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How to Read Drum Tabs

A ‘Drum tablature’, also known as ‘drum tab’ is a tablature in use for drums. To read drum tabs follow the example below:

 H |-xxxxx-x|xxxxxxxx|-xxxxxxx|xxxxxxxx|-|
 S |--oo--o-|--oo--o-|--oo--o-|--oo--o-|-|
 B |o---o---|o---o---|o---o---|o---o---|o|
 CC|x-----x-|--------|x-------|--------|x|
 CC|-Crash Cymbal----|
 HH|-Hi-Hat----------|
 Rd|-Ride-Cymbal-----|
 SN|-Snare-drum------|
 LT|-Low-Tom---------|
 HT|-High-Tom--------|
 FT|-Floor-Tom-------|
 B |-Bass-Drum-------|
 Hf|-Hi-Hat-w/foot---|

Some alternative lines:

 CR|-Crash-Ride-Cymbal--|
 RC|-Ride-Cymbal--------|
 S |-Snare-drum---------|
 T1|-Tom-1-(high-tom)---|
 T2|-Tom-2-(low/mid-tom)| Tom 1, Tom 2 etc. can be continued to as many toms as you have.
 F |-Floor-Tom----------|
 BD|-Bass-Drum----------|

Generally there will not be that many lines during verses; the above is more common during fills. For example in verse there may be only 3 lines (bass, snare, and HH), while during chorus HH is replaced with RD, symbolizing a ride cymbal. Also, what to use to symbolize the drum can vary from tab to tab (eg. using ‘t’ for LT). Additionally, there are symbols to depict how the tabs should be played:

Cymbals:

 |-x-| Strike Cymbal or Hi-Hat
 |-X-| Strike Loose Hi-Hat, or hit Crash Hard
 |-o-| Open High Hat
 |-#-| Choke Cymbal (Grab Cymbal With Hand After Striking It)
 |-s-| Splash Cymbal
 |-c-| China Cymbal
 |-b-| Bell of Ride
 |-x-| Click Hi-Hat With Foot  

Drums:

 |-o-| Strike
 |-O-| Accent
 |-g-| Ghost Note 
 |-f-| [[Flam]]  
 |-d-| Drag
 |-b-| Soft One-Handed Roll
 |-B-| Accented One-Handed Roll
 |-@-| Snare Rim

Unlike guitar tabs which often fail to accurately represent timing information, drum tabs usually describe timing information very accurately.