Producing effective drum parts in Sibelius

A drum kit, yesterday (courtesy sunfrog1 on Flickr)

Practical advice from an expert arranger is worth its weight in gold, and my pal John Hinchey, both a talented trombonist and a successful arranger based in Nashville, is sharing his wisdom on his blog, Notes on Notes, which I commend to you. He’s currently posting an invaluable multi-part tutorial about producing effective drum charts in Sibelius.

In the first part, John describes the different kinds of drum charts you will see, from fully-notated parts through parts with slashes only, and everything in between. In a brief sidebar, he expands upon the different conventions for stem direction and note duration sometimes employed in fully-notated drum parts.

In the second part of the tutorial, John provides more detail about producing fully-notated drum parts, and has some useful suggestions for how to use Sibelius’s Ideas feature to speed up the creation of your drum parts. In the third part, John shows how plug-ins such as Hide Duplicate Rests and Make Pitches Constant can also make your life easier. John has even persuaded me to post a specially modified version of Make Pitches Constant that produces a good-looking drum part with hits from another staff in a single operation, and he’s posted about that too. Yesterday, John posted the fourth part of the tutorial, covering drum parts using slashes, rhythmic notation, and repeat bars.

There are more posts coming, so you should subscribe to John’s blog today to make sure you don’t miss any of them.


  1. Pascal Hahn

    Hi everyone,

    I am using the plugin “Make Pitches Constant” a lot and wanted to show it to my students.
    But I actually can’t find it for download anymore. The link above also doesn’t work anymore.
    Does anyone know where to find it?

    Thanks in advance and greetings from cologne

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