Best app for drum sheet music
Many drummers don’t rely on sheet music. They’ll settle in naturally to the ensemble that they’re in, supplying and embellishing the right sort of beats, adopting a more improvisatory approach. But those that do learn particular pieces and parts won’t find a better digital resource for that material than nkoda.
It’s a digital sheet music library, and it could reinvent the relationship that you have with your drumming charts. nkoda delivers its service through two separate apps: the library app, where you’ll find your content, and a score-reader that enables you to interact with this material digitally, in a cutting-edge format.
The library offers instant access to the digitised, copyrighted catalogues of nkoda’s 140 publishing partners, a group including major providers of drum sheet music, like Faber Music and Real Drum Charts. With an nkoda subscription, the entirety of the app library will be made available to you, which incidentally goes far beyond drum music alone.
The reader is the means to engage with this content, which you can of course do anytime and anywhere. It offers an interface that makes the handling of digital material completely intuitive. Here you can organise, annotate, and share nkoda’s titles - or your own unlimited uploads - with other users. All in your very own digital music hub.
This is a brand-new way to find, store, manage and play your drum music. You can start a free trial now - the library can be downloaded from the App Store, Google Play Store and the Microsoft Store. Click here to download the reader, which requires no subscription to use.
Here you can glean the main features that the apps offer. Bullet-point lists of features are also provided for the other four apps that we're looking at. Use these lists to quickly ascertain the unique selling points of each app.
- Instant access to 140 publishers’ sales and hire catalogues, comprising 100,000+ editions and parts
- Material available for drummers of all skill levels and styles
- Innovative score-reading facilities suitable for practice and performance, including annotation toolkits and widgets
- Manage and share personal materials through playlists, offline storage and unlimited uploads
- Access to a thriving global community of pianists and other musicians, as well as publishers, educational institutions and performing institutions
Let’s get a bit more specific regarding how nkoda can enhance your drumming. First, the content, which immediately offers a solution to any troubles that you’ve had when it comes to tracking down drum sheet music.
nkoda’s drum music spans a range of genres, styles and skill levels. You’ll find playbooks for beginners as well as pieces for advanced players - and plenty for intermediates, too. Regardless of the level you’re at, and of what you like to play, you’ll find plenty here that aligns with your preferences.
Whatever you select, you can save to your personal space in the library app. Here you organise your materials, create playlists, and upload limitless - seriously - PDF files. So even if something you’re looking for can’t be found in the library, you can still bring it in from elsewhere.
Click on a title and you’ll be seamlessly directed to the nkoda reader app, through which you actually view the content. It’s here that you can annotate, play or perform your drum music - whether that’s the library's own material or one of your personal uploads.
nkoda’s own e-reader offers numerous special features: an ergonomic user interface, easy Bluetooth-friendly page-turning, pioneering new annotation tools that can be layered and shared, a specialised performance mode, and offline storage. The nkoda reader strives to simplify and improve every facet of your interaction with your drum music.
Customisation is a major part of the experience. Not only can you annotate freely with the help of specialised toolboxes and widgets, but you can also add them to and remove them from a personal kit. This means that you can add drum-specific presets to your music. You can also configure the screen orientation, so you can view your music in the way that best suits you.
Having an independent e-reader app has allowed nkoda to specialise and optimise this software. But another reason for the split between library and reader is so that users can utilise the latter’s tech without a subscription to the catalogue. In other words, it’s free.
Although the library is the heart of nkoda’s service, the reader is what will really empower you. This is what will play the most active part in your drumming. So don’t be deterred by the library subscription - nkoda can still help. Download the reader, get a feel for what the app can offer, and see if this is a digital space that you might be comfortable in.