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38: Tied & Dotted Notes

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Lesson 38: Tied & Dotted Notes

This lesson teaches how we write odd-length notes (like a note that lasts 3, 2½, or 1½ beats), using ties and dots.

Before taking this lesson, you should know:

Tied Notes

The tie "glues" two notes together to make a single longer note. The tie is a curved line connecting the two notes. It looks like this:

You would play the above example as a single note that lasts for 2½ beats (2 beats for the half-note, plus ½ beat for the eighth-note).

Note: When you play and count tied notes, you do not need to "do the math" and add up the note values; it's easier if you don't. You can count the beats for each of the tied notes, one after the other, just like you would if they were not tied. But when you get to the 2nd note (the "tied-to" note), you don't start a new note; you just keep holding the note you're already holding.

Dotted Notes

A dotted note lasts 1½ times as long as an "undotted" note. We use dotted notes to write several common "odd" note lengths. A dotted note is a "plain note" with a dot after it. Here are the common dotted notes:

Plain Note     Dotted Note
= 2 beats = 3 beats
= 1 beat = beats
= ½ beat = ¾ beat

Next: Learn how we write the silences between notes, in Lesson 39: Rhythm: Rests.

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1: Introduction
2: Practicing Songwriting
3: Pitch Names
4: Letters Game
5: Sharps & Flats
6: Half-Steps
7: Whole-Steps
8: Steps Game
9: Scales
10: Major Scale 1-2-3
11: Major 1-2-3 Games
12: Major Scale 1-5
13: Major 1-5 Games
14: Chords: Major Triads
15: Major Triad Games
16: Minor Triads
17: Minor Triad Games
18: Major Scale 1-8
19: Major Scale Games
20: Keys
21: Roman Numeral Chords
22: Scales Above 8
23: Diatonic Triads
24: Using Diatonics
25: Tonic Function
26: Subdominant & Dominant
27: Diatonic Function Analysis
28: Natural Minor Scale
29: Natural Minor Games
30: Minor Key Triads
31: 7th Chords
32: 7ths Games
33: Melody: Chord Tones
34: Treble Staff
35: Treble Staff Game
36: Time: Beats & Measures
37: Note Lengths
38: Tied & Dotted Notes
39: Rhythm: Rests
40: Non-Root-Bass Chords
41: Major Pentatonic Scale
42: Embellishing Tones
43: Melody Rhythm: Rolling Stone
44: Pitch & Frequency

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