How to change Toms single to 5 line

Hey gang,

I’m in need of assistance changing my Tom-tom part from single to 5 line. All the default settings (including high-low) only provide one single line. Oddly.


Create a custom kit. Be careful to choose separate toms – there’s high, medium-high, medium etc.

Hmmm, That didn’t seem to work Marcabru. I still get a single line even when it’s showing 5 line here in Kit setup.

Make sure that in your layout options you have chose the toms to show as a 5-line staff, and not as a grid.
Layout options > players > percussion


I was able to set the 5-lined staff to show. That’s the first step. However, I am unable to copy anything to this stave except for Dynamics for some reason and more importantly, I can’t seem to add my toms samples-destination to any of the 5 lines in the kit. This is very frustrating and seems quite non-intuative to me.


I was able to get the Toms to add to the kit, finally. I had to close and open the program and then it allowed me to add instrument to kit. But for some reason I can’t copy a line from one project and paste it over to my current project. That being my new Tom part. Why would this be?

To copy paste percussive instruments, use the 1-line setting in Layout options. Then choose 5-line staff.


I’m a bit confused by this. Here’s the layout option of my current part that I want to paste into.

When you say 1-line setting, are you saying switch to single-lined inst.? And if so, what would be the reasoning for this?


The reason to view single-line staves is because you will then be able to see the individual instruments in your percussion kit i.e. the different toms that you have in it.

If you’re pasting to a 5-line stave, Dorico doesn’t know which tom you want it pasted in.

Does this make sense?

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In all honesty , no. This method (imho) needs to change. I did try this, but couldn’t get it to work unfortunately. However, I have zero problems copying and pasting to mallet parts being held by other players. This should be no different. My work around was to add a new instrument. This time I chose Tom’s, the last choice in the list. For whatever reason, I could then copy and paste. I’ve read several earlier posts on this and from what I’ve read, others feel there is room for improvement in future releases. Thank you for taking your time to help explain this to me.

Tom’s, or Tom Toms should be (by default) multiple lines. Most of the time composers like myself will utilize 3 sounding drums from low to high. But that’s just my opinion. The copying thing was the bigger issue for the moment.

Thanks again,


To define Toms thus by default would mean making them a melodic instrument, which most would say they are not (strictly speaking). As inconvenient as it may be to think of each Tom as a separate instrument, multiples of which can be combined into a kit, that is (at least for the present) how Dorico treats them. Temple Blocks (as I recall) are handled similarly.

It’s awkward to deal with, no question, but working with them initially as individual instruments and then combining them into a kit seems the most productive way to go for the present.

How many toms are you actually using for this player? I feel like I’m missing something.

If you are using Dorico Pro then you can easily set the default number of staff lines to 5 (or whatever you want).

He could load a drum kit and then remove the non-Toms too.
I think the hitch is assigning or copying the toms from somewhere else and having them end up in comprehensible places.

It may be the percussion map of the drums does not match that used by the importing program.

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Yes, definitely.

If there is only one Tom then he doesn’t even need to worry about a percussion kit since it is just one instrument.

Hopefully we can sort it out for him.

IIRC you should be able to paste into your toms by invoking the caret in the drum kit first and choosing the Tom you want to paste into with the arrow keys.


I was just thinking that like an hour ago but forgot to try it.

Morning everyone!

First, thank you everyone for offering your assistance with this. I was so immersed in my music yesterday I lost track of time and didn’t get a chance to post my progress.

What I did (and this worked fine for my purposes and worked like a charm) , was to choose the very last option in the Toms setup menu. Simply called Toms. I was then provided a 5-lined stave where I could copy and paste my previously transcribed toms into. I generally use 3 Tom drums in my music. Most of the time. It’s good enough for me for my work flow and for players to read.

However, In the future, I could see or would dream of an option for us to open this very same Toms option, and within a simple pulldown window to customize the amount of lines per stave. As of now, primarily, it’s either one or 5 lines.

I’m excited to see where Dorico goes and how they progress over the coming months and years. These forums have been extremely helpful to me and can honestly say next to amazon customer support, the Dorico community and experts have been more helpful and on top of things than any other program I’ve worked for! Bravo Tutti!!!

Thank you again!


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No, you can also use a kit in grid view, where it has the same amount of likes in one stave as it has instruments. The distances can be changed in the percussion kit editor in setup mode, where choosing 1 as a distance simulates normal distance between staff lines (e.g. 1 spatium)

You can duplicate and/or edit any instrument that is in Dorico via the Edit Instrument Dialog. In this dialog you can choose the default type of staff to use, as well as the number of lines etc.

You can also set it as a default so this instrument will be available in all new projects.


Thanks Daniel!

I will do just this!