Drum tablature is a type of drum notation that uses six lines of tablature below the notation, communicating the drumming instructions via MIDI percussion numbers. Here’s an example:
The main advantage of drum tab is that it’s easy to create, as you just have to memorize a few MIDI numbers rather than decide which staff lines to use in a traditional music staff.
To create a drum tab instrument in Soundslice, add a drum kit instrument and select “Yes” next to “Tab?”
Your instrument will have six lines of tablature below the standard notation. To notate, click on a tablature line and enter a number representing your the drum sound you want. These are General MIDI percussion sounds; if you’ve used drum tab before, you’ll be right at home. The numbers are:
|37||Snare cross stick|
|40||Electric snare drum|
|41||Floor tom 2|
|43||Floor tom 1|
|62||Conga dead stroke|
|86||Surdu dead stroke|
|91||Snare drum rod|
|93||Snare drum brush|
It doesn’t matter which tablature line you enter the number on. This is purely up to you, so you can optimize for readability. Some people like to put the bass drum on the lowest line, for example.
Can I use drum tab to write my music, then hide the tab when I’m ready to share?
Yes indeed! Once you’re done with the tab, edit the instrument and click the tab icon next to “Visibility” to hide the tab:
The tab data will still be available in the slice, but it won’t be displayed by default. You can always redisplay it by editing the instrument and changing the visibility setting.
In a drum tab instrument, can I add/edit the notes via the staff as well?
Absolutely. If you add a note via the staff (with the A-G keys), we’ll automatically determine the most appropriate MIDI number and put that in the tab. If you change an existing note via the staff, we’ll change its MIDI number in the tab.