Welcome to part 2 of “Learn to Read Drum Music”. In this section we will build off and expand upon of what you learned in Part 1. Click the link for Learn to Read Drum Music – Part 1, if you missed my first post or are confused and need to go back to the basics.
The Eighth Note
Confused? Sometimes seeing is understanding:
How to Count Eighth Notes
If you remember, when counting quarter notes, we use the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4. Those are the anchors of counting in 4/4 time. When we are counting eighth notes, we keep the 1,2,3,4, but add in the word “and” in between. If counting a bar full of eighth notes, we would say “one-and, two-and, three-and, four-and”.
On it’s own, the eighth note is written as a quarter note with a little “flag” at the end of the stem. However, when you place more than one eighth note together, they become linked with what is called a “beam”. You can beam as many eighth notes together as you wish, however to make things easier on the reader, we usually try and keep them in groups of four max.
The Eighth Rest
Just like the quarter note has a corresponding quarter rest, the eighth note has the “eighth rest”. It is equal in value to the eighth note, however like any rest, you do not play anything for its duration.
At this point you should be familiar with what eighth notes are and how they look. You should also understand how to beam multiple notes together, how to count eighth notes, and what the eighth rest is. Let’s test your knowledge with some short reading.
let’s start with just eight notes and quarter notes:
Next we will add in quarter rests:
***Note: I have eliminated writing the word “rest”, and will continue with this pattern from now on
Lastly, we can add in eighth rests as well
Let’s See What You’ve Got
Ok, for this last one, I won’t write down the counting notes on top and everything is up to you. If you can’t remember how something is supposed to go, just go back up and look at the reading examples for help. Otherwise, feel free to post any questions in the comments.