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Singlestroker





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No. 1 Posted on Jan 19, 2011 2:52 PM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
IĎve finally made enough progress reading music to play drumkit in a brass band, albeit as an improver.

One problem area is some of the sheet music that dates from the Ď30s or even before. Some of it is easily-enough solved. For example, it didnít take very long to work out what some of the old notation meant, such as the now-superseded crotchet-rest symbol. Also, although some of the printing is tiny and difficult to read, that is soon solved by enlarging it on a scanner or photocopier. The real bugbear is the music that has separate sheets for different drums and other components. It seems to be a case either of reading the snare drum part and memorising or making-up the rest or using a pen and Tippex to add the rest to the side drum sheet. I know there's also music manuscript software that could be used to rewrite the parts onto a single sheet.

Assuming that I am not the first to come across this problem, I wondered how others had tackled it.



moneyowen





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No. 2 Posted on Jan 20, 2011 4:24 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
wow I have never seen sheet music from the 1930's. I guess that was pre drum set, so they would have had it charted out for different guys playing the different drum. i don't have any advice for you, just thought I would chime in. Most sheet music I see has been transcribed by an intern somewhere down the line and seems to be open somewhat to the individual player's interpretation at least more so than some other instruments. Since it doesn't sound like anything terribly complex, I would suggest what you said, either memorize, or write yourself up a big sort of cheat sheet.


OldFart

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No. 3 Posted on Jan 20, 2011 7:57 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
My father was a Swing-era musician who composed and arranged music for big band and ensemble, and was active in the late 30's onward.

They'd often chart a single line for the drums. The drummer would interpret the feel from the reference line. There were minimal written notes, not least was 'ad lib.' They'd note time signature, the tempo and score rests, and the essentials at bar markers, and sometimes specify brushes.

According to ol' dad, they'd merely hint to the drummer what was needed by that skeleton arrangement. If the drummer had to be in lock-step with other horns or rhythm that was charted out. Drummers were expected to know different rhythms and whatnot by rote.



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paul

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No. 4 Posted on Jan 20, 2011 10:05 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Are you playing in a swing type big band, or a brass band doing orchestral pieces?

If the latter, I'm assuming you have parts that were written for multiple members of a percussion section that have to be boiled down to a single part.

Have you done a search for music writing software?



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Singlestroker





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No. 5 Posted on Jan 20, 2011 2:54 PM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Thank you for your interest, guys.

It is a brass band playing from sheet music. Youíre right, Paul: it is a case of producing a single drumkit score from multiple parts.

The band are happy for me to play by ear and feel when appropriate. After all, after 70-80 years, the percussion music is sometimes missing or incomplete. I started out as a drummer playing by ear, so I am fairly adept at producing something that sounds good when there is nothing written.

Having said that, I need to keep the playing by ear to a minimum. The first reason is that the band hasnít time, for example, for me to listen to a complicated piece enough times to get it good enough quick enough. Unfortunately, moneyowen, they are playing some material that they themselves consider complicated. They include former members of the UK National Youth Orchestra, former UK military professional musicians and equivalent. What they find difficult I certainly will! We can't afford for me to turn up at a gig and miss time signature changes, increases and decreases of volume and/or speed and the like. The second reason is that I want to get to read proficiently fairly quickly.

This band has had drummers in the past, as have the defunct bands from which it has inherited the old sheet music. As there is no evidence of any former drummers trying to produce a single score for drumkit, I can only assume that they did in fact play by ear when possible, and fill in bass drum, cymbals, etc. from instinct. Perhaps, also, they did produce one-line drum parts, Old Fart, after having a listen, or maybe bar counts and notes as to what to play when; however, I think I would have found them if they had. When the band simply donít have the music for me to read, perhaps I shall have to develop a system on those lines. Mind you, Iíll have to get quicker at thinking and writing while listening!

Seeing this old sheet music has taught me something else that I, for one, didnít know. That is that a bass drum score was formerly written against the bass clef, and the side drum the treble clef (perhaps it still is in military music Ė I havenít done a Google to see). It would be interesting to know how it was decided to write drumkit music all against the bass clef. Cymbals were mostly written on the drumkit score, so presumably the bass drummer and cymbal player had the music on a stand between their positions. I appreciate that there is a dedicated drumkit clef for later drum music.

I have downloaded a good music manuscript software programme, but the process of copying it all in is going to be too time-consuming as far as I can see. Altering a copy using Tippex and pen, then copying the result is itself time-consuming, but is the quickest way that I have thought of.



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No. 6 Posted on Jan 25, 2011 1:56 PM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Before I realised that separate people were reading from the same sheet, I was confused when I saw the semiquaver bassdrum rolls, and cymbal rolls played at the same time.

I've never bothered with a double bass pedal before. Maybe I'll need one now.



