top of page

Counting Rhythms

While keeping a steady beat, try clapping and counting the following examples.  Clap once and keep your hands together while counting "1-2-3-4" for a whole note.   Clap and hold your hands together for two beats for each half note, counting, "1-2, 3-4."  Clap once for each quarter note counting, "1, 2, 3, 4."








Clap eight eighth notes twice as fast as the previous quarter notes saying,"1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &," dividing each beat in half.  

Sixteenth notes are twice as fast again, dividing the beat into four equal parts.  Quickly clap sixteen sixteenth notes while saying, "1 e & a, 2 e & a, 3 e & a, 4 e & a."  








Triplets divide each beat into three equal parts and are counted with the syllables "trip-o-let."









Clap once for a dotted half note and keep your hands together while saying, "1-2-3."  A dotted half note is equal to three quarter notes.






Words can help to settle counting confusion into easy patterns.  Say the words while clapping on each sylable in the following example:

counting eighths and sixteenths
counting triplets
counting dotted half note

1 - 2 - 3       1    2    3

counting rhythms

whole       halves          quarters

eighths                                sixteenths

whole     halves       quarters       triplets

dotted half    quarters

pie   pie    turkey   turkey          huckleberry     blackberry  butterscotch  pie

using words for rhythm patterns
Read Music Method workbook

Read Music Method makes teaching beginners delightfully fun from day one.  Students have "Ah, ha" moments every lesson.

How to Read Music

bottom of page