This is where you’ll find all my drum charts available to download. Everything here is free.

How I Write Charts

Reading from a drum chart may seem quite daunting at first because of all the strange-looking symbols and abbreviations on the page but once you step back and analyse the chart it is a lot more straight- forward than what you first thought. Below is a walkthrough of all the common symbols you will find on a drum chart.

Title Section

This holds all the relevant information about what it is you are about to play; name of the song, who wrote/arranged it, what style of music, tempo or how fast the song goes, and time signature or how many beats per bar.

Body Of The Chart. Below are descriptions of common abbreviations and symbols used in drum charts.

Del Segnos, Codas, etc

Del Segno is Italian for “to the sign”, the sign being the funny looking S with the slash through it and two dots around it. It is often shortened to DS. Coda is an extra bit stuck on the end of a song. When you see DS al Coda this means “to the sign and then take the Coda ending”. Here is how it all works with the example below.

  1. Play from bar 40 and take the 1st ending at bar 47.
  2. Repeat back to bar 40 and play through this time taking the 2nd ending at bar 48.
  3. Continue playing to bar 50 where you see the DS al Coda marking.
  4. Now go to the “sign” at bar 40 and continue playing until you reach bar 46 where you will see the To Coda marking.
  5. You now go to the Coda at bar 51. It is marked with a circle with a cross through (like a telescopic sight) it in a box.
  6. Play through until the end at bar 57.

Summary

So, that pretty much wraps up the inside workings of a drum chart. You are not always going to find all of this information in a chart. Some music is written “straight through” with no repeats or DS or Coda. Other charts are very complicated and require careful studying of the “road map” to enable smooth reading and playing of the song. Modern Broadway charts usually have no repeats of any kind although you will still find some in the older scores. The more reading of charts you do, the better you will become at sight reading and understanding and interpreting the music and symbols within them.