Learn How to Play Eighth Notes Drum Music

Okay, we introduced How to Play Quarter Notes on the drums in the last lesson, so let’s move on to… wait for it…


First, recall that  a Quarter Note, or “the beat”, is simply counted as “1,2,3,4” (in our example) and it repeats, 1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4 etc. The Eighth Note is a subdivision of the Quarter Note and it divides it into 2 equal parts. Here’s the logic: To fit twice as many notes (eighth notes) into the same space as Quarter Notes, you’d need to play them (tap the drum) twice as fast. Yep, Eighth Notes are played Twice as fast as Quarter Notes (who knew!?!?) 

Here’s a single Eighth Note:

Eighth Note

And, here’s a series of Eight Notes (they are simply tied together across the top to clarify reading the notation)

Eighth Notes


Just like Quarter Notes are counted, “1,2,3,4” — Eighth Notes (twice as many in the same time) are counted,

“1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and” = 8 eight notes.


And, just like the Quarter Note REST is the same duration and value as the Quarter Note — the only difference is you DON’T hit the drum on the rest. Similarly the Eight Note Rest is the same duration as the Eight Note, except, again, you DON’T hit the drum on this note. You count it the same, it moves along at the same pace, except you just take a “REST” on this note and DON’T hit the drum on this note. Easy.

Here’s the written notation for an Eighth Note Rest:

Eighth Note Rest

Happy Drumming.




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