How to Count 64th Notes

By Charlotte Johnson
Sixty-fourth notes are more common in drum scores.

Sixty-fourth notes are the fastest notes that you will find in most music. The name indicates that there are 64 notes within a beat of a measure of music. Each 64th note represents a fractional part that equals one 64th of the entire beat. Sixty-fourths are drawn with a stem that possesses four flags or with a set of four horizontal connecting bars. You can learn to count 64th notes with careful practice that involves a combination of reading, saying and patting these rhythm notes.

Set a metronome to 32 beats per minute, which is a very slow tempo.

Pat four quarter notes at one beat each. Alternate hands as you pat and say "ta" for each quarter note.

Pat eight eighth notes for the next four beats and say "ti" on each eighth note. Continue to alternate hands.

Pat 16 16th notes for the next four beats, using alternating hands and saying, "ti-ka-ti-ka" for each set of four within the set of 16.

Pat 32 32nd notes for the next four beats, using alternating hands and saying "ti-ki-ti-ki" for each set of four notes within the set of 32.

Pat 64 64th notes for the next four beats, using alternating hands, and saying "ti-ki-ti-ki" once more for each set of four notes within the set of 64.

Tip

Setting the metronome on a slow tempo makes counting sixty-fourth notes easier. If you prefer, you can use other counting methods, such as "1- - - - e- - - - &- - - - a- - - - 2...." Starting with quarter notes when you are first learning various rhythms helps you to build up to 64th notes, since each type of rhythm note in this series is twice as fast as the note before.

About the Author

Charlotte Johnson is a musician, teacher and writer with a master's degree in education. She has contributed to a variety of websites, specializing in health, education, the arts, home and garden, animals and parenting.