The Bare Bones for Bass & Tenor

When I first wrote The Bare Bones I was, like most of the pipe band world, not thinking as much about tenor or bass drummers as I should. During my time as a lead drummer, however, I have grown to understand both the importance of the bass section and how difficult bass and tenor music is to read. Whereas snare drummers are playing constantly, bass and tenor drummers play with space between their notes. This space is notated using rests and, therefore, all members of the bass section need to be as proficient reading these rests as they are reading their notes.

Below you will find a list of the most common notes and note groupings found in the five pipe band styles. In the following examples the notes with their accompanying rhythm syllables are written first followed by their associated rest  or note + rest combinations.


Quarter Notes/Quarter Rests

"Bing Bang"

Eighth Notes/Eighth Rests