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Lesson 9: Sixteenth Note Groupings and Dotted Eighth Notes

Practice PatternsLesson 9 Practice Patterns


Sixteenth notes often appear in groups of four, as demonstrated in Lesson 8. We can also tie some of those sixteenth notes together to create different rhythmic combinations.

Tying together the first two sixteenth notes creates a rhythmic grouping of one eighth note followed by two sixteenths.

Example of one eighth note and two sixteenth notes


If the last two sixteenth notes are tied, a rhythm of two sixteenths followed by an eighth note is formed.

Example of two sixteenth notes and an eighth note


By tying together the middle two sixteenth notes, a syncopated pattern of sixteenth - eighth - sixteenth is created.

Example of a sixteenth followed by an eighth note followed by a sixteenth note


Dotted Eighth Notes

Lesson 2 and Lesson 5 covered dotted notes. Remember that a dot placed to the right of a notehead is an indication to tie half of that note value to the existing note. Therefore, a dotted eighth note equals an eighth tied to a sixteenth, or three sixteenths tied together.

How to subdivide and play dotted eighth - sixteenth rhythms


If we tie the last three sixteenths together, the result is a sixteenth - dotted eighth rhythm.

How to subdivide and play sixteenth - dotted eighth note rhythms


The patterns in this lesson of The Fundamentals of Rhythm focus on all of these groupings. As always, when sixteenth notes are involved in rhythmic patterns, subdivide every beat by counting “e and a” after every beat, and use a metronome!

Practice SuggestionsLesson 9 Practice Suggestions

Practice PatternsLesson 9 Practice Patterns


Practice patterns for dotted eighth notes and other groupings of sixteenth notes


Learn how to play sixteenth rests in Lesson 10.

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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