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Eighth Notes and Rests

Eighth Notes and Rests

Counting eighth notes and rests can be hard. What you have to remember is that an eighth note or rest is only worth 1/2 (half) of a regular beat. So it takes TWO eighth notes to make 1 full beat.

We can’t count just      1      2      3      4   anymore, we have to divide the beats in half:

Counting eighth notes

If you count the Normal beats it sounds like this:

“One two three four”    

When you divide the beats in half it sounds like this:

“One and two and three and four and”      

So let’s puts some notes in there and try to count it out loud:

Eighth note example 2

Here’s what it would sound like:

“One two and three and four” 

and you have to hold the quarter notes out so really it sounds like this:

“Ooonne two and three and fooouuur”      

You treat the eighth rests the same way you would the eighth notes:

Eighth note example 1        

“onnnee two    three   foouuur” 

Did you notice that I didn’t count the and of 2 or the and of 3? Why?

Because the eight rests are silent; you count them in your head, but not out loud.


If you really want to get tricky, you can try some syncopation (which is where the natural beat of the rhythm isn’t on the steady beat anymore):

syncopation example 1        

(notice how I “skip” beat 3? that’s because it is part of the quarter note)