Free Drum Theory Lesson: How to Read Drum Charts

By PAUL BOTHNER MUSIC | January 22, 2018

How to Read Drum Charts

If you’re a drummer and want to take your music seriously, then learning to read charts is non-negotiable. That is why we have this Free Lesson: How to Read Drum Charts.

Sure, you might have a great ear and can learn music after listening to it. That’s great, but, not always practical.

Let’s say for example that you’re playing with a new band and you’ve never heard their stuff before. What happens if you go into a studio to do session work, and don’t have time to work out a song by ear? Reading a chart can mean the difference between getting a callback or not being hired again.

Yes, having a good ear is important, no one would ever deny that. But, being able to read charts is just as important. Often musicians look at it as being one or the other. That is just not true! You need to learn How to Read Drum Charts to take your music to the next level.

If you are right-hand dominant, you wouldn’t think that you can chop off your left and not find simple tasks harder. The same thing applies to reading charts. Just because you have a good ear that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn how to read drum charts.

And if you have a bad ear, then that’s even more reason for you to learn how to read a chart.

This doesn’t just apply to drummers mind you. Every musician should learn to read basic charts.

In this free lesson, Rob from will take you through the basics of reading charts.

Video Breakdown

0:25 – Music Bars & the Stave
1:21 – Beats of the Bar & the Time Signature
2:20 – Quarter Notes
4:00 – Note Heads, Stems & their Position on the Stave
5:54 – Reading a Bar of Music
7:19 – Eighth Notes
10:04 – Different Notes in the Same Bar
11:33 – Sixteenth Notes
14:25 – Joining Various Note Types by their Tails
18:49 – Mixing Things Up


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