We have all heard that it’s very beneficial for drummers to learn how to read music. I completely agree. For me, it was one of the many game changers for my drumming. Learning to understand basic notation gave me the ability to explore totally new ideas through various books, videos, and other documents. These were ideas I would never have stumbled upon in my normal “sit down and jam or learn songs” regimen. Even though my career has never required much sight reading, I have still benefitted greatly from acquiring the skill of reading, and I feel it has opened many doors for me over the years.

This chart was my first attempt at notating an entire song. It took many hours to finally get this one finished. I remember working on it well over a week!

The Next Step

As wonderful as it was having this new skill, it wasn’t long before I realized I was only getting half the benefits of understanding notation by merely knowing how to read. I needed to learn to write out figures, as well. Not surprisingly, this came to me when I was looking at 40 songs I had to learn in about a week for a new gig. I’m sure a lot of drummers have found themselves in this situation before. It was at that moment, I decided to begin my journey towards learning to write notation.


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