Writing drum set parts can be time consuming and getting the correct playback is another possible road block. However, if you are in a hurry or you just want to add a quick drum groove to your Finale file, you can access two Finale plugins: Drum Groove and Latin Percussion.

To add a Drum Groove, follow these steps:

1. In Finale, highlight the bars of any staff where you want to add a drum groove. This can be a specific section of the piece or the entire arrangement.

2. Choose Plugins > Scoring and Arranging > Drum Groove.

3. In the plugin window make the following selections:

– Select the drum groove from the Style list. Be sure to select an appropriate style that will fit the time signature.
– Choose where to place the drum part – add a new staff to the bottom of the score or to an existing staff. If you choose to put it in an existing staff, be sure it is a percussion or drum set staff.

– Select the type of notation – “Notation with Percussion Map” will give you a pretty close representation of the typical drum part. The other option is to choose Slash Notation. The drum groove will be hidden behind the slash notation.

Here is an example of the “Notation with Percussion Map” using the Rock Ballad style. It is not in the correct format for drum set (snare and cymbals stems up and bass drum stems down), but it is usable.

The Slash notation will look as follows. The drum part will playback and is hidden by the slash notation.

Intros Endings and Fills

The list of drum grooves does not include any fills, intros or endings. You can record them your self or create them in step-time.

Latin Percussion

Another plugin that Finale offers is Latin Percussion. This is a similar plugin that can add multiple percussion parts to your score. You can select some or all of the possible staves and place them in new or existing staves.

1. Select some or all of the bars of the file.

2. Choose Plugins > Scoring and Arranging > Latin Percussion

3. Choose an appropriate Style.

4. Select some or all of the parts to be added to the score.

5. Choose the destination – new staves at the bottom of the score or into existing staves.

Here is a screen shot of the parts created from the Cha-Cha style:

Adding additional Drum Grooves

You can add your own drum grooves that will appear in the plugin list. You must save a MIDI file with a percussion part assigned to Channel 10. Then, add the MIDI files to the Drum Groove folder in the Finale > Components > Drum Groove folder. The Drum Groove plug-in does not read MIDI data on any channel other than channel 10. If a MIDI file contains percussion notation in a channel other than 10, open the file in Finale (or another program that supports MIDI editing) and change the staff (or track) containing the percussion notation to channel 10.