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Counting sixteenth notes
#3038931 10/24/20 01:09 PM
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How does this 1 e & a work for counting sixteenth notes? How do you determine how fast you are counting them? It’s confusing for me cause I’m counting 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &.. then suddenly change to sixteeth im not sure how fast to play it? And also with 32nd notes too and other complicated rhythms. This is impossible for me.

Re: Counting sixteenth notes
Prestzie #3038936 10/24/20 01:26 PM
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The ‘eighth note’ and ‘sixteenth note’ designations only tell you how many notes fit in one beat. You don’t change the speed of each beat— the beats remains the same always. You just fir a different number of notes inside the beat. You play the 8th or 16th notes that you need to play do they fit in the single beat.

8th notes = 2 notes within the one beat
16th notes = 4 notes in the one beat

Set the metronome really slow and practice playing the same note: twice for eight notes and four times for 16th notes before the metronome clicks the next beat.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Re: Counting sixteenth notes
Prestzie #3038963 10/24/20 02:22 PM
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All note duration are set as ratios of one another. So how fast you play sixteenth notes when you've been playing, say, eighth notes, is....twice as fast. How fast you play sixteenth notes when you've been playing quarter notes is...four times as fast. The underlying pulse stays the same.

You've asked this question a number of different ways over the past few weeks. Are you sure you understand, as a general basic thing, how rhythm, pulse, and note duration works?

Re: Counting sixteenth notes
Prestzie #3038999 10/24/20 04:01 PM
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Usually, you wouldn´t count 1e&a every time you play through a passage. When there is a complicated rhythm, you subdivide the beats a lot (you may use the smallest note value in the passage) and once you get it, you switch back to 1-2-3-4...
This was a very important thing that my teacher taught me in one of the first lessons, otherwise, I´d be playing everything counting 1-e-and-a forever cry You´d get tired very soon and its not even realistic at a faster tempo.
I just decode the rhythm, then feel and count 1-2-3-4 (or 1-2-3, 1-2, whatever...) and that´s about it. Make sure you keep the speed at which you count steady, I used to change the speed slightly throughout the piece and its very bad.

Re: Counting sixteenth notes
Prestzie #3039187 10/25/20 10:13 AM
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I do it "upside down" so to speak.

I count 1 for whatever is the shortest note that the piece has (well if for example it has lots of 16ths and just a few 32ths, i count 1 for the 16s, and deal later with the 32s)

Then i count 2 for the next one that is longer, and so on. For example:

1 for the 16s, 2 for the 8s, 4 for the 4s, etc.

This works very fine at the early stages of studiyng s piece, when you need to go very slowly. After some study i dont need to count any more. The rhythm gets into my head naturally.

Anyway it's not an absolute method to use always. Just a tool that sometimes may help.

Re: Counting sixteenth notes
Prestzie #3039241 10/25/20 01:24 PM
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I struggle with this too. I'm learning a piece with what I guess are 64th notes and I don't think I've ever had to deal with that (bach b-flat partita no 1 sarabande after the repeat). Quite annoying to read and stay in time. It's best to try to stay anchored to the beat (in this case it's 3/4 for me).

I do also use the shortcut of counting everything out to the shortest note value for measures like that (mentioned by Ubu) but it feels like a crutch that you should let go of once you 'get' it. Normally this works quite well for me. In my current example I'm making really slow progress...

I don't remember the last time I was stuck on 2 measures for this long. I just realized there are 64th notes before the repeat but I didn't spend any real time on those. They feel more ornamental or like a turn for me and I can hear my way through it. After the repeat there is at least one measure where it extends a tiny bit longer and that's just killing me lol. mad

Last edited by Pathbreaker; 10/25/20 01:28 PM.
Re: Counting sixteenth notes
Prestzie #3040407 10/28/20 04:28 PM
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16th notes go exactly twice as fast as 8th notes ; the point of the extra syllables in the counting is so you can clarify each note with a syllable/count. You are not actually playing a faster tempo, but just trying to fit more sounds into one beat, hence you need to "Say" more things in your counting, which is where the "E + a", system comes in.

Think of is this way: When little kids tell you how old they are in an attempt to seem older, they say things "7 and a half", or, "7 and three quarters".... they are still 7, but just being more specific in what part of seven they are. It;s like that.

Re: Counting sixteenth notes
Prestzie #3040425 10/28/20 06:09 PM
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Quote
How does this 1 e & a work for counting sixteenth notes? How do you determine how fast you are counting them? It’s confusing for me cause I’m counting 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &.. then suddenly change to sixteeth...
Don't switch back and forth. In that situation, I would just count 1 tah tay tah 2 tah tay tah ...

And play 8th notes on the beats and on the tays, 16th notes on each syllable.

Sometimes I adjust the rhythmic solfege to the rhythmic form, using say YA-ta-ta-ta YA-ta-ta-ta when the first of four 16th notes is on the beat and accented etc.

Re: Counting sixteenth notes
Prestzie #3040429 10/28/20 06:20 PM
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Imagine you are counting 4 beats in a measure and a quarter note equals a beat. Tap your hand or say each beat with a metronome. 1, 2, 3, 4. Keep repeating it until you get the rhythm in your head or you are in sync with the metronome 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4. That's your beat and that beat never changes. Now look at the 3 lines below. Notice the beat always lines up meaning it never changes. But you must fit quarter notes, an eighth notes and 16th notes in those beats. In line 1 tap a quarter note with the 1, 2, 3, 4. In line 2 tap 2 eighth notes between each beat. In line 3 tap four sixteenth notes in between each beat.


1 2 3 4 (tap 4 times slowly)- tap the "1" and "2" and "3" etc these are your quarter notes

1 & 2 & 3 & 4 (type 8 times a little faster)- tap the "1" and the "&" etc for each beat (eighth notes)

1 e & a 2 e & a 3 e & a 4 e & a (type 16 notes even a little faster) tap with each 1e&a2 etc.. (sixteenth notes)


THE 1, 2, 3, 4 SHOULD ALWAYS LINE UP (in time) AS THAT'S YOUR BEAT. Sometimes it helps to say each number louder than the letters to emphasize the beat.

edit the editor doesnt let me line them up but the numbers should.

Last edited by Jethro; 10/28/20 06:26 PM.

Working on:

Bach/Busoni Chaconne in D minor BWV 1004
Preludio: Bach/Rachmaninoff E Major Sonata for Violin
Chopin: G Minor Ballade


Shigeru Kawai SK2
Kawai VPC-1
Re: Counting sixteenth notes
Prestzie #3040432 10/28/20 06:27 PM
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It would be nice to hear from the OP whether any of this has helped.


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It's ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: Counting sixteenth notes
Prestzie #3044501 11/10/20 03:29 PM
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Thanks for everyone’s replies. I get the sixteenth notes now. However, I’m confused with how you would play dotted quavers combined with 32nd notes extra. It’s pretty impossible to count or subdivide in your head or even play with a metronome.

Re: Counting sixteenth notes
Prestzie #3044508 11/10/20 03:45 PM
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Any dotted note has the value of itself plus half of itself. So a dotted quaver is one whole quaver (two sixteenth notes) plus half of a quaver (one sixteenth note), to make the equivalent of three sixteenth notes. That's six 32 notes. They all line up evenly.


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