Adding & Removing Notes

Adding a note

To add a note to a score, simply click the drum at the relevant position. For example, to add a bass drum hit on the ‘1’ of the first bar, click on the line marked Bd in the left margin, above the 1 in the count below the first measure:

Adding a note example : Start

When you click you should hear the bass drum noise, and a note will appear in the relevant position, like so:


Adding a note : Done

Adding a different note head

Each drum in the kit has its own default note head, corresponding to the most common way to strike that drum. However, tab and notation often use different symbols to indicate that the drum should be played differently. For example, while a snare hit is often notated as o in drum tab, a side-stick on the snare is usually indicated with an x symbol.

To add a note with a different symbol, middle-click on a position in the staff. A menu will pop up with the possible note heads for that drum. Click on one of the symbols and it will be added where you middle-clicked. For example, suppose after adding a few more notes we want an open hihat. We middle-click where we want the note to appear, and select the relevant note head:

Adding an alternative note


You can edit which note heads are available for each drum in the drum kit editing dialog.

New in version 0.8: keyboard shortcuts for alternate note heads! 

If you need to enter a lot of alternate note heads it can be inconvenient to keep middle clicking and selecting the appropriate one. In version 0.8, DrumBurp introduced keyboard shortcuts for alternate note heads. When the mouse is hovering over a note position, you’ll see a list of possible alternate note heads and their keyboard shortcuts displayed in the lower right hand corner of the status bar.

Keyboard shortcut display

For alternative heads whose shortcut is the same as the note head, just the head is displayed. If the shortcut is different, it is displayed in brackets after the note head. For example, in the above screenshot we see that to insert a ghost note – the “g” head – we will use the “g” key. To insert the “O” accent note head though, we need to use the “a” key.

To enter an alternative note head using its keyboard shortcut hold down the corresponding key; you’ll see the note head in the lower right corner highlighted. Here we hold down the “g” key to insert a ghost note:

Holding down a keyboard shortcut

Keep holding down the shortcut key and left click where you want the note to be. The alternate note head will be entered in the score instead of the default.

Inserting an alternate note head with a keyboard shortcut

Keyboard shortcuts for alternate note heads can be assigned and edited in the drum kit editor.

Deleting a note

To delete a note, simply click on it. It will either change to the default note head for that drum (if a non-default head is already there), or it will delete the note altogether.


Video Lesson

A simple free drum tab editor