Rhythm for beginners

Quarters and bars

The first note value you must learn is the quater. The quarter is the pulse in the vast majority of music. These are the basics of the music, and if you march, it's the quarters you follow. Notice the black head of the note as well as the vertical neck.


The system has vertical lines called bar lines. They split the note values ??into equal boxes called bars. This this is notated in the treble clef. After the treble clef, the time signature is displayed. The time signature is time = 44 (pronounced four quarters). The time signature shows how many pulses (quarters) are available in each bar. Finally, there is a thin and a thick vertical line, which means that the sheet is over.

Half notes

The half note is twice as long as the quarter, so each half note lasts two quarters. Notice the head of the half note is transparent.


Whole notes

The whole istwice as long as the half note, so it lasts 4 quarters. It has a transparent head with no neck.

After the time signature in the sheet there is a thick and a thin vertical line followed by 2 dots on the right side. Likewise, there are two dots at the end of the sheet. That means you must repeat the piece between the two symbols. At the repeat sign at the end it says 4x which means you should play the piece 4 times.


Dotted half notes

The next note value you will learn is a dotted half note. A dot extends any note or pause by half of its own value. It is notated with a small dot after the note.

A half note lasts 2 quarters. A dotted half node lasts 3 quarters, as it is extended by half its own value.


Eighth notes

The last note value you must learn at this level is the eighth. An eighth is twice as fast as a quarter (count 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and).

Several eighths after each other are notated with a horizontal bar. At this level, the eighths are always in groups of 2 or 4.



A tie is used to tie two or more notes with same pitch together. The connected notes must be perceived as one note as long as all the connected notes together.

Here is two quarters connected with a tie. It is the same as a half note.



Often a melody does not start on the first beat of a bar. The melody then starts on an upbeat.

The aggregate sum of note values ??and breaks in the upbeat is not equal to the fractional value of the bar. The note corresponding to the length of the upbeat is omitted from the last bar. The upbeat and the last bar then make up a whole bar.

In this piece the time signature is 44 and the upbeat is a quarter. This means the melody starts on count 4.