Lesson 21: Shorter Note Values

Through the course of these lessons you have learned that note values follow a pattern of fractions: whole, half, quarter, eighth, sixteenth. As you might guess, that pattern continues with thirty-second notes and sixty-fourth notes.

The thirty-second note has three flags attached to the stem. When they are beamed together, they have three beams.

Beamed Thirty-Second Notes:

The sixty-fourth note has four flags attached to the stem. They have four beams when beamed together in groups of two or more.

Beamed Sixty-Fourth Notes:

These note values are not common, but they do occur in music. One thirty-second note is half the length of a sixteenth note. One sixty-fourth note is half the length of a thirty-second note.

Therefore, when the quarter note is equal to one beat, the thirty-second note will equal one-eighth (1/8) of a beat, and the sixty-fourth note will equal one-sixteenth (1/16) of a beat.

When the eighth note is equal to one beat, the thirty second note will equal one-fourth (1/4) of a beat, and the sixty-fourth note will equal one-eighth (1/8) of a beat.

Subdividing these rhythms can be pretty tedious because there are so many subdivisions of the beat. It is usually best to subdivide each beat into four parts (one-e-and-a) and make sure that the shorter note values fit properly within those subdivisions.

Pattern 2101 demonstrates how these shorter note values will be counted with an eighth note beat, and Pattern 2105 shows how they will be counted with a quarter note beat.

Learn how to play tuplets in Lesson 22.

Write your own rhythms and music compositions! Get free blank staff paper at www.music-paper.com.

Get the Book

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!

The online metronome that counts the beat, subdivides, and offers encouraging practice tips.

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