Basic Rhythm: Video Lesson

To understand basic rhythm, you need to know the values of certain notes. This means basically that some notes you need to hold down longer than others.

Each note has a number/count/beat associated with it. Here are the ones you would learn in your first year of piano lessons:

Whole Note: 4 Beats

Whole Note: 4 Counts

Dotted Half Note: 3 Beats

Dotted Half Note: 3 Beats

Half Note: 2 Beats

Half Note: 2 Beats

Dotted Quarter Note: 1.5 Beats

Dotted Quarter Note

Quarter Note: 1 Beat

Quarter Note: 1 Beat

Eighth Note: 1/2 a Beat

Eighth Note: 1/2 a Beat
Two Eighth Notes2 Eighth Notes = 1 Beat

All In One Chart:

Note Name: Looks Like: Number of beats:
Whole Note basic rhythm 4
Half Note basic rhythm 2
Quarter Note basic rhythm 1
8th Note basic rhythm .5
Dotted Quarter Note basic rhythm 1.5

Here's a basic video on how long to hold the notes:

Here are some exercises to help you practice learning about rhythm. If you play them on the piano (or any other instrument), use any finger you want to. (You can copy, paste and print them if it's easier for you.)

Exercise 1:
basic rhythm exercise
Exercise 2:
basic rhythm
Exercise 3:
baisc rhythm
Exercise 4:
basic rhythm

This last exercise is a little advanced for beginners. Don't worry if you don't get it right off the bat. Just practice and get used to the different rhythms.

Recommendations on The Best Online Piano Lessons

If you're ready, learn more about the different rhythm symbols.

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