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Lesson 10: Sixteenth Rests

Practice PatternsLesson 10 Practice Patterns


The sixteenth rest looks similar to an eighth rest, but it has two flags instead of one. It is the same duration as a sixteenth note, but it represents silence.

The sixteenth rest


Remember from Lesson 8 that sixteenth notes that are not connected with beams look similar to eighth notes, but they include two flags instead of one.

Examples of single sixteenth notes



Adding sixteenth rests to our patterns gives us many more rhythmic possibilities, and the rhythms in this lesson of The Fundamentals of Rhythm are very complex. It is essential to practice these patterns slowly and with a metronome, and to count and subdivide every beat. It is helpful to begin each pattern with a quadruple subdivision metronome that subdivides each beat into four equal parts. When you can perform a pattern effortlessly and accurately with that metronome, try using a duple subdivision metronome, and when that is effortless and accurate, use a single clicking metronome that clicks once for every beat. All of these metronomes can be found at www.MetronomeBot.com.

This lesson of The Fundamentals of Rhythm is divided into three sections:
One sixteenth rest per beat.
Two sixteenth rests per beat.
Three sixteenth rests per beat.

Note that if two consecutive sixteenth rests begin on a beat or on the second half of a beat, it is clearer to indicate those rests with a single eighth rest.

Two sixteenth rests

The above rhythm is more clearly notated with an eighth rest, as shown below.

Two sixteenth rests are represented with one eighth rest



Practice SuggestionsLesson 10 Practice Suggestions

Practice PatternsLesson 10 Practice Patterns


Practice patterns with sixteenth rests


Learn how to play in cut time in Lesson 11.

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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