UpbeatRhythms.com – the Practice Pad
Very Small Note Values
Hi! Welcome back to UpbeatRhythms.com, you’re in the Practice Pad, and today I’d like to talk to you about very small note values. We’re going to talk about 16th notes, 32nd notes, 64th notes, and 128th notes which are extremely small and are pretty rare in music. You see them on occasion in very slow music that requires very quick passages, but generally you’re not going to see a whole lot of 128th notes in your musical travels.
But in any case, let’s get right to it. In the previous videos we talked about whole notes, and half notes which are half the value of a whole note. Quarter notes which are half the value of a half note, and eighth notes which are half the value of a quarter note. And here you can see we have an eighth note here, a few eighth note rests here, and a couple of beamed eighth notes. The eighth note is almost exactly the same as a quarter note in appearance, except it has one flag. And the eighth note rest looks just like that (shows note), it has also one flag to it.
Now, if we’re going up to the 16th notes, 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.
So there you have your 16th note, which is half the value of an eighth note.
Again, over here we have a 32nd note. That has three flags. The 32nd note rest also has three little flags. A 32nd note is half the value of a 16th note.
And moving right along and doing our math we see 64th notes here. Which is, again, (you) just add one flag, It’s got four flags. It takes sixty-four of these notes to fill up one bar in 4/4 time, which I’ll show you in a little bit. So in any case, a 64th note has four flags, 64th note rest has four little flags as well. Here (showing demonstration examples) we have a 32nd note rest, a 16th note rest, an eighth note rest, a quarter note rest, and a half note rest, so it’s a good example of all the different types of rests you’ll see. They’re pretty much the same, they just keep adding flags as you get smaller and smaller.
And finally here, as I mentioned, you’ve got your 128th note, which has five flags, and is an extremely short note value. Here we have a 128th note rest, a 64th note rest, a 32nd note rest, a 16th note rest, an eighth note rest, a quarter note rest, and a half note rest, then a whole note, and a couple of half notes.
Okay, so here we have a measure of 16th notes. You can see it takes 16 of them to fill up your bar. You can see that they are beamed together, which you generally do when you see groupings of these notes within one beat. But you can still see that there are two flags. Now two flags becomes two beams. But as opposed to these two eighth notes here that are beamed together with one beam (one flag/one beam), the 16th notes have two beams. And you can see you’ve got sixteen 16th notes, and you’ve got a full measure right there.
Okay, in this first example we’re going to take a look at the relative duration of whole notes, half notes, quarter notes, eighth notes and 16ths (plays audio example I).
And then, moving down a little bit more, we’ll give you another example of a measure of eighth notes, a measure of 16th notes, a measure of eighth notes, and a measure of 32nd notes. Thirty-two of them.
And once again they are half the value of a 16th note, so it takes twice as many of those to fill up a bar. And again, you’ve got your three beams instead of two, and that indicates to you that you’re looking at 32nd notes. You don’t necessarily see a full bar of just 32nd notes, and so you have to know what you’re reading. You’re going to look for three flags or three beams to let you know that you’re looking at a 32nd note value.
In this next example, we’re going to listen to the relative duration of eighth notes, 16th notes, and 32nd notes (plays audio example II).
And then finally, you can hardly fit these ones in the screen, I had to enlarge it quite a bit but, moving down here we’re taking a look at 32nd notes alongside 16th notes, half the value, twice as many. Going down here, we’ve got our 64th notes, which, again, they have four beams, or four flags if they’re by themselves, it’s going to take 64 of them to fill up a measure. We’re starting to get into some really quick playing, or some really slow music, one or the other. If you’ve got quick music and 64th notes you’re in quite a bit of trouble because it’s going to be really hard to perform it. But anyway, that’s your 64th note, which is half the value of a 32nd note, so it takes twice as many to fill up a bar. A 32nd note is half the value of a 16th note, so it takes thirty-two 32nd notes to fill up a 4/4 bar (or 4/4 measure) as opposed to sixteen 16th notes. I’m getting really into math here, sorry about that, but in any case just so you know how these all work together. And the most important to know is that as you add a flag, you’re halving the value of the note, you’re cutting it in half, and you’re also needing twice as many notes within your bar (or note combinations) in order to fill up one bar.
And finally down here, it just really wasn’t even worth trying to enlarge it, I did it all the way up to a thousand percent and you still can’t see the (individual) note-heads, 128th notes. They have five beams, or if it’s by itself you’d see five flags, usually you’d see probably a quick run of these kind of notes. And in any case, that’s 128th notes, and take my word for it, there’s 128 of them right here in this particular bar. Right behind it, we’ve got eight eighth notes. This is exactly the same time value. It takes just as much time to perform this bar (the bar of eighth notes) as it does to perform this bar (the bar of 128th notes), just a whole lot more smaller notes and you’re going to have to play them really, really, really, really, really, really quickly.
And for our final example we’re going to put it all together. We’ll hear in this little excerpt quarter notes, eighth notes, 16th notes, 32nd notes, 64th notes, and 128th notes. I put it together in a little bit of a run so you can sort of distinguish it. Basically it’s incredibly quick so you’ll see when we get there, it’s pretty tough to catch and very difficult to play unless the music is incredibly slow. But in any case, that’s pretty much all the very small note groupings that you’ll need to know. Here’s the last example (plays audio example III).
Alright, so there you have it. That’s 128th notes, 64th notes, 32nd notes, 16ths, eighths, quarters, half notes, and whole notes. I think that pretty much covers the spectrum.
In the next video when we’re talking about notes, we’re starting to start to talk about triplets, which is a whole different ballpark so we’re going to take a different video to take a look at that stuff so we’ll start getting into triplets, and also dotted notes. You might have heard of that, if you didn’t don’t worry, we’ll get to it. We’ll talk about all that stuff, and continue on with our comprehensive look at rhythm. How to read rhythms, approach rhythms, and handle rhythms in any music that you happen to see.
So thanks for checking out UpbeatRhythms.com, we really appreciate you stopping by. And please come back for the next series of videos. Talk to you soon! Bye.