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Topic: Notes-How Long?
From the Music Questions forum.

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AuthorTopic:   Notes-How Long?
Registered User

posted: 9/24/2006 at 9:43:22 PM ET
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Hi,My first time on here,so can anyone offer any advice...please.
I have recently decided to learn how to play the bagpipes,(my Scottish girlfriends idea,not mine)and while I am mastering the various note fingering i.e Tachums,Doublings etc,I haven't got much of a clue as to the duration of a note.When I was given my first tune,my tutor got a bit shirty because I wasn't playing the notes for the correct duration.My problem is I havent had it explained to me,and he couldn't quite get his head around what I was saying.Surely for anyone to start playing any instrument you must be taught at an early stage these sort of things so everything ties in easier further down the line!
Can anyone please,in laymans terms help so I can progress.

Registered User

posted: 9/24/2006 at 10:29:22 PM ET
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The basic length of notes is based on the underlying speed of the music you are playing. Imagine tapping your feet in time to your favorite piece of music. If you are tapping your foot once on each beat of the music then the length of the notes is as follows (this is assuming you are playing very basic rhythms in 4/4 time):

eighth note= half of one beat
quarter note= 1 beat
half note= 2 beats
whole note= 4 beats

The problem is that on a message board there is no way to show you what these notes look like so I will simply suggest you take a look at a site such as this site.

You will see some extra stuff on there that goes beyond the basics, but it should at least get you started.

Good luck!

Chad Criswell
Director of Bands
Western Dubuque High School

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