Learn about Rhythm

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Lesson 1: Quarter Notes and Quarter Rests

Lesson 1 Practice PatternsLesson 1 Practice Patterns

 

The Quarter Note

The quarter note consists of a notehead and a stem. Like all note values, the stem can point upwards or downwards, depending on the placement of the note on the staff.

Examples of quarter notes

 

Recall from the introduction on time signatures that the top number in the time signature indicates how many beats are in a measure, and the bottom number indicates what note value is equal to one beat. In each of these time signatures, the number 4 on the bottom tells us that the quarter note is equal to one beat.

Here are three examples of quarter notes in 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4

Example of quarter notes in 2/4 time

Example of quarter notes in 3/4 time

Example of quarter notes in 4/4 time

The numbers underneath the notes indicate each beat of the measure. Since the quarter note is equal to one beat, each note will last for the entire duration of that beat.

 

 

 

The Quarter Rest

Silence in music is represented by rests. The quarter rest is equal to the same duration as the quarter note, but it looks very different.

The quarter rest

 

When playing quarter notes that are followed by rests, make sure to sustain the quarter note for the entire beat on which it occurs. For example, in the rhythm below, you should cut off the quarter note at the beginning of beat two.

Example of a quarter rest in 2/4 time

Lesson 1 Practice SuggestionsLesson 1 Practice Suggestions

Lesson 1 Practice PatternsLesson 1 Practice Patterns

 

Lesson 1 Practice Patterns

Lesson 2: Learn ties, half notes, dotted half notes, whole notes, and their rests.

Write your own rhythms and music compositions! Get free blank staff paper at www.music-paper.com.

 

 

 

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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