Some Perspective On The Price Of Sheet Music

Unfortunately a lot of people think the same way as Uncooked Chinese Food and it is honestly one of the reasons our community doesn’t grow as big as others. You say Zero G is amazing, but wouldn’t want to spend more than a few dollars to support the composer who made it. Let’s break this down:

“Zero G” is $30 ($29 for digital download) on This includes individual sheet music for Snare, Tenor, & Bass, and includes a Score. This also includes a downloadable mp3 so you can hear the finished piece and what it should sound like. 

This exercise did not exist before, then, the idea to write it was formed. When writing music, there are countless hours that go into making a masterpiece like Zero-G. Here is what the process roughly looked like:

- Idea Stage
- Initial Sketches
- Revisions
- Snare Part Refining
- Tenor Part Refining
- Bass Part Refining
- Holistic Review (Do all the parts make sense together)
- Final Revisions
- Exporting Parts From Sibelius
- Exporting Mp3
- Graphic Design/Packaging Stage
- Send To Publisher
- Publishing Communication/Contract Signing
- Product Page Curation
- Copy Writing
- Finalization And Made Available For Purchase

** Not to mention the 20+ years of experience learning and perfecting the art of drumline. **


The author of this piece, Roger Carter, is an educator and entrepreneur in the percussive activity. The money from this piece is something that helps pay his bills which feeds his family and even allows him to stay in this activity. Without the purchase of his music like Zero G, he would not be able to make a living, would have to find another job outside of this activity, and would no longer be writing amazing music like this for our community. This also means percussion programs like the Bluecoats (who you probably love) would not be what they are today. So much is connected to the sale of that etude it’s hard to even explain.

So I would say that $30 is an AMAZING price considering everything you get, and all of the work that went on behind the scenes for that music to even exist.

**PLUS** you can purchase the snare or tenor part individually for $7.00 which might be all you need. In this case it is much closer to your desired price of $1.00.

Now let's talk about the last sentence in that comment. When you say you can "buy 30 songs for the price of one exercise", what are you referring to? Mp3 songs from apple music? Or are there comparable ensemble drumline warm ups you’re finding somewhere for a dollar?

If Zero G was selling millions of copies, then a dollar would make sense, but with the volume of sales this piece gets, it should honestly be way more. We are lucky that it is only $7.00 for individual parts and $30 for the ensemble set.

The issue is, making a living in this industry is really hard, but if everyone who loved this activity would invest in it a little more the entire community could thrive. Hope this helps bring some perspective as to why the prices are the way they are.

With that being said here is the link to: 



If you have never made a product yourself and tried to sell it, it makes sense that you want things to be cheaper. That is something all customers want.

“Everything should be cheap, and if at all possible, FREE!”

And I remember my life before many years in retail, and becoming a business owner. I had no concept of why things were priced the way they were, economics, supply and demand, production, etc. 

But being on the other side and seeing why the price HAS to be $30 rather than $2 to even survive has brought me a lot of perspective. Just trying to share some of that knowledge. 

So, we continue...

Bands like Tool can sell their albums for $12 because millions of copies are being sold. So comparing the price of a Tool album to the price of sheets for Zero G isn’t actually a fair comparison. They are not the same in scale as a product. The market of people purchasing Rock albums vs the market of people purchasing Drumline music are wildly different. 

“If Zero G was selling millions of copies, then a dollar would make sense, but with the volume of sales this piece gets, it should honestly be way more. We are lucky that it is only $7.00 for individual parts and $30 for the ensemble set.”

On top of that, these are not even related products. One is music you listen to, the other is sheet music you use to learn how to play very specific music. 
So when you say “I can get more for a less price” what are you comparing? Are you finding full Drumline ensemble sets to the caliber of Zero G that are a dollar? Or are you saying that you can buy an mp3 for $1.29 on Apple Music, and that means the ensemble set of sheets for Zero G should be comparatively priced? It doesn’t add up. 

Even though the completely unfair comparison isn’t that far off:

Tool’s Fear Inoculum Album:
Physical: $29.05 (Walmart)
Digital: $11.99 (Amazon)

Zero G:
Physical $30 (Tapspace)
Digital: $29 (Tapspace)


But the bottom line of your argument is that:

Sheet music is too expensive and should be cheaper.

The issue is our little activity doesn’t do enough volume for the prices to be lower. 

If more people bought sheet music like Zero G the price could be much lower. But as a community we just don’t do the volume that allows the prices to be low.

But let’s say we do lower the prices for sheet music...

With the volume of sales we typically see in this community composers wouldn’t make enough money for it to be worth doing, so creating music for the community would need to stop altogether. 

That means no more Gridbook, no more lot Etudes like zero g, no more percussion method books, solos... an entire population of creative minds in our community wiped out. If there is no support, it all goes away. 

Hopefully more people realize this. If we don’t hold more value in the musical arts it will all go away. As an entrepreneur in the marching arts myself, I know we all hope for a day when percussion products are sold at the same volume of Tool albums, in which case the prices will be much lower, but until then, we have to charge a little extra so we can last long enough for the community to even be at that scale.  


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