How to insert percussion noise/beats?!?!

• 7 years ago

I am fine with other instruments that use notes on a scale such as piano, guitar, harp, etc.

I just want to know how to write music using drums, claps, and other percussion.

I need to know what to click on and where.

Thank You.


Percussion notation can be quirky. A good place to start is the handbook:

After that, play around with it and see what you can get done. I found that once I understood how to input percussion (which can be somewhat different from entering other instruments), the more I played with it, the better I got.

In reply to by newsome

I also have the same problem. The handbook is no help.

Step 4 says I should choose a "Type of note" from the drum palette. But there is no type of note offered. I just see a single quarter note within the drum palette and that's it!!

In reply to by dwagn

What kind of percussion staff did you add to your score? If you add a Bass Drum staff, you will only get the single quarter note (a bass drum sound) as an option on the drum palette. If you add the 3 line or 5 line Drum Set, when you select the rest and enter Note Entry mode, you will be presented with a large number of percussion choices on the drum palette. Select one of the sounds (you can click on them once and they will play so you know what they sound like), hover over the measure on your score with your cursor, and enter the notes with the mouse.

In reply to by newsome

I have added a tambourine. I would like to be able to play something other than quarter notes on my tambourine.... Eight notes, or even sixteenths... Quarter notes alone do not make for a very interesting composition... :(

In reply to by dwagn

It only shows a quarter note in the drum palette, but you can control the duration of the note added to staff by picking the note you want to enter on the Note Entry palette at the top of the screen. Just because it shows a quarter note on the drum palette doesn't mean that you can only enter quarter notes.

In reply to by newsome

Hi newsome,
Thank you for your suggestion. Yes, I have already attempted to control the duration using the note entry palette at the top of the screen. This does not result in me getting anything other than quarter note. In fact, the behavior is quite strange. I list the events here:

1) I select a whole rest in the percussion staff
2) I select an eighth note in the note entry palette -> the whole rest is converted into a bunch of rests, starting with an eighth rest
3) I click on the whole note in the drum palette. -> I hear a noise, but nothing changes in the score
4) I click 7 more times. -> Finally, a quarter note appears on the 8th click

If I repeat the process, but drag the quarter note onto the staff, instead of clicking, I get a quarter note immediately added to the staff after dragging and dropping. But, I still never get the eighth note that I am trying to put into my composition.

In reply to by dwagn

dwagn, You should select the note duration (e.g. eighth note, quarter note, etc.) during step 3 of the instructions in the handbook (see Drum notation ).

Try putting the MuseScore window on one side of the screen and the instructions from the handbook on the other side of the screen. That way you can see both at the same time and make sure you are following the exact instructions. I think you will find it can save you a lot of time and frustration to go one step at a time.

Make sure you are not in note entry mode before you start step 1 from the handbook.

In reply to by dwagn

I've found that the percussion palette is a bit of a hog to deal with, so what I do is open a separate file for a pitched instrument. I write out my part in the pitched instrument, and then just copy and paste into the percusion staff. That seems to work the best. Once the pasted portion is on the percussion staff, it is likely not to be on the correct line, but that's okay... highlight the notes and use the up and down arrows to select the correct notes from the palette. Not easy (or obvious) but I have found that to be the most efficient solution.

In reply to by dwagn

At 18 seconds into the video you were on the right track, but instead of going to the staff and entering the notes, you kept clicking the icon on the Drum palette, which gave you quarter notes because the quarter note button was pressed on the Note Entry palette. The quarter note symbol on the Drum palette is only intended to be selected one time, not pressed over and over.

In reply to by newsome

Well then you are giving me contradictory instructions to Mr. Bolton, who has repeatedly, again and again, referred me to the official Drum Score Documentation wherein I am instructed to click on the percussion staff in order to enter a note. If I want to enter two notes I expect that I therefore need to click on this more than once...

In reply to by dwagn

That's what we're trying to tell you... you didn't follow those instructions, you missed a step somewhere along the way. Let me try to walk you through adding notes to the tambourine staff. Don't rush through this, follow the instructions one at a time.

