Can someone help me understand whole notes, half notes, quarter notes and eighth notes?

I read that a whole note gets held down for 4 beats, a half note gets held down for 2 beats, a quarter note gets one beat and an eighth note gets two times for every 1 drumbeat, that one eighth note gets half a beat and two eighth notes gets one count but I don't understand what that means. Like, okay... For a whole note you hold it down four seconds? A half note, two seconds? And then what about an eighth note? I don't get that at all. Help please? Much appreciated.

3 Answers

  • 8 years ago

    This can be hard to teach in such a short time but I'll give it a shot.Each note has a fraction equilivant. Whole note= 1/1 Half note = 1/2 Quarter note=1/4 Eighth note=1/8 and so on in that fashion. Those notes change their value depending on the time signature.(The time signature is the fraction in front of the music.. 4/4 2/4 3/4 6/8 etc etc...) The bottom number in the time signature tells you what note is 1 beat(You know which note is the beat because it's bottom number is the same as the note's fraction). The bottom number tells you how many of those notes will fit in one measure. For example, if the song is in the time signature 6/8 then the 8th note gets the beat. So, 6 8th notes(Fraction is 1/8) will fit in 1 measure. Another example is 3/4. The 4 tells you that you use a quarter note(It's fraction is 1/4) and the 3 tells you that that is how many will fit in the measure. This may seem extremely complicated but once you start to understand it, it becomes all too easy to read music. I would suggest learning a counting method. I do the "Takadimi" Method and the "One E And A Two E And A" Method. I'm not sure what they're are actually called.

  • 8 years ago

    whole note=4 beats

    half note=2 beats

    quarter note=1 beat

    eighth note=1/2 a beat

    2 eighth notes=1 quarter note

    It's like math-add the note values (ex. 1 quarter note+1 quarter note=1 half note)

    Forget the drumbeat thing-that will just confuse you. Also, forget the seconds-

    ~if you go to this website it counts out the beats for you.

    It's in something called 4/4 time (meaning 4 beats in one measure) When people say time in music it means how many beats in a measure.

    If you go to the website, count out the beats(set out for you above) with the numbers flashing on the screen.

    I hope that gets more complicated but that's the basics. :D

  • 5 years ago

    It would help if you counted them like this: 1 e + a 2 e + a ...etc. If you do that, you'll play the sixteenth note on "a". Hope that helps!!! :)

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