Counting Rhythm 1 - on this page you can hear each example by clicking on it!
Click here for rhythms than include semiquavers and ties

Click here for the drum notation guide

Reading rhythm is one of the hardest parts of handling notation.
To make it easy to manage, we have a counting system that turns written rhythms into something verbal.
This explains how the rhythm sounds.

We count a bar of 4/4 as “1 2 3 4”. Each number represents a beat of the bar.
Suppose we then say that each of those numbers represents a note;
that “1 2 3 4” would be a bar of 4 crotchets.

Supposing the bar starts with 2 quavers, followed by 3 crotchets.
That adds up to 4/4 and we can now count it as “1 and 2 3 4”.
The 1 represents a note on beat 1 and the “and” is the quaver between beats 1 and 2.

Now the bar starts with a minim;
put the “2” in brackets to show that there is not a new note on beat 2, but a continuation of the note on beat 1. “1 (2) 3 4”

The same bracket idea can be used for a rest.

Then we can combine all the parts of this counting system to explain any bar of rhythm
using semibreves, minims, crotchets and quavers – both notes and rests.

Dotted rhythms start to get a bit more complicated but the counting system still works.

Here's the riff from 'My Girl'