Playing Simple Rhythms

In this lesson you will clap, tap, or play a few simple rhythmic phrases. These phrases will be constructed of only four durational symbols: whole notes, dotted half notes, half notes, and quarter notes. As a reminder, here is a list of those four durations and their symbols.

Type Symbol Number of Beats/Counts
Whole Note whole note - an open notehead 4
Dotted Half Note dotted half note: an open notehead with stem followed by a dot 3
Half half note: open notehead with a stem 2
Quarter quarter note: solid notehead with a stem 1

Quadruple Meter Example 1

Count the numbers you see in the example out loud and in a steady and consistent manner. Clap, tap, or play a note when it lines up vertically with a count. For example, when we clap a whole note, we clap only on beat 1, and then continue to count out loud for beats 2, 3, and 4.

Try the rhythm on your own a few times, then listen to, and clap, tap, or play along with the audio example to verify your accuracy. This audio example will begin with four clicks to set the tempo, the rhythm you see notated will begin immediately after those preliminary clicks.

quadruple meter example

Play the example ~ 70 BPM (beats per minute)

Play the example ~ 100 BPM

Quadruple Meter Example 2

Count the numbers you see in the example out loud and in a steady and consistent manner. Clap, tap, or play a note when it lines up vertically with a count.

Try the rhythm on your own a few times, then listen to, and clap, tap, or play along with the audio example to verify your accuracy. This audio example will begin with four clicks to set the tempo, the rhythm you see notated will begin immediately after those preliminary clicks.

quadruple meter example

Play the example ~ 70 BPM (beats per minute)

Play the example ~ 100 BPM

Triple Meter Example 1

Count the numbers you see in the example out loud and in a steady and consistent manner. Clap, tap, or play a note when it lines up vertically with a count.

Try the rhythm on your own a few times, then listen to, and clap, tap, or play along with the audio example to verify your accuracy. This audio example will begin with three clicks to set the tempo, the rhythm you see notated will begin immediately after those preliminary clicks.

first triple meter example

Play the example ~ 70 BPM (beats per minute)

Play the example ~ 100 BPM

Triple Meter Example 2

Count the numbers you see in the example out loud and in a steady and consistent manner. Clap, tap, or play a note when it lines up vertically with a count.

Try the rhythm on your own a few times, then listen to, and clap, tap, or play along with the audio example to verify your accuracy. This audio example will begin with three clicks to set the tempo, the rhythm you see notated will begin immediately after those preliminary clicks.

second triple meter example

Play the example ~ 70 BPM (beats per minute)

Play the example ~ 100 BPM

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