Basics of Rhythm Music Note Counts

Learn the basics of rhythm music note counts easily!  It 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. 

Quarter Note 

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.

Basics of Rhythm Music Note Counts

The Basics of Rhythm 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 beatBasics of Rhythm Music Note Counts

Quarter Notes

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Quarter notes receive one beat each.   Notes with a stem pointing upward is played with the right hand.  Notes with a stem pointing downward is played with the left hand.

This symbol stands for a note 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 is a wavy symbol.  It looks kind of like a bird flying sideways 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 count just like beats of sound.

The is only one difference between a quarter note and a quarter rest. The quarter rest has complete silence in its one beat duration.

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.

Piano Lesson Links


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