There are two options for adding ready-to-use drum grooves in Sibelius. Of course you can write the parts by hand. However, if you are in a hurry you can get a usable drum part using one of the two following options.

Drum Groove Plug-in

The fastest way to add a drum groove is to use the Plug-in. Here is how it works:

1. Select the bars or the entire piece where you want the drum groove added.
2. Select Plug-ins > Composing Tools > Add Drum Pattern.
3. Make the selections in the Plug-in Window:
– Select the Style. There is a wide range of options. However, the Jazz Swing option is really more of a disco beat. If you want a traditional swing pattern, go with the second option below.

– Make the appropriate settings in the window. I usually turn off the intro bars, but it can be a useful option. I also typically turn off the outro option.

The plug-in does a pretty good job of notating a typical drum part with stems up and stems down. Here is the notation created by the Soft Rock Ballad style.

Sibelius Ideas: Drum Grooves

The second and more flexible way to add a drum groove in Sibelius 5 or later is to use the Ideas function. Sibelius includes many Ideas for a variety of instruments. For an overview of the feature check out the Sibelius tutorial video on the topic:

To add a drum groove using Ideas:

1. Add a drum set staff to your score if there is not one already.
2. Open the Ideas window by clicking the Ideas icon (looks like a light bulb) or choosing Ideas from the Window menu.
3. In the Search box, enter the style you want followed by the Drum Kit. For example: Jazz Drum Kit. The styles will then be displayed in the Window.

4. Roll the mouse (don’t click) over the pattern to get some information on the pattern.
5. Click and hold the mouse button to audition the pattern.
6. When you found a pattern you like, click on it to select it (a black line will outline it), then click the Copy button at the bottom of the Ideas window.

7. Click in the bar in the drum were you want the pattern to appear and click the Paste button on the bottom of the Ideas window (you can also use the traditional copy and paste keystrokes)
8. Press the letter R (by itself) to repeat the pattern as many times as needed.
9. Continue adding patterns as needed.

Saving Drum Patterns to Ideas

Another feature that I use is to save drum patterns to the Ideas window for future use. Perhaps you can’t find the exact drum groove so you create it yourself. You can save it to the Ideas window for future use.

1. Enter the pattern in the score.
2. Select the bar or bars and click the Capture Idea icon on the Ideas window. This adds the Idea to the Score list.
3. To add it to the Library, select the Idea in the score view and click the Add to Library Button.
4. Select the pattern in the Library view and click the Edit Idea Info button. Here you can add specific tags such as Jazz Swing, change the color of the idea and add other information as needed.

Now the Idea will be in the Library and you can access for future score. For more information on Ideas, read section 5.11 Ideas of the Sibelius Reference manual.