A quarter note is a short note. It is has one-fourth the time value of a whole note. So four 1/4 notes occupy the same amount of time as one whole and two of them equal the duration of a half note. Another name for this note is crotchet (British).
Quarter notes are notated with a filled-in oval note head and a straight, flagless stem. Usually, if the note is below the middle of the stave, the stem points upwards and is located on the right side of the note. If the note is above the middle of the stave the stem points downwards and the stem is drawn on the left side of the note.
In terms of the difference between how this note and the half note looks, the 1/4 note is filled-in while the half note is hollow.
A crotchet is played for half the length of a minim (half note), and twice that of a quaver (eighth note). In 4/4 time this note gets one beat.
To practice playing this note, get a metronome and set it to 60 beats per minute. If you don’t have a physical one you can simply search for a website with a metronome feature