Drum parts - Slash Notation with Shots (G above the staff if it was the treble clef) - SOLUTION

I will be revising this post later tonight/tomorrow to consolidate the information that the amazing people below have helped me with!

If you are in the commercial / jazz space and are looking for a solution to add shots to your parts above your slash regions, look no further!

I will consolidate and provide a step by step, but in the mean time, check out the thread below for all the deets!


This is easily done using Dorico’s rhythmic cues…

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You can also show normal notes on the staff alongside slash regions.

Dorico 4 has brought a lot of improvements to the way drum staves are handled, but in all honesty, this type of notation isn’t something that is going to require playback anyway as no computer is going to interpret slashes the way an actual drummer will. If you don’t need Dorico’s playback for this and the visual representation is most important, then why be limited by using a percussion staff at all? I just use a normal staff, change the clef, and then have the full range of Dorico’s editing capabilities.

If I need another staff for time or playback, I’ll set it up and then hide it in the score, but most often the visual notation is most important for me so I don’t even bother using a percussion staff.


I re-wrote my bass part for Count Bubba in Dorico. Great tune, not-so-great parts.


Fred, this is a brilliant idea! Thank you!


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Thank you so much for showing me this! I thought that it should be able to happen, but I could not for the life of me get it to function as you are showing here (nor could I find anyone that said it could be done on FB) and I couldn’t find any example of it working so I didn’t know if I was wasting my time! I will see If I can try again.

For clarity, using Dorico’s rhythmic cues, is playback of the groove that is being hidden by the slash region still able to happen? I’m not looking for it to “interpret” shots, but having the ability that under the slash region to either at least still have the groove going or to put in a part and cover it with slash notation would be great!

Essentially the goal is to still have some sort of drums in playback without having to make two drum parts (one for viewing and one for playing).

Thanks again for the help!

Hi Fred!

Thanks so much for taking the time to respond.
Obviously the computer will not ever “interpret” slashes, but I was trying to avoid having to have a drums for playback and drums for viewing.

In your experience have you found that not worrying about that and doing as you mentioned here has made that process easier for you?

(I should have come to the forums ages ago! Clearly this can be done in some way, so once I get a workflow I’m satisfied with, I’m just going to make a handout for all the people I know that are on the fence and be like … ok solution for this one thing, now buy Dorico HAHA)

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Obviously everyone has different workflow requirements, but I am almost always writing for an actual human performer, so I make my drum parts look the way a performer would want to see them. If I need playback for a mockup, then I have to actually go through and write out some of the hits the way a drummer would actually play it in another staff, not the way it’s presented in the notated staff. In that case, no drummer is going to want to read the completely written out part.

Completely written out drum parts can of course be useful for younger ensembles, such as a middle school jazz band, and certainly are necessary for drum exercises, transcriptions, etc. Since the vast majority of the time I don’t care about playback, and even when I do no drummer will want to read the playback staff, I usually just use a “regular” staff for drum set notation instead of a percussion staff so I have access to Dorico’s full editing capabilities.

BTW, the Timpani “no key sig” instrument is already set up to hide the key sig, so you don’t have to manually do it. It can be a good “regular” staff to use for drum parts.


So I have made serious progress thanks to everyone’s help.

Last problem, is there a way to hide the instrument name of the cue?

For example I wrote a figure in the Trombones and then rhythm cued trombone 1 in the drums, but it says “trombone 1” above the cue, I don’t want it to say anything.

You can edit the cue label text and either enter a space or nothing. You may also need to e.g. hide any octave transposition text separately (which is another property).

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And then is there a way to only cue something for 1 bar or a few bars?

I assume there is some sort of button toggle to say “end of cue” somewhere in the bottom?

Cues are like any other notation with duration – you can select a region prior to input to specify what duration you want to input them into, and you can lengthen/shorten them after the fact either using key commands or using their circular start/end handles.

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Last question for now (and again THANK YOU!!!) - is there a way to offset the cue notation to force it to sit on the “G” space (or to reduce the space between the top line and where the cue is by default) as in Fred’s example he did manually with a Timpani clef?

I tried a few things in the bottom area, and I’ll go check in properties, but thought I’d ask.

Yep, you can either make it a rhythmic cue (which should position it above the staff automatically, but you can change how far) or when it’s not a rhythmic cue, change its staff position.

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I will post an update to the original message later this evening to consolidate some of what we talked about to help anyone looking for a similar solution.

Thank you all for taking the time to walk me through the areas that were just not working for me. Seriously you have no idea how many people you have helped by taking the time because now I can create a step-by-step list for people I know that this is a deal breaker and show them where and how to get it done and that’s all thanks to you all!