(This is assuming that you already have the tambourine staff added to your score.)
1 - MAKE SURE YOU ARE *NOT* IN NOTE ENTRY MODE. The Note Entry palette is at the top of the screen, underneath the icons, and to the right of the "Concert Pitch" button. There is an "N" button there. It should NOT be pressed.
2 - Your palettes should be displayed on the left side of the screen, starting with "Grace Notes", at the top, under that "Drums", under that "Clefs", etc. If not, select "Palette" under the "Display" menu (or hit F9) to make them display. Click the tab that says "Drums" to open that palette. There may not be anything there, but that's ok right now.
3 - Click on the first whole rest in the tambourine staff. It will turn blue. If a blue box appears around the whole measure, you didn't get the rest. Try again and select just the whole rest. A quarter note on the center line of the staff should appear in the Drum palette, but you don't need that yet.
4 - Click the "N" button to enter Note Entry mode. A blue vertical line will appear to the left of the whole rest, indicating that you are ready to enter notes.
5 - Click on the note in the Drum palette one time. It will make a tambourine sound when you do, and stay highlighted.
6 - Now go back to the Note Entry palette (at the top of the screen, to the right of the "Concert Pitch" button). The "N" will be pressed, and to the right of that, the quarter note will be selected. Change the quarter note to the eighth note - it is just to the left of the quarter note.
7 - Move the cursor back to the tambourine staff, and you'll notice it is a blue note head, that will only appear at the beginning of the measure. Click the mouse button once, and you have entered an eighth note. MuseScore will fill the rest of the measure with an eighth rest, a quarter rest, and a half rest. Hover over the eighth rest just to the right of the note, click the mouse, and you have entered another eighth note, and it will be beamed to the first. Now go back to the Note Entry palette, change the eighth note to a quarter note, go back down to the tambourine staff, and click on the quarter rest in the first measure. Now you've entered a quarter note. Back to the Note Entry palette, click the half note, back to the tambourine staff, and click on the half rest. You should have just entered a half note. Now your first measure should be: two eighth notes, a quarter note, and a half note on the tambourine staff. I have attached a graphic of the measure I just made walking you through these steps.

For faster note entry, you don't have to go up to the Note Entry palette to change durations. If you are in Note Entry mode (the "N" is pressed down), you can press 3 to get a sixteenth note, 4 to get an eighth note, 5 to get a quarter note, 6 to get a half note, and 7 to get a whole note. That way you can just press the number keys, keep your cursor over the tambourine staff, and continue to click to enter notes.

(Note, I tried to make a Screenr screencast of the steps above, but I'm at work, and Twitter is blocked. Everytime I press "Post" to post my screencast, I get a blocked DNS screen.)

Attachment Size
tambourine-measure.png 2.18 KB

In reply to by newsome

To be fair, your instructions - which work - are different from those in the official guide.

Official: Select rest - press N - select duration - select from drum palette - click on staff to enter

Yours: Select rest - press N - select from drum palette - select duration - click on staff to enter

The reversal of the two middle steps seems to do the trick. Thanks.

I saw the video and I empathize totally with your situation.

I have been informed that my own technique is not technically "correct", but it works: so this is what I do. I add the quarter notes like you did. Then select the note that is placed on the staff (it will become highlighted in blue), and double click a new note duration to change the quarter note to whatever you like. It is a bit cumbersome, because it requires an additional step. It also more or less requires that the notes are written sequentially. That's why I use the copy/paste function so much. Again... not technically correct, but in my own way a little more efficient.

In reply to by mschorsch

I saw the video, and you keep entering and exiting Note Entry mode (clicking the "N") at the opposite time that you should. Follow my step-by-step instructions that I posted above, and it will work perfectly. Step #1 is the key.

In reply to by newsome

Thank you for your thorough and complete explanation. I think the Official Muse Score Percussion Entry Documentation would be better off if it contained something more like what you wrote, instead of the very insufficient explanation that is there.

But step #1 has never been the problem for me. I have always carefully and diligently deselected the N before selecting the rest. If you will, please observe my video at time stamp 0:01 to witness how I am careful to deselect it before time stamp 0:06 at which point I select the rest.

I want to assure you that I have carefully followed the instructions from the documentation again and again without success.

In reply to by dwagn

Did you follow the step-by-step instructions that I typed out for you? I did each step myself as I typed them, so I know it works.

Yes, you did the correct thing in the video in the beginning. If you will re-read what I typed, you made the mistake at the :18 second mark in the video. I previously posted:

"At 18 seconds into the video you were on the right track, but instead of going to the staff and entering the notes, you kept clicking the icon on the Drum palette, which gave you quarter notes because the quarter note button was pressed on the Note Entry palette."

Here is a video of me entering 16th, 8th, quarter, half, and whole notes on a tambourine staff:

Notice how I enter the notes on the staff - by clicking the measures, not the icon on the drum palette.

In reply to by newsome

I have note yet followed your new and more thorough instructions completely, as I have not yet had the time (Yes, I have another job, and other things I do in my life). But I assure you I will do that very soon.

However, I have verified that I followed your Step #1 in your new instructions, and that was not the problem.

Do you know any way of adding additional pitches to the drum palette? I know that requires going into the drum editor, and selecting additional notes, but when I do, musescore doesn't allow me to allot a sound to them. I'm trying to make have 2 sounds for my Tambourine line; the regular sound of the tambourine being shaken, and then an additional sound for when the Tambourine should be struck. Any ideas?

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