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34: Tied & Dotted Notes

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Lesson 34: 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 35: 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: Scales Above 8
21: What Next
22: Keys
23: Roman Numeral Chords
24: Diatonic Triads
25: Using Diatonics
26: Tonic Function
27: Subdominant & Dominant
28: Diatonic Function Analysis
29: Melody: Chord Tones
30: Treble Staff
31: Treble Staff Game
32: Time: Beats & Measures
33: Note Lengths
34: Tied & Dotted Notes
35: Rhythm: Rests
36: 7th Chords
37: 7ths Games
38: Pitch & Frequency

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