Nic’s blog  
Nic's Blog #5
Reading and Writing a Drum Transcription

   A great way to learn drum set is by learning to read and play transcriptions. I've written a bunch of these compositions. They provide a detailed snapshot of what some great drummer has played on a favorite piece of music. I think that this is the best way any drum set musician can learn.

   I write my transcriptions on "print music software," a Finale product that allows my compositions to remain "alive." Although I may spend as much as twenty hours on a single transcription, it remains a work in progress and things I haven't heard under the microscope (headphones) reliably will pop up later. In some situations it's even several years after I think I've written every note and every nuance of the drum transcription.

   The print music software has a bit of a learning curve. It's a little pricey, about $100, and probably hard to begin with. A great feature of this product is its ability to keep the transcription "alive" if I find something months after I've written a composition I can go back in and update any part of it, even adding a measure if one was left out.

   (Easy to do with drum set music, so many repeating phrases.)

   Check out my next blog for and example of a transcription "work in progress" of a Steely Dan Song.

Send your drum questions to nic