Inputting notes in percussion kits

You can input notes on percussion instruments within kits using any presentation type in the same ways as inputting notes on pitched instruments. However, the caret is smaller when inputting notes in percussion kits than when inputting music on the staves of pitched instruments.

Instead of occupying the whole height of the staff, the caret in percussion kits is positioned at a particular staff position.

The name of the percussion instrument currently selected by the caret, and playing technique if applicable, is shown above the staff, directly above the rhythmic grid display.

Figure: Inputting notes on instruments with five-line staff kit presentation


  1. In Write mode, select an item in the percussion kit into which you want to input notes, at the rhythmic position from which you want to input notes.
  2. Start note input in any of the following ways:
    • Press Shift-N or Return.

    • Choose Write > Note Input.

    • Double-click the staff.

  3. Move the caret up/down to input notes on different instruments in any of the the following ways:
    • Press Up Arrow to move it up.

    • Press Down Arrow to move it down.

  4. Select an appropriate playing technique for the instrument currently selected by the caret before inputting notes.
    • Press Shift-Alt-Up Arrow to cycle upwards through playing techniques.

    • Press Shift-Alt-Down Arrow to cycle downwards through playing techniques.

    • Play the pitch for the playing technique you want on a MIDI keyboard.


      You can define MIDI pitches for playing techniques on the General page in Preferences.

  5. Input notes in one of the following ways:
    • Five-line staff presentation type: Press letters on a computer keyboard or play notes on a MIDI keyboard, corresponding to staff positions for the clef set in Preferences. For example, press B to input notes for the instrument assigned to the middle line of a five-line staff when Treble G clef is set.

    • Grid and single-line instruments presentation types: Press the letter of any note name A to G on a computer keyboard or play any note on a MIDI keyboard to input notes for the instrument on whose line the caret is currently positioned.


      Notes played on MIDI keyboards are interpreted differently, depending on whether Use percussion map or Use staff position is set for the different kit presentation types on the General page in Preferences.

    • Any kit presentation type: Click the staff on the lines or in the spaces where you want to input notes, and at the rhythmic positions where you want them.

    • Any kit presentation type: Press Y to input notes for the instrument and playing technique shown above the rhythmic grid.

  6. Press Esc or Return to stop note input.