Drum notation - continue groove

• Apr 28, 2011 - 03:40

Thanks in advance to anyone who has time to respond. MuseScore and all who contribute are wonderful.

I need to notate for drums using big slash note heads to indicate that the groove continues. I was told to use this notation by a friend who is a drummer. This is distinct to a repeat mark which meant repeat exactly or close to the previous bar.

When I click the note head that I want in the drum stave it won't change. I have attached a score with the notehead that I want in a voice stave. Is there anyway to get it to look like that in the drum stave (don't care about playback).


Attachment Size
drum example.mscz 1.41 KB


Ignore the attachement - or consider the attachement without stems. That's what I need.

I found at that these are called 'slashes' and there is already a forum topic on this. I still don't know how to get slashes in the drum stave. (example attached)

Thanks again,


Attachment Size
drum-combi.gif 1.34 KB

In reply to by Stu_

Entering slashes as symbols as suggested above is probably the easiest way to do it if you aren't doing a lot of drum music. But you'll have to position them manually, and not being real notes, you cannot attach other markings to them normally. So If you plan to do this a lot, it's worth it to create a custom drumset (right click drum staff, "edit drum set") that includes a slash-headed note as one of the drums. It's nowhere near as straightforward to this in 1.0 as it could be (2.0 will be better, it appears), but I managed it by saving a drum set file then editing it by hand.

I have attached a copy of my custom drum set, in which you can get a mid-line slash in the drum part by pressing "G" while in note entry node. You just have to mark them stemless afterwards (select, right click, Note Properties, stemless). I usually create one measure like that then just copy and paste it everywhere else.

My drum set file also defines shortcuts for the other common drum set notations: hi-hat (A), bass drum (B), ride (C), snare (D), tom (E), with "F" used to create a notation that you'd use on top of slashes to mean "play time, but make these kicks while you're at it". So you could enter four slashes first by hitting "G G G G", then go back to the beginning of the measure and enter the kick rhythm with the "F" key. I usually then mark those notes as small.

Attachment Size
jazz.drm 4.23 KB

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I went ahead and created a file reproducing your example with my drum set, so you could see how it might work. I assume the first measure was meant to be a ride rhythm, and my drum set puts the ride on the top line rather than on the space, but you can also edit the drum set to change that. There's not a lot of standardization in drum notation - or rather, there are several competing and contradictory standards. But somewhere I read advice that one use x-heads on lines for cymbals, regular heads on spaces for drums; stems down for feet, stems up for hands. While it's by no means universal, I have seen that at least *some* published music does follow this, so that's how I do things now.

I entered this entirely from the keyboard except for the slashes, which required manually removing stems as described. My drum set enters slashes in voice two so "kick" rhythms can appear above in voice 1 with stems up, so this necessitated hiding the whole rest in voice 1. Sometimes, instead, I simply exchange voice 1 & 2 after entering my slashes. but you can also customize the drum set to enter slashes directly into voice 1 if you don't use "kick" rhythms often.

Attachment Size
drum_notate.mscz 2.83 KB

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc,

Thanks so much. I downloaded your drum jazz.drm file and used this to do exactly what I needed to do. So that's great. It was for a long passage, so much easier than using the symbol feature.

I tried doing it myself but I the only available note heads to assign are
-normal, cross, diamond, and triangle.

I would love to know how you got the slash in there for future reference.

Again, thanks so much. I was planning on printing, marking them in with pen, then re-scanning. So yeah. Big help!


In reply to by Stu_

You're welcome! As for how I did it, I had to edit the file by hand. I created the note using the drum set editor within MueScore, saved the file, then examined it in a text editor, found my note, and tried different values of "head" until I got a slash. Looks like 2.0 provides that right in the editor.

Anther thing you could do is Edit -> Tools -> Fill With Slashes to fill the measure with slashes without having to manually put them in there from the master palette.

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