Hey there!

Today’s video is the second part of our short two-part series on dotted notes. If you missed the first video, you can check it out here: How dotted notes work, part 1. This video addresses the more difficult dots – the dotted eighth, and dotted 16th notes. Enjoy!

How dotted notes work – the lowdown

A quick refresher on dots – the dot is adding half of the note’s value to itself.

  • a dotted half note gets three beats (2 + 1)
  • a dotted quarter note gets 1 and a half beats (1 + 1/2)
  • a dotted eighth note gets 3/4 of a beat (1/2 + 1/4)
  • a dotted sixteenth note gets 3/8 of a beat (1/4 + 1/8)

Dotted notes are often paired with the note that would complete them (aww). For example, a dotted quarter note, worth 1 and a half beats, is often paired with an eighth note, to “finish off” that half beat and round it up to a full two beats.

A dotted eighth note might be paired with a sixteenth note, so that the two notes together can equal one beat.

Lots of math!

How to count dotted eighth notes

Since dotted eighth notes are worth 3/4 of a beat, and are usually “finished off” by a sixteenth note, we need to count with a 16th note subdivision.

When we count basic quarter notes, we count “1, 2, 3, 4..”

When we count in an eighth note subdivision, we count “1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + ..”

And when we count in a sixteenth note subdivision, we count ” 1 e + a, 2 e + a, 3 e + a, 4 e + a ..”

Here’s an example of how that would be counted:

Check out the video for more examples on how to count dotted eighth notes!

How to count a dotted sixteenth note

Okay, so let’s take a brief look at the dotted 16th note. It’s rare, but on the off-chance you come across it, you’ll know what to do. So a sixteenth note gets ¼ of a beat. The dot adds half of that – an 8th of a beat. That is a tiny amount of a beat! Hence why it’s rare, but not unheard of. So this dotted 16th note gets 3/8ths of a beat. It’s usually paired with a thirty-second note – yes, twice as fast as a sixteenth note and worth an 8th of a beat. So when you add those guys up, it gets 4/8ths of a beat, or rather ½ of a beat. So these two notes added together equal a single 8th note.

Good luck with dotted notes!

And that concludes our dotted note series. Hope you feel armed and equipped to take on any dot you might encounter.


1 Comment

  1. How dotted notes work, part 1 - PianoTV.net on October 18, 2015 at 11:11 am

    […] Check it out: how dotted notes work, part 2. […]