Part of a 12-part course on reading rhythm.
(Note: this article contains musical symbols that might not display on mobile devices. I recommend reading it on a desktop/laptop if so.)
In the last post, we establied that:
- a dot after a note multiplies its length by 11⁄2
That gives us this chart (click the image to download the PDF):
Here’s the trick: memorize the first and last columns.
It’s much quicker to think:
𝅗𝅥 . = 3 beats
than it is to think:
𝅗𝅥 . = 𝅗𝅥 × 11⁄2 = 2 beats × 11⁄2 = 3 beats
There are other dotted notes, but the above 3 are by far the most common. We had an example of a dotted 1⁄2-note in the last tutorial, and will cover some dotted 1⁄4-notes in the next. Dotted 1⁄8-notes mostly occur in dotted rhythms, which we’ll cover in a later tutorial.
Important: don’t confuse dotted notes, where the dot comes after the note, with staccato notes, where the dot goes above or below the note.