Quarter Rests – The Squiggles That Make You Want To Wiggle, Silently Of Course

quarter restsThose crazy little squiggles you see in your music are called quarter rests.  Much like quarter notes, they receive a total of one count each. These little guys are pretty common and you can find them just about everywhere.  They are especially popular in music for those new to reading music.

If you were confused about knowing the difference between a whole rest and a half rest, the quarter rest will make you feel a whole lot better.

What Do They Look Like?

To me, it looks like a little squiggle.  It’s almost like a doodle marking someone made on their homework during a really boring class.  Don’t these squiggles make you want to wiggle?

Okay, maybe not.  But, little kids really love this and wiggling at a squiggle is a great (and wacky) way to remember it, whether you really do wiggle or not.

Wiggle Silently Please

Keep in mind that quarter rests represent one count of silence while a quarter note is one count of sound.  The temptation many people have is to skip them entirely when reading or playing music.

They think, “I’m in the business of playing notes, not rests”.  Guess what?  You are in the business of playing (or recognizing) rests because music is both sound and silence.  It’s not one or the other.  It is both.quarter rests


  1. How many quarter rests equal one whole rest?  That’s right.  It is four.
  2. How many quarter rests equal one half rest?  The answer is two.

If you were unable to get either of those questions correct, go back and review what whole rests and half rests are.  Being diligent in your music learning means taking active steps forward by reviewing, practicing and knowing when you are ready to move on.

What Are Quarter Rests Again?

Quarter rests are those “fun little squiggles that make you want to wiggle” (okay, okay…) for one count of silence.  You can find them everywhere in your music.  Every time you see them, recognize them for a total of one count (or one foot tap).  Don’t ignore them or hop right over them.  Besides, isn’t it too much fun to wiggle when you see one anyways? (Just Kidding!)

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