Everyone likes to listen to music. Regardless of your age, nationality, gender or any other demographic factor there is definitely an artist or a band that you are a fan of. Listening to music is great in relieving stress, according to many scientific studies. Human beings are programmed to recognized patterns. It is this ability of humans which has allowed them to learn various natural phenomena. In essence, recognizing patterns is akin to solving problems. 

This applies to music as well. When you hear your favorite song again and again your brain recognizes a certain pattern associated with it. When you hear a similar song in future, your brain recognizes this pattern again. Although the song is new, your brain thinks it has been able to comprehend its structure in the very first attempt. Another way to put this is, your brain has solved the problem of understanding a song not heard before. According to scientific research, this is a highly rewarding experience.

Music and elements

When it comes to music there are many elements which go into its production. Depending on the genre or type of music, a song can contain – the vocals of a singer, an orchestra of various instruments, digital sound editing and much more. But if you get down to the basics of music, you come across concepts such rhythm, melody and beats. In order to study music and compose your own tunes, you need to learn how to read sheet music.

This article focuses on drum beats. It will teach you how to read and understand a drum chart template. Look at the templates mentioned below for examples –

Example Template #1

Download Drum Chart Example Template #1 in JPG, PNG, PSD, and AI Format below:

Example Template #2

Download Drum Chart Example Template #2 in JPG, PNG, PSD, and AI Format below:

Example Template #3

Download Drum Chart Example Template #3 in JPG, PNG, PSD, and AI Format below:

Before you explore more drum chart template options, it is important to understand what a drum chart is. In the process, you will also learn how to use this type of chart when it comes to making music.  

Why Choose a Drum Chart Template

Whether you are drummer or learning how to play the instrument, a drum chart will really come in handy. As a student you must be dedicating a chunk of your day to music theory and practice. To master a skill it takes many hours of focussed dedication. One does not become great overnight.

So believe in this concept and aim for the stars. Also, do not waste time in activities which can be performed easily with some help. This includes things like making your own drum chart template. Initially, you should create a chart on your own to understand the various elements that go into it. However, as you become more learned in the field you should eventually move over such basic work.

Do not worry because great drum chart templates are available online for you to download. With a few mouse clicks you can easily get the template you are looking for. This article will give you many great options to choose from.

What is a Drum Chart Template

A drum chart is a sheet music chart written exclusively for drummers. The aim of a drum chart is to help the drummer in finding his or her role in a given piece of music. Depending on the nature of a song’s composition, a drum chart could mention the precise notes that need to be played. Or, the chart can give a general suggestion on what the drummer should play. In the latter case, a drummer must listen to the rest of the song, gauge factors like tempo and melody and then match up to complement the song with drums.

A drum chart has its own unique terminologies and vocabulary. Music written exclusively for drummers will be significantly different from the music written for other instruments, like piano for example. Interestingly, drum music charts do not follow a set standard when it comes to writing music. However, they do follow some or the other guide to navigate through the writing process. This is mostly because of the lack of consensus within the music community on topics, like the placement of notes.

Regardless of the guide you follow, writing down your rhythmic beats and notes on a chart is very useful. Not only will it help you practice your instrument, it will also allow you to come up with original sounds and compositions.

What are the uses of a Drum Chart Template

As mentioned earlier, a drum chart template allows drummers to practice various beats and notes in a song. If you are into composing and music production then the knowledge of drum charts can help you keep a record of your creations. You may argue that an idea or tune can always be played and recorded. You can then refer to that recording to remind yourself of the idea. The truth is however more complex than that.

In reality, ideas can strike you any time of the day. You may spend hours training in your studio without any useful, creative idea. Then on your way back home your mind gets a rush of ideas out of nowhere. You do not have your drums to play and record the rhythms or tunes. In that scenario your best bet is to jot the notes or beats down on a piece of paper (if you do not have a drum chart on hand). This way you can read the sheet whenever you practice your drums again. Or, you can share that with your band mates to discuss the idea and work on it.

As far as the elements of your drum chart are concerned, you will learn about them in the next section. Before that, here are some more drum chart templates which you can download –

Example Template #4

 Drum Chart Example Template #4 in JPG, PNG, PSD, and AI Format below:

Example Template #5

 Drum Chart Example Template #5 in JPG, PNG, PSD, and AI Format below:

Example Template #6

 Drum Chart Example Template #6 in JPG, PNG, PSD, and AI Format below:

Example Template #7

 Drum Chart Example Template #7 in JPG, PNG, PSD, and AI Format below:

Characteristics of a Great Drum Chart Template

The structure of a band chart will vary according to your music composer or the guide that you follow. Certain basic elements, however, must be mentioned regardless of the chart format you use. These elements are as follows –

  • Chart Details – This section includes information such as the name of the song (or chart) and name of the artist or band. It is crucial to state these details. Otherwise you would not know which piece of music you are practicing. As a drummer, you would typically be practicing for many songs. So it is important to be clear on chart details to identify the music properly.
  • Technical Information – Some important technical information about the song structure should be mentioned on the chart as well. This includes elements such as – time, tempo, genre and bars. Such information will allow you to visualize the song properly as you practice your drums.
  • Song structure – You will rarely find a song where the drum beats remain constant till the very end. Most songs contain a variety of beats spread across different parts of the song. It is therefore important to divide your song into parts – like chorus, verse, bridges, intro, hooks and outro.

To help you understand this concept better, here are some more examples –

Example Template #8

 Drum Chart Example Template #8 in JPG, PNG, PSD, and AI Format below:

Example Template #9

 Drum Chart Example Template #9 in JPG, PNG, PSD, and AI Format below:

Example Template #10

 Drum Chart Example Template #10 in JPG, PNG, PSD, and AI Format below:

Best Design and Fonts for a Drum Chart Template

When it comes to the look of your drum chart, it is best to keep things simple. There are three main factors that will influence the appearance of your chart. These factors include the concepts of design, color and text font style. You will learn how to use each element carefully to create the best drum chart possible.

Design and Color

The design of your drum chart should be very easy to read. The main purpose of a drum chart is to convey the important notes that must be played. It does not matter if your chart looks plain and simple. In fact, adding unnecessary graphics and images can spoil the look of your chart. A drummer will also find it confusing to read.

You should, however, add one important element to the drum chart. This element is musical symbols. While you mention essential details like bars, tempo and song genre, musical notations are equally important to state. This is because it is these notations which carry the true beat or rhythm of the drums.

All the elements and information on the chart must be arranged aesthetically. Use tabular representations where applicable as they help in organizing data. Also, space everything out properly. A cluttered chart is difficult to read and comprehend.

Check out these drum chart templates to get a better idea –

Example Template #11

 Drum Chart Example Template #11 in JPG, PNG, PSD, and AI Format below:

Example Template #12

 Drum Chart Example Template #12 in JPG, PNG, PSD, and AI Format below:

Example Template #13

 Drum Chart Example Template #13 in JPG, PNG, PSD, and AI Format below:

Example Template #14

 Drum Chart Example Template #14 in JPG, PNG, PSD, and AI Format below:

Text Font Style

The font style of your text should be legible and easy. Do not go for fancy font styles as they can sometimes be hard to read. Some good options for font are Times New Roman, Calibri, Arial Black, Verdana, Georgia and many more.

Here are some more drum chart options for you to choose from –

Example Template #15

 Drum Chart Example Template #15 in JPG, PNG, PSD, and AI Format below:

Example Template #16

 Drum Chart Example Template #16 in JPG, PNG, PSD, and AI Format below:

Example Template #17

 Drum Chart Example Template #17 in JPG, PNG, PSD, and AI Format below:

Example Template #18

 Drum Chart Example Template #18 in JPG, PNG, PSD, and AI Format below:

Conclusion: Dos and Don’ts

To reiterate some important points, remember to “do” and “not do” the following –

Things to Do –

  • Mention all important technical information on the drum chart
  • Use proper arrangement of elements without cluttering

Things Not to Do – 

  • Use fancy font styles for text
  • Use irrelevant or unnecessary images or visuals