Notation for drums and percussion can vary a great deal from arranger to arranger, and from composer to composer. Some writers have even created their own symbols in an effort to cater for the huge array of percussion instruments and techniques.
In most written drum music, the lines and spaces of a standard 5-line music staff are used to define the various drums of a kit. For simpler parts (for example, a kick and snare pattern) a 1 or 2 line-line staff may be used. Non-kit percussion instruments can be notated on any of these staff types.
In some cases, particularly if writing less-conventional drum parts, the writer can provide a guide defining the meaning of each line of the staff, and the significance of the different note heads and symbols. As long as the parts are presented in a clear way that is familiar to a drummer or percussionist, there shouldn’t be any problems.
One of the important things to remember is that there isn’t a completely right or wrong way to write drum parts; but there are good and bad ways!
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