Rhythm Practice Patterns

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How to Play Eighth Notes and Eighth Rests, Practice Suggestions

The patterns in Lesson 4 introduce eighth notes and eighth rests. Read the Lesson 4 Introduction to make sure that you fully understand how to play these note values.

Eighth notes in 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4 require us to subdivide the beat. Since the quarter note is equal to one beat in these time signatures, and the eighth note is equal to half of a quarter note, the eighth note is therefore equal to half a beat.

Whenever you have rhythms that include eighth notes, always subdivide the beat when you are counting. Doing so will ensure that you clap and play the notes the correct length of time. In other words, always count the word “and” on the second half of each beat.

Always count each beat and each “and” while clapping. Count loudly and strongly!

To feel the beat clearly, lightly tap your foot on every beat. When clapping patterns with rests, remember to bring your hands apart at the beginning of each rest.

Begin practicing these patterns with a duple subdivision metronome. When you are comfortable with the eighth notes, use a standard metronome that clicks once on each beat.

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

Practice Pattern Table of ContentsPractice Pattern Table of Contents

IntroductionLesson 4 Introduction

Practice Pattern Table of Contents Lesson 4 Practice Patterns Table of Contents



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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