Input notes directly in a drum staff using the computer keyboard or mouse, with out having to use the drum palette

• Aug 11, 2022 - 22:55
Reported version
Ergonomical (UX)
S5 - Suggestion
needs info

I studied the manuals for five or six of the major notation programs. All but one offer by default, direct note input on a drum staff with standard keyboard shortcuts or by mouse. All drum notes in one voice, by default. Though more voices can be used. Just like note input for any other instrument. Piano, for example. Consider this using the palette:
I am told that this is better because the rhythm of each drum is obvious. But lets add some cymbal work.
Things are less clear. Other programs allow the following result quite easily.
MuseScore can do this too, But not so straight forward. Then there is a simple fill.
To do this in MuseScore requires the palette, a series of drum and voice changes, in addition to note input. In other software, this can be entered directly into a drum staff.
I don't want to take the palette away, for those who prefer it. But consider that as far as note input goes, the palette is inconsistent with general input. And requires its own learning curve. So perhaps a check box in Preferences that says "Use Drum Palette".
What sound is associated with what line or space is fairly standard. What is not standard (though certainly used) is the hands and feet notation that MuseScore wants to use. Do a google search of drum notation examples and you will see all different kinds of notation.


Why have you used three voices in your second example? only 2 are needed: one for stems up, one for stems down. Then those confusing and colliding rests no longer appear.

In reply to by SteveBlower

Steve, that's part of my point. I can't just add the HH to the drum part. Besides, I don't like the first example, either. That's what MuseScore produces. The first two examples are bad. The third example is what other programs produce with easy, direct input right off the bat. No messing with rests. The fourth example is doable in one voice. Though easier to read in two.

In reply to by bobjp

Any drum part is doable in one voice because drums have no sustain. The notes can be any length. So why use a quarter note in voice 3 for your "C' space drum in example 2 rather than an 8th in voice 1 like the cymbals? It is only that choice that forces you to use three voices and Musescore only produces that mess because that is what you told it to do.

Status active needs info
Type Graphical (UI) Ergonomical (UX)

The second example definitely is just plain wrong. But MuseScore would never create this by default. So I'm not sure why you are showing that; it's not relevant at all. So let's put that aside.

The third example is fine as an alternative to what what MuseScore would actually produce, which is this:

Screenshot 2022-08-11 10.06.31 PM.png

What MuseScore produces by default is similar to the third example, except that the snare is in voice 1 - a common convention because it is played with the hands. But if you prefer your snare in voice 2 as in the third example (perhaps because both are drums as opposed to cymbals?, it's easy to customize your drumset to do that. And then entering that is also simple.

The last example is trivially simple to enter already, no drumset customization required. Not sure what you mean about needing "a series of drum and voice changes," - you actually would enter that left to right as is, with just the single change from voice 1 to 2 that happens completely automatically. I encourage you to ask for help on the forum if you're having difficulty entering that example, or any other.

That said, certainly, there could be room for more drum input methods that would allow for yet another way of these same results, and we welcome concrete proposals for how they might work. But, the place to hash out these ideas on the forum, where more people will see and be able to participate in the discussion. Once a more concrete proposal is established, and a consensus is reached that it seems viable and desirable, then I'd encourage you to post the final result here.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

All the examples above were entered using the default palette. From what I see looking at examples of drum notation, example 1 is one of many standards. Example two happened because I tried to enter the HH to example one. Obviously incorrect. I either had to make changes to it first or just start over. Imagine if I had an entire part that I had to do that to.
In example three, can you tell which high tom or floor tom I want? A real drummer would have to guess,too.

There are five different drums that are used in number three. In some way, we have to use the palette to select them. Rather than just inputting notes on the staff with either the keyboard or the mouse.

I have spent hours working with the palette. I don't need help learning the palette. I need help figuring out why I need it at all. Oh right, the multiple sounds on one position issue. Besides not needing some of them, there are trivial ways to deal with them. Wouldn't be had to figure out.
I have several years of experience with notation software. But when I started using MuseScore, the palette was like running into a brick wall. It makes little sense. But based on the pushback I've gotten, I can see that no matter how concrete a proposal I submit, nothing is likely to change or be added. So I'll probably just let it drop.

Example 2 clearly was not entered using the default method, since it clearly shows 3 voices, and that would never happen. Almost certainly you did something wrong in entering the note,s like switching voices unnecessarily. We're happy to help you; just ask on the Support forum, attaching your actual score and describe what you did step by step, and should be abe to set you straight.

Meanwhile. whether you believe it or not, MuseScore constantly incorporates suggestions from users in all areas. A concrete proposal that generates a consensus among users will absolutely be considered. It's up to you. But again, the proposal is step one. So far you've done a ton of warm-up, we look forward to the first actual step forward!

Hmm, I don’t see the post where you acknowledged the error you made entering example 2, but in any case, if you now realize it was indeed your error, best to edit your post to remove reference two that, as otherwise it makes it hard to anyone reading this in the future to take the thread seriously - it looks like user misunderstanding plain and simple.

If you’re saying you still haven’t understood where you went wrong, then again, the Support forum Is the place to get help. But to be100% clear: no way would using MuseScore correctly ever product that result. If you got that but don’t understand what you did wrong, please use the forum.

Improving percussion input is one of our highest priorities for MuseScore. We actually have already designed a new system. We just couldn't fit it into the upcoming release of MS4. It's coming though!