Basics of Rhythm Music Note Counts

Basics of Rhythm

Learning the basics of rhythm is a much easier process than you may think.  The basic music note values in music are a quarter note, quarter rest, half note, half rest, dotted half note, whole note and whole rest.  Learn these as the foundation of rhythm in music.

Music Note Counts 

Music Note Counts comes next after learning your basic music note values.  The quarter note music symbol below is the most fundamental music note value in all of music.

Now you know what the quarter note and the quarter rest look like. Scroll down below to the video to view a full demonstration of music note counts.  Learn the quarter note and rest to count music.

Music Note Counts

The music note counts table below represents the rhythm building blocks in all of music.  Each note in the note column has a corresponding music rest that has the same value.  The note and rest values are as follows:

Whole Note and whole rest receive 4 beats

Half Note and half rest receive 2 beats

Quarter Note and quarter rest receive 1 beat

Eighth Note and eighth rest receive 1/2 beat

Sixteenth Note and sixteenth rest receive 1/4 beat


Basics of Rhythm Music Note Counts

Quarter Note Music Note Counts

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Quarter note music note counts receive one beat each.   When the stem points upward the note is played with the right hand.  When the stem points downward the quarter note is played with the left hand.

This symbol stands for a note that is played for the length of one count. Perform a quarter note on your instrument right now. Simply hold it down while you say ‘one’.  This is demonstrated in the piano video tutorial below.


Quarter Rest in Music


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The Quarter Rest in music above has a very distinct look.  This wavy symbol looks kind of like a bird flying sideways (make up your own idea here) and is called a ‘Quarter Rest’.

This music note symbol of a quarter rest receives one beat or one count of silence. Beats of silence in music are counted just like beats of sound.

The only difference between a quarter note and a quarter rest  is that there is a complete silence during the quarter rest in music.

Start off your experience in music note counts by clapping the rhythm pattern. Clap the quarter notes and quarter rests in the above video tutorial. Make sure that when you say “ONE” when you ARE clapping and when you say “REST” when you ARE NOT clapping.


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