Reading Music Lesson #45: Eighth Rests

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reading music lessonEighth rests are easy to spot because they look like a fancy number seven.

eighth rests

They are the silent twin of the single eighth note receiving only 1/2 a beat.

eighth rest

One eighth rest is half the value of a quarter rest.

This means it takes 2 eighth rests to equal 1 quarter rest.

eighth rest values


Much like eighth notes, the first eighth rest is given a number like count “1” while the second eighth rest is the “&”.

counting eighth rests

If you are tapping your foot to a steady beat, the first beat (count 1) is when your toe goes down.  The second half of that same beat (&) is when your toe comes back up.


The single eighth note and eighth rests can be combined to form interesting rhythm patterns.  They may look something like this:

eighth rests rhythm

More Toe Tapping

Note that your toe will always go down on the beat (counts 1, 2, 3, etc.).  This is called the downbeat (clever!).

Your toe will come back up on the “&’s”.  I bet you know what that is called.  You got it, the upbeat.

Eighth rests and single eighth notes can also be combined with other note values such as the dotted quarter note.  Let’s talk about that next…


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