Drum tablature


Drum tablature, commonly known as a drum tab, is a form of simplified percussion notation, or tablature for percussion instruments. Instead of the durational notes normally seen on a piece of sheet music, drum tab uses proportional horizontal placement to indicate rhythm and vertical placement on a series of lines to represent which drum from the drum kit to stroke. Drum tabs frequently depict drum patterns.

Key or legend


The number of lines in a specific tab will vary depending on the number of different drums used during a specific section of music. Below is an example of a basic drum kit.

  CC|-Crash cymbal----|[1]
  HH|-Hi-hat----------|
  Rd|-Ride cymbal-----|
  SN|-Snare-drum------|
  T1|-High-tom--------|
  T2|-Low-tom---------|
  FT|-Floor-tom-------|
  BD |-Bass-drum------|
  Hf/FH|-Hi-hat-w/foot|

Techniques

Tablature can use various letter and symbols to denote different cymbal types or other drum techniques. These are the tablature symbols that represent various techniques, though these may vary:

Cymbals
  |-x-| Strike cymbal or hi-hat
  |-X-| Strike loose hi-hat, or hit crash hard
  |-o-| Open hi-hat
  |-#-|  (grab cymbal with hand after striking it)
  |-s-| 
  |-c-| 
  |-b-|  of ride
  |-x-| Click hi-hat with foot
Drums
  |-o-| Strike
  |-O-| Accent
  |-g-| 
  |-f-| 
  |-d-| 
  |-b-| Soft one-handed 
  |-B-| Accented one-handed roll
  |[email protected]| 

Example


Below is an example of a rhythm pattern characteristic of much popular music including rock presented in standard notation and then its corresponding translation into drum tab.

B = Bass drum HH = Hi-hat S = Snare drum

  HH|x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-||
   S|----o-------o---||
   B|o-------o-------||
     1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

References