Solfeo and harmony for percussionists part 3: how are the scores of the battery?

by Shopify API 19 September, 2019

learn music theory and harmony

In the previous lessons we have seen the bases of the solfeo, we learned what the tempo is and how to mark it based on pulses and we saw how time can be divided and written on the staff with rhythmic figures. Now we will apply this in reading and writing for percussion.

Pentagrama: Set of five parallel and equidistant horizontal lines on which musical notes and other notation signs are written.

Key: La musical key is used to specify the height of the music which appears detailed on a staff. If the sounds are low, the Fa key is used and if they are high, the Sun key is used (Generally)

Neutral key: The neutral or percussion key is used for instruments of undefined height such as drums, cymbals and other percussion instruments.

Rhythmic reading

Percussion instruments that do not have definite notes are represented on a staff with the Neutral key or sometimes the Fa key is often used. The correct thing is to use the neutral key when we have an instrument of undefined height.

neutral keybass clef

We can find rhythmic figures written differently, andn instead of being oval figures are usually diagonal lines and studs, straight geometric figures. They will take the pulse value as indicated by their plica and the bracket.

rhythmic notation

In the case of a battery, the positions of some drums have already been standardized and dishes like setbacks, the hype, the box and some toms.

drum score

For the other percussion instruments it should be clarified in the score what position corresponds to each part of the instrument. For this you can use the five lines of the staff or less.

percussion score


The birritmias are rhythmic exercises for make the movement of both hands independent, one hand and one foot, both feet, etc. These exercises are performed sitting and banging on our legs or on a table with palms. It depends on the instrument and the indication.


This is a simultaneous reading and each hand will have to interpret a different system. The left hand for example will take care of the system above and the right hand of the system below.

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