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Rhythm - Quarter & Eight Notes - 2 Minute Lesson.

Starting with two simple note values. Quarter Note which is 1 beat long and an Eight note which is half of a beat long.

First I'll briefly explain time signatures. At the start of any music you will see a time signature. In this case it is 4/4, on the sheet it will look like a fraction and this is exactly how to treat it. So 4/4 is Four/Quarter Notes per bar. Which is simply 4 beats per bar. This is also called common time as it's the most commonly used time signature in western music.

So looking at the two bars above in the first bar we have 4 Quarter Notes. So this is simply one note per beat. In terms of strumming this, we have 4 down strums per bar along with the beat. We have 4 quarter notes per bar so these are exactly 1 beat long which is a quarter of a bar, hence the name quarter notes

Quarter Note = 1 note per beat


In bar two we have Eighth Notes. These are split into 4 groups of 2 notes. So we literally have eight notes in the bar, each being 1/8 of a bar in length so hence the name eighth notes.

In the first bar you strummed down 4 times, without noticing your hand also moved up 4 times, so in total you made 8 movements. Think of your hand as a clock ticking. The down strum is the tick, the up strum is the tock. So to play quarter notes just strum the tick, to play 8th notes include the up stroke which is the tock.

HINT: On the up stroke only strike 2 to 3 strings, it sounds much better and is easier to do.

Eighth Notes = 2 notes per beat

Start your 8th notes saying tick-tock, Once you are used to them, count them properly...

1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +

The numbers always being down and the + as your up

Keep them even!


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