For many of us musical notation seems beyond us. But the truth is, whether it’s a quarter note, eighth note, a rest, or whatever… Notation is not hard to learn!
And it is a tremendous tool to help organize your thoughts and sounds on paper. Rhythm is the most basic of all music elements. Rhythm is not only the foundation for all musical notation, but the foundation for music itself!
I like to start with Rhythm only… no pitches and note names, no chords and scales. A note tells you WHEN TO BEGIN making a sound, and WHEN TO STOP. There are several types of notes. The type of note determines the LENGTH of the sound.
You may have heard that musical notation is mathematical.It’s true! And understanding notes is very similar to understanding basic math. They both require you to count.
For example, counting notes can be thought of as counting money.
1. How many quarters in a dollar?
2. How many quarter notes in a whole note?
3. How many half dollars in a dollar?
4. How many half notes in a whole note?
5. How many quarters in a half?
6. How many quarter notes in a half note?
For every type of note, there is a REST of the same value. A REST tells you how long to be silent.
The type of rest determines the LENGTH of silence.