UpbeatRhythms.com – the Practice Pad
Lesson III – Very Small Note Values – Part 2
Now we turn our attention to sixteenth notes, and you’ll notice right away the 16th note looks almost like an eighth note. The only difference is the 16th note has two flags instead of one. And the 16th note has half the value of an 8th note. And also looking here at 16th note rests, it looks almost like an eighth note rest except it has two little flags instead of the one.
Regarding rests, from eighth note rests and shorter rest durations, they also include a flag-like appendage, which is known as a hook. Eighth note rests have just one hook, just as eighth notes have just one flag, as we get into the smaller rest values you add a hook for each smaller value, just as you add a flag to the smaller and smaller notes beginning with one flag on an eighth note, two flags on a 16th note, and so on. So an eighth note rest possesses one little hook, a 16th note rest has two, a 32nd note rest has three, and so on.
You have probably started to figure out by now that when moving along to the 32nd note it is very similar in appearance to the 16th note (just as a 16th note is very similar to an eighth note), except that we now see three flags rather than two. The 32nd note rest, again, has three hooks rather than two. A 32nd note is half the value of a 16th note, and a 32nd note rest is half the silence of a 16th note rest.
Keep in mind that you won’t necessarily see an entire bar of nothing but 32nd notes, or 16th notes, or any other for that matter. Sometimes you do, sometimes it varies. You might just see one or two beats’ worth of them, or just one or two notes or rests, or some combination of 32nd notes, 32nd note rests, and other note values within a measure. We will delve deeply into discussing just how to break down a complicated measure so that you can easily distinguish even the most complex rhythms, but as a starting point you really have got to know what you’re looking for, and knowing how many flags each note is entitled to is essential in understanding these small note values as soon as you see them. In the case of a 32nd note, you’re going to be looking for three flags or three beams to let you know that what you’re looking at is, in fact, a 32nd note time value.
Thank you for checking out this installment of our series on very small note values, please check back for the third and final installment which will be posted later this week. Glad you stopped by to visit UpbeatRhythms.com, see you next time!