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For MuseScore 3 users, see Drum notation
Example drum notation:
Notation for drumsets often includes simultaneous upstem and downstem notes. If you are unfamiliar with editing multiple voices in a single staff, see Voices for an overview. See below for instructions specific to percussion notation.
The easiest way to add drum notation to your score is via MIDI keyboard. Some MIDI keyboards have percussion markings above each key. If you press the key for high hat, then MuseScore will add the correct notation to the score. MuseScore automatically takes care of the stem direction and type of note head.
7 drum sounds are mapped to a shortcut (A-G) by default and you can only remap those 7 shortcuts to other drum-instruments (or change other properties of the drum palettes contents) via the Edit Drumset button of the drum input tool (see →below).
If you wish to enter a new drum note at the same position as an existing note - for example if you wanted the snare and hi-hat to sound simultaneously - and you were entering the new note via the computer keyboard you would need to hold Shift when entering the new note so as not to overwrite the existing note. This is the same method as used when entering chords for tuned instruments under MuseScore.
Note input for unpitched percussion works differently than for other instruments, so here are the special steps:
- Select a note or rest in the percussion staff
- Press N to begin note input
Please note that the drum input tool will only appear when you have completed this step:
- Select a note duration from the note input toolbar
- Select a type of note (such as bass drum, or snare) from the drum input tool
- Click on the percussion staff to add the note to the score
Drumsets are stored as .drm files, but customizations can be saved and loaded into others.