How Do I Learn Drum Notes?

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Learning to read drum notes is an exercise in understanding rhythm. Learn the basics of drum music with the help of a professional drummer in this free video.

Part of the Video Series: All About Drums
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Roman Lomtadze. I'm a drummer of a band called Send the Sages, here in Los Angeles, California, and today I'm here to show you how to read drum notes. To read drum notes, we have to pick a tempo first, so we know, let's say in 4/4 beats, so we know where the one is. And then we have whole note, half notes, quarter notes and it goes on and on. And I'm going to give you an example. So, this would be a tempo, two, three, four. So, this is one bar and the whole note basically means that it sounds throughout the whole bar, throughout the four counts. So it would be like this, two, three, four. Okay, and now we have a half note which would be the half as long as the whole note so in 4/4 bar we are able to play two half notes. So, the one whole note is divided by two. Okay, let me give you an example, one, two, three, four. And next would be the quarter note and quarter note is, we have four quarters in one whole bar which would be four notes on each count which is one note on each count. And the next would be eighth notes and basically they are twice as fast as the quarter notes. Basically, one quarter note has two eighth notes so that's the result and next would be sixteenth notes and one eighth note has two sixteenth notes, or one quarter note has four sixteenth notes. So, it would be one, two, three, four. And just like that it goes on and on and we have different examples here, very common and important thing is triplets. So, triplets we have in 4/4 bar we can have basically four triplets, which would be one triplet on each quarter note. So, these are quarter notes, one, two, three, four. On each of those we have one triplet so basically it would be four triplets in one bar would be one, two, three, one, two, three, four. I'm Roman Lomtadze, and this is how to play drum notes.

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