Rhythm Practice Patterns

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Practice Suggestions for Learning How to Play Quarter Notes and Quarter Rests

The patterns in Lesson 1 contain only quarter notes and quarter rests. The time signatures are either 2/4, 3/4, or 4/4, so each quarter note and quarter rest is always equal to one beat.

To feel the beat better, lightly tap your foot on every beat.

Always count the beats while clapping.

When clapping these rhythms, hold your hands together for the full length of each quarter note, and bring your hands apart at the beginning of each rest.

When playing these patterns on your instrument, listen carefully and play each quarter note for its full value. When a quarter note is followed by a rest, cut off the quarter note right at the beginning of the rest.

Use a metronome!

If you are just beginning to learn rhythms, use MetronomeBot’s Talking Metronomes.
Talking Metronome for 2/4
Talking Metronome for 3/4
Talking Metronome for 4/4

Always feel the beat and play with it!

Patterns 101 through 107 represent all the possible combinations of quarter notes and quarter rests in 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4 time. It is very helpful to practice one measure at a time repeatedly, to improve your music reading ability.

For more practice tips and suggestions, visit the Practice page.

Practice Pattern Table of ContentsPractice Pattern Table of Contents

Lesson 1 IntroductionLesson 1 Introduction

Lesson 1 Practice PatternsLesson 1 Practice Patterns

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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