How to setup, write and play different drumset playing techniques?


I have tried to understand the topic by consulting the manuals, but there seems to be several components that are needed in order to make an entered playing technique on a drumset to also play as written. So if anyone with insight can give an overview of the interrelationship and dependencies between the components needed to be set up, and possibly in which order I would be deeply grateful. I have no problem reading about each component in the manuals but I cant seem to find the interrelationship and dependencies…

Clarifying example with question:

  1. I have a bar which contains closed and open hihat. For the open Hihat note I select the note, use the Playing Technique pop-over and write “open”. The expected ring over the note is shown, but it still plays as closed.

So what is needed in terms of editing the Percussion playing techniques in the percussion kit dialogue, and what is the interrelationship between the written note, the described Percussion Instrument Playing Technique and the sound playback? As an example I can not find the link between the Open in the popover and a definition in the playing technique dialoge (cant find the notehead with a ring over it), nor the link between Playback playing technique (e.g. Open 1) and Halion sounds.

I assume I have a misconception altogether on this, so any hint would be appreciated.


You might find this explanation of how percussion kits, maps and playing techniques fit together helpful.

However, for open and closed hi-hats, you should find that works automatically without needing to do anything more than simply mark the open notes with the appropriate playing technique. Are you using your own percussion map and/or percussion kit, or one of the default ones?

Thanks Daniel for input. I will certainly check the referenced thread out. It seems that context and processes driven overviews are sometimes needed to be able to grasp the concept of various features and their interrelationship.

Regarding your question: it’s the standard Drum set Percussion kit (the big one). I made one manipulation of it in adding another snare drum with other stem direction (which was an idea from one of the Hangout videos) but I guess that should not affect the hihat.

The popover Shift+P indicates no less than three “open” entries and I have tested each one of them with same result.

Instead of using Shift+P and entering “open” I NOW tested to use the menu for Unpitched percussion to the right of the score: Success! It seems using the pop-up was a bad idea?

No, it’s a good idea to use the popover, but unfortunately there are a couple of name collisions in the playing techniques, which means that you might not be getting the playing technique you expect. What I suggest you do is go to Engrave > Playing Techniques, choose the ‘Unpitched Percussion’ category, then select the ‘Open’ entry in the list. With that selected, on the right-hand side, edit the text in ‘Popover text’ to something unlikely to collide with anything else, e.g. “xo” or “ho” or something like that. Then you will find that you can more easily create the desired playing technique using the Shift+P popover by typing the specific short string you have specified.