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How to read Drum sheet music - Quarter Notes

Welcome back to Hackney Wick Drum Studio, a drum teaching studio in East London. This is the third in a series of Drum Lessons where I'll teach you to read Drum Notation. Today, we'll be looking again at the Quarter note, and it's as easy as counting to four. In this exercise, you'll find all the examples have three rests within each bar. All you have to do is strike the drum or practice pad where you see a quarter note, and leave a pause where you see a rest. This is a great way for you to start practicing your counting and time keeping. If you missed the first lesson, you can check that out here, and the second lesson here.

Make sure this exercise is done with a metronome. I recommend starting at about 60 BPM and working your way up, increasing the tempo slightly once you've got the hang of it. It's also useful to count the 1-2-3-4 out loud so you can really lock into the time. The first five lines of this drum lesson feature four different examples, with the rest moving one beat each time. The last few lines (which also have a repeat if you look closely) are combinations of the above, which is a really useful reading exercise. It's also great to try this drum lesson with both right and left hands, so why not challenge yourself to play it with all rights, all lefts and then a combination of the two. Make sure you count all the rests accurately, otherwise you'll end up in the wrong place at the start off the next bar. If you need any help with this, or have any general drumming questions, feel free to leave a comment or get in touch by email, I'm always happy to help. If you're not quite sure on the notation, you can view my post about that here. Finally, if you're looking for a Drum Teacher in London for one to one lessons, check out my full website for all the information on the Drum Lessons I provide. You can book a drum lesson directly here. Happy Drumming. Jack x


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