OldFart

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No. 7 Posted on Jan 26, 2011 8:09 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Singlestroker wrote:
Before I realised that separate people were reading from the same sheet, I was confused when I saw the semiquaver bassdrum rolls, and cymbal rolls played at the same time.

I've never bothered with a double bass pedal before. Maybe I'll need one now.


That would make you more of a percussion section, and less a drummer Smile



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Singlestroker





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No. 8 Posted on Jan 28, 2011 5:49 PM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
OldFart wrote:
That would make you more of a percussion section, and less a drummer Smile


Well, I'm thinking of growing a couple of extra arms! It's the only way. Some of the music has Glockenspiel in there as well as all the stuff that's now part of a drumkit.

On the subject of editing old music sheets, a member of the and says he does it for trombone (why, I don't know). Anyway it seems he uses a graphics/paint programme and alters a scanned version of the music sheet. It sounds feasible, but I'm unsure if it'll save time.



OldFart

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No. 9 Posted on Jan 28, 2011 10:17 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Singlestroker wrote:
Well, I'm thinking of growing a couple of extra arms! It's the only way. Some of the music has Glockenspiel in there as well as all the stuff that's now part of a drumkit.

On the subject of editing old music sheets, a member of the and says he does it for trombone (why, I don't know). Anyway it seems he uses a graphics/paint programme and alters a scanned version of the music sheet. It sounds feasible, but I'm unsure if it'll save time.


This might be over-the-top, but Apple Logic Pro Studio will either 'score' parts, or assist in scoring by producing a print-file of the staves and notation. You must interact to get the end-product on paper as you'd hope to see it, however.

Just a (an expensive*) thought ...

===========

* - At ~ $500.00 USD



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OldFart

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No. 10 Posted on Jan 29, 2011 9:02 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Just discovered this ( new to me until a few minutes ago ) ...

http://musescore.org/

Music score software

This is no cost, Open Source software, so you're not out of pocket an exorbitant amount.

Also, this could possibly enable you to consolidate parts into a single file (within its voicing limits). I'm not posting as a user, so I don't know its limitations or its scope; but it appears to be able to play the notation you've scribed so you can hear proof of your transcription.

Brief YouTube tutorials accompany the content on the website.

EDIT :

Ah! I missed that you've already found a music manuscript application, and that using the application seems to be problematic. Sorry.

I decided to leave this post up for others should they be interested in such a thing -


OldFart edited on Jan 29, 2011 9:09 PM

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Singlestroker





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No. 11 Posted on Jan 30, 2011 8:29 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
No apology needed, Old F'.

Thank you for your suggestions. It's always good to hear views on these subjects, and it's surprising what sometimes comes up when I think I've thought of everything (hence why I started the thread in the first place).



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No. 12 Posted on Jan 30, 2011 9:01 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
OldFart wrote:
Just discovered this ( new to me until a few minutes ago ) ...

http://musescore.org/

Music score software



Randy, thanks for this! I just downloaded it myself and am planning on trying to chart out some of my favorite drum parts on some of my favorite tunes--or write my own beats!



"For as the world became flooded with information, the question of how much one knew assumed more importance than the question of what uses one made of what one did know." --Neil Postman
OldFart

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No. 13 Posted on Jan 30, 2011 11:45 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Singlestroker wrote:
No apology needed, Old F'.

Thank you for your suggestions. It's always good to hear views on these subjects, and it's surprising what sometimes comes up when I think I've thought of everything (hence why I started the thread in the first place).


You're quite welcome Smile

Best wishes in your drumming endeavors -



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OldFart

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No. 14 Posted on Jan 30, 2011 11:47 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
BrandonPorter wrote:
Randy, thanks for this! I just downloaded it myself and am planning on trying to chart out some of my favorite drum parts on some of my favorite tunes--or write my own beats!


Glad I practically fell over it looking into software for an entirely different purpose.

Hope it works out well -



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Singlestroker





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No. 15 Posted on Jan 31, 2011 4:24 PM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
BrandonPorter wrote:
Randy, thanks for this! I just downloaded it myself and am planning on trying to chart out some of my favorite drum parts on some of my favorite tunes--or write my own beats!


... I presume Randy is OldFart on the forum.

I forgot to mention that it is the very same piece of software that I had already downloaded.

I agree with Brandon that it's very, very good. Although it doesn't solve the editing problem I've got with old printed scores, it is superb for writing stuff out from scratch. As you guys already know, it even has drum-specific notation. For a free programme, it seems almost unbelievable.



OldFart

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No. 16 Posted on Jan 31, 2011 8:21 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Singlestroker wrote:
... I presume Randy is OldFart on the forum.

I forgot to mention that it is the very same piece of software that I had already downloaded.

I agree with Brandon that it's very, very good. Although it doesn't solve the editing problem I've got with old printed scores, it is superb for writing stuff out from scratch. As you guys already know, it even has drum-specific notation. For a free programme, it seems almost unbelievable.


Your name association is correct, Singlestroker.

I was hoping to be helpful; sorry to have simply overlapped your effort.

Unfortunately, it appears you're left to your own devices with respect to working out the older scores.



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Singlestroker





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No. 17 Posted on Mar 1, 2011 4:01 PM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Iíve found a better way to combine some of the sheet music for use with a drum kit. I dug out my old calligraphy set and am now copying out some of the pieces onto fresh music manuscript paper. The music can be written quite quickly using the flat-bladed pens around which the notes and other symbols found in music were originally designed.

Itís still time-consuming and a bit of a pain, but itís satisfying and lets me play the parts as intended, rather than make half of it up as I go.



OldFart

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No. 18 Posted on Mar 6, 2011 11:08 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Singlestroker wrote:
Iíve found a better way to combine some of the sheet music for use with a drum kit. I dug out my old calligraphy set and am now copying out some of the pieces onto fresh music manuscript paper. The music can be written quite quickly using the flat-bladed pens around which the notes and other symbols found in music were originally designed.

Itís still time-consuming and a bit of a pain, but itís satisfying and lets me play the parts as intended, rather than make half of it up as I go.


Another example of low-tech being the best tech.

The upside is that while transcribing you're hearing the part or parts in your inner ear - I'd think that would help to some degree.



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Singlestroker





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No. 19 Posted on Mar 6, 2011 3:26 PM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
OldFart wrote:
Another example of low-tech being the best tech.


Randy, definitely (except when I go wrong, and have to resort to Tippex). I think I can safely say that although I'm no technophobe, I'd never get it done anywhere near as quickly using software.

OldFart wrote:
The upside is that while transcribing you're hearing the part or parts in your inner ear - I'd think that would help to some degree.

Once again, definitely. It's helping me with my reading, which, as I've said elsewhere, is not good enough just yet. The downside is that when I have to get the Tippex, words come out that offend the outer ears of others!



OldFart

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No. 20 Posted on Mar 6, 2011 4:32 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Singlestroker wrote:
Randy, definitely (except when I go wrong, and have to resort to Tippex). I think I can safely say that although I'm no technophobe, I'd never get it done anywhere near as quickly using software.

Once again, definitely. It's helping me with my reading, which, as I've said elsewhere, is not good enough just yet. The downside is that when I have to get the Tippex, words come out that offend the outer ears of others!


Ha!! Smile

Well, you'll just have to learn a few other 'choice' ones that both exclaim and appeal at the selfsame time.

Being the limited guy that I am, I've taken to just spouting random syllables. It helps no one, but it also doesn't hurt ...



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Singlestroker





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No. 21 Posted on Nov 21, 2012 3:45 PM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
It goes back a while, but I thought I'd mention that I have now got more or less properly to grips with Musescore. Contrary to what I previously believed, it has proved many times quicker than hand-writing parts onto one chart.


OldFart

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No. 22 Posted on Nov 21, 2012 7:41 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Excellent news, Singlestroker!

It has been a while, but if I might misquote: 'The world comes if a man only waits,' or some such.

If true, this "world" has come to you.



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Singlestroker





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No. 23 Posted on Nov 22, 2012 6:41 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
OldFart wrote:
Excellent news, Singlestroker!

It has been a while, but if I might misquote: 'The world comes if a man only waits,' or some such.

If true, this "world" has come to you.


Good of you to reply, Randy.

It wasn't really a case of waiting. I had abandoned it without really getting into it. Then, a few weeks ago, I got frustrated with not being able to produce pieces of manuscript onscreen to send in emails when discussing pieces of music with others. At that point I sat down and worked at Musescore to iron out the parts that I hadn't really made the effort to understand.

To misquote following your example, it seems that it was a case of "Necessity is the mother of getting off one's backside and doing it".



OldFart

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No. 24 Posted on Nov 22, 2012 8:36 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Singlestroker wrote:
Good of you to reply, Randy.

It wasn't really a case of waiting. I had abandoned it without really getting into it. Then, a few weeks ago, I got frustrated with not being able to produce pieces of manuscript onscreen to send in emails when discussing pieces of music with others. At that point I sat down and worked at Musescore to iron out the parts that I hadn't really made the effort to understand.

To misquote following your example, it seems that it was a case of "Necessity is the mother of getting off one's backside and doing it".


Indeed. And sometimes the 'spikes in the seat' ploy yields some similar results, too ( just ask my wife ).



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Singlestroker





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No. 25 Posted on Nov 22, 2012 1:22 PM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
OldFart wrote:
Indeed. And sometimes the 'spikes in the seat' ploy yields some similar results, too ( just ask my wife ).


It's uncanny. Reading that, I feel as if I know her! I think she must be related to mine...




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