Lesson 17: Double Dotted Notes
The double dotted quarter note
In previous lessons you learned that a dot placed to the right side of a note adds half of that note value to it. For example, a dotted quarter note is equal to a quarter note tied to an eighth note. There are also note values with two dots, and they are called double dotted notes. The example below shows a double dotted quarter note.
The second dot means that we tie on half of the note value that the dot added to the note. In other words, a double dotted quarter note equals a quarter note tied to an eighth note tied to a sixteenth note.
Like all note values, the length of a double dotted note will depend on the time signature.
When the eighth note equals one beat, the double dotted quarter note equals 3 and half beats.
When the quarter note equals one beat, the double dotted quarter note equals 1 and 3/4 beats.
When the half note equals one beat, the double dotted quarter note equals 7/8 of a beat.
The double dotted half note
A double dotted half note equals a half note tied to a quarter note tied to an eighth note.
When the quarter note equals one beat, the double dotted half note equals 3 and half beats.
When the half note equals one beat, the double dotted half note equals 1 and 3/4 beats.
This lesson also focuses on pickup measures with sixteenth notes, as well as tied sixteenths. Many of the patterns in this lesson are very complicated, but you have the tools and the knowledge to figure out how to count and perform all of these rhythms. Practice well: start at a slow tempo, use a metronome, and always subdivide the beat.
Learn how to play in 3/2 and 6/4 time signatures in Lesson 18.
To learn how to play in time signatures with the eighth note equal to one beat, with practice patterns and audio examples, get the book The Fundamentals of Rhythm, by Kyle Coughlin.
Write your own rhythms and music compositions! Get free blank staff paper at www.music-paper.com.
Kyle Coughlin’s book, The Fundamentals of Rhythm, is a step-by-step method book with clear explanations of beat, tempo, meter, time signature, note values, and many other rhythmic concepts. It includes 22 lessons with more than 450 practice patterns to help you learn the fundamental aspects of rhythm. Audio recordings of the patterns (performed by RhythmBot) are available on this website. The book is available in both print and PDF editions, and can be used by any musical instrument. Learn more about the book here.