Learn about Rhythm

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Meter in Music

While beat and tempo provide the foundation of rhythm, meter organizes the beats into regular groups. Meter is the pattern of strong and weak beats in music. Lesson 1 begins with the three most basic meters: duple, triple, and quadruple. In duple meter, there will be one strong beat followed by a weaker beat. In triple meter, there will be a strong beat followed by two weaker beats. In quadruple meter, there will be a strong beat followed by three weaker beats, although the third beat in the group is typically stronger than the second and fourth beats.

The links below give short examples of each meter. RhythmBot will demonstrate the meter by counting the beat.

Example of duple meter

Example of duple meter

Example of triple meter

Example of triple meter

Example of quadruple meter

Example of quadruple meter

 

 

 

Durations - How Long Sounds are Played

With beat as the foundation of rhythm and meter as the organization of beats, musicians play sounds that are specific lengths or durations. All of these sounds are related to the beat. The durations can be played for one beat, longer than a beat, or shorter than a beat. The Fundamentals of Rhythm book teaches all note values through example patterns and audio recordings.

Continue on to the next step of the introduction: Rhythmic Notation: Note Values
Back to the Table of Contents

 

 

Get the Book

The Fundamentals of Rhythm, book by Kyle Coughlin

Fundamentals of Rhythm book

If you would like all of this information in book format so that you can put it on your music stand and practice it wherever you go, get The Fundamentals of Rhythm, by Kyle Coughlin. The book includes all of the lesson information and practice exercises found on the website.

 

Use MetronomeBot for a fun online metronome!

MetronomeBot, the talking online metronome
The online metronome that counts the beat, subdivides, and offers encouraging practice tips.

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