Drums Lesson Two  Introducing eighth notes

Understanding eighth notes

Lesson Objectives

  • Understand and be able to count eighth notes.
  • Further development of three way co-ordination.
  • Play more rock grooves using eighth notes.
  • Introduce the single stroke roll.

In Lesson 1, we divided the bar into four (4) notes giving us quarter notes. Now we are going to divide each of those quarter notes in half, producing eighth notes. They are called eighth notes because they divide a bar of common time into eight (8) notes.

You will recall that a quarter note is worth one (1) beat. Now that we have cut the quarter note in half, we have two notes per beat and therefore, each note is worth half (½) of a beat. You will see from Example 1, below, a bar of quarter notes and a bar of eighth notes.

Example 1. A bar of quarter notes and a bar of eighth notes   (Enlarge)

Figure 1

Next: Understanding eighth notes (using a single stroke roll)