Now I'm going to give you a little exercise that you can do to further your understanding of note duration. The exercise might seem a little dull because you are going to be playing the same note over and over, but it will give you a good base as we learn about rhythms.
Start the exercise by setting a metronome to 60 beats per minute. Next, play two measures of whole notes. A whole note is four beats of the metronome. Hit the key as the metronome clicks, hold it for four clicks, then hit it again and hold that for four clicks. You have just played two whole notes. Next let's play half notes. We will play for the same 8 clicks of the metronome, but since we are playing half notes instead of whole notes, we hit the key every two clicks. Moving on to quarter notes, we hit the key every click for 8 clicks.
Eighth notes become just a little bit more tricky, and will really help you get a feel for the music. This is because you have to play two evenly spaced eighth note for each click of the metronome. In the two measure span of eight metronome clicks, you should be able to play sixteen evenly spaced eighth notes. As we move on to eighth note triplets, things get even more advanced. A sixteenth note triplet is played three times in the space of one metronome click. Triplets have a unique feel, which you will become aware of as long as you make sure to play all of the notes evenly spaced.
To finish off the exercise let's play sixteenth notes. You really need to pick up the pace and practice your spacing here. Sixteenth notes are played four times for each click of the metronome. Sixteen times per measure, and 32 times in a two measure span like the one we are practicing with.
Continue to practice this exercise until you can play the whole thing straight through without stopping to think about it or skipping a beat. Once you can play the exercise straight through, using evenly spaced notes, and keeping time with the metronome you are ready to move on to the next lesson. So, get to practicing, and I'll see you back here shortly!
One you have learned all the note values, you can start learning some simple piano songs .
Go from absolute beginner to playing your first song in four easy lessons!