Why is the tom placement for the drum kit so weird?

• Nov 12, 2023 - 19:36

What I mean is that, when I go to put in the low tom, it's higher up on the bar than the snare drum. That throws me off a whole bunch, because based off of the songs that I've played, the only tom that is ever above the snare drum, is the high tom. The rest of them were always below it. Although I do understand if it's a little different and there has to be more than one above like the high-mid tom, because I only play a set with 3 toms 2 crashes and a ride (plus the other main 3). But other than that it just confuses me when all of the toms are above the snare other than the floor toms. Also how is anyone supposed to differentiate the high tom and the high-mid tom?


Welcome to the Drum palette. you can edit it to more match what you want. But in general, it is kind of confusing.

Yes, the drum palette needs some work. But:

"based off of the songs that I've played, the only tom that is ever above the snare drum, is the high tom."
That's non-standard. Most commonly, the first two toms are notated above the snare drum:

This is per Norman Weinberg's book "Guide to Standardized Drum Notation". The major scorewriters MuseScore, Sibelius, Finale officially aim to follow it and major drumming websites do so, too.

In reply to by RobFog

The drum palette needs to go away. Drumset notation in Sibelius is as simple as opening the staff and entering notes just like any other instrument. The palette forces you to use keyboard shortcuts for each drum. I'm a mouser, so this slows everything down. I just want to click notes on the staff for drums. Just like a piano staff. Yes, cymbals require a different notehead in any software.

In reply to by bobjp

Yes! I struggle with the same stupid problems all the time and it is so damn annoying because it ends up taking a drum part that could take 30 minutes and making it take upwards of 2 hours! I'm so glad that I'm not the only one that thinks the drums could use some major updating.

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