Reading Music Lesson #26: Whole Notes

This reading music lesson is a supplement to the Alfred’s Essentials of Music Theory self-study workbook. While no book is perfect for learning how to read music, this is one of the best available. The concise explanations, brief practice exercises, ear-training CD’s, glossary of music terms, and answer key make it an excellent value. Buy this top-rated self-study course for beginners to advanced musicians and follow along with me.
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Whole notes look like an oval shaped notehead that is white in the center and not filled in.

whole notes

The value of this type of note is 4 counts.

To make sure we are truly recognizing it’s full value, we count the 4 beats in our heads while playing or singing it.

whole note

This is where the discussion about finding the beat comes in handy.

Once you’ve learned how to sustain a steady beat, it is much easier to count them going by for a note like this.

For best results, count in your head while tapping a steady beat in your foot.  Every 4 beats that you count equals the duration of 1 whole note.

Next up is the half note.

Helpful Rhythm Flashcards

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Fun Rhythm Games

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