though, it shouldn't require nearly as much mosue movement as you seem to be describing. I guess you are using the old method of clicking the palette first then clicking in the score. But that was never necessary - simply double-click in the palette to enter the note right away. And actually, as of today's 3.4 release, single-click does that, so the old slow method you were apparently using doesn't even work anymore, the note gets entered immediately when you click the palette.

I suppose there are probably some use cases where the old slow method was nonetheless needed, so perhaps we will need to find a special way to re-enable it. For instance, to enter notes into a different voice than the default, or to enter notes in a random order. You can still do those things, but the process will be slightly different now.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Typically, I write a snare and a bass part, all on the same staff and,occasionally, some toys.
My method up until today was this. Write all the snare parts first. I click the measure, then the notation button, which opens up the drum palette. I then select snare, which uses the "a" key on the keyboard. I then write it out.
To get the bass drum part, I click the snare note above the intended landing for the bass; I then open the palette, click on bass, which is "b" on the keyboard. I would then enter the first note, using the "b" key, and enter all the bass notes.
Trying to do that today with the new upgrade, I found that when I clicked the button in the palette for bass, the note was entered automatically, but in doing so, it over-wrote the snare part already written---not good!
Reading one of Mark's answers above gave me the idea that, to get that bass part after the snare was already written, I had to open voice 2, then go through my usual routine. It worked perfectly after I figured it out. I just have to remember to click voice 2 before entering anything.
I don't know if this is the intended way of doing it, but it works just fine.
Hope this helps someone else.

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