# Learn to Play the Piano – Lesson 7 – Music Rests and Note values

So you want to learn to play the piano? Welcome. In this free piano lesson we take a look at rests, note values and time signatures.

Music rests

A rest is an interval of silence in a piece of music, marked by a sign indicating the length of the pause. Each rest symbol corresponds with a particular note value.

Types of music rests

Whole rests and whole notes

A whole note is a musical note that lasts for four beats in 4/4 time. A whole rest is silence equal to a whole note.

The whole rest: a dark rectangle attached to a bar line, facing downwards.

Half rests and half notes

A half rest is silence equivalent to the value of a half note. It lasts for two beats.

The half rest: a dark rectangle attached to a bar line, facing upwards.

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Quarter rests and quarter notes

A quarter rest is an interval of silence in music that lasts for one beat. Similarly, a quarter note lasts for one beat.

The quarter rest: a squiggly line.

Eighth rests and eight notes

An eight note lasts for half a beat. Likewise, an eight rest lasts for half a beat. It would take two eighth rests to form a rest that lasts for one beat, and similarly, two eight notes to form a quarter note or a note that lasts for one beat.

The eighth rest: a slanted line with a dot.

Sixteenth rests and sixteenth notes

A sixteenth note last for a quarter of a beat. A sixteenth rest is a period of silence in music that lasts a quarter of a beat. It takes four sixteenth notes or four sixteenth rests to make one beat.

The sixteenth rest: a slanted line with a double dot.

As you learn to play the piano you will realize that there’s a lot of simple math involved. As you can see the above is very mathematical.

In a previous piano lesson we looked at quarter, half and whole notes. The following are the images of 8th and 16th notes. They last for half a beat and a quarter of a beat, respectively.

8th notes

An eighth note with stem facing up, an eighth note with stem facing down, and an eighth rest.

Four eighth notes beamed together:

16th notes

A sixteenth note with stem facing up, a sixteenth note with stem facing down, and a sixteenth rest.

Four sixteenth notes beamed together:

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Next in our free piano lesson we shall watch a video on time signatures and note values. Enjoy.

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