Pop Music Theory


Lessons in Order

1-7 (Intro & Pitch) +
8-18 (Major Scale) +
19-29 (Chord Progressions) +
30-34 (Hook Chords) +
35-41 (Written Notes) -
39: Tied & Dotted Notes
42-50 (Song Chorus) +

Lessons by Topic

Strategy +
Pitches +
Scales +
Written Notes +
39: Tied & Dotted Notes
Chords +
Chord Progressions +
Melody +
Songwriting Steps +
Science +
Games & Tools +
Song Examples: Crazy +
Song Examples: Rolling Stone +

Detailed Contents

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Lesson 39: 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 40: Rhythm: Rests.




Lessons in Order

1-7 (Intro & Pitch) +
8-18 (Major Scale) +
19-29 (Chord Progressions) +
30-34 (Hook Chords) +
35-41 (Written Notes) -
39: Tied & Dotted Notes
42-50 (Song Chorus) +

Lessons by Topic

Strategy +
Pitches +
Scales +
Written Notes +
39: Tied & Dotted Notes
Chords +
Chord Progressions +
Melody +
Songwriting Steps +
Science +
Games & Tools +
Song Examples: Crazy +
Song Examples: Rolling Stone +

Detailed Contents

Get Future Lessons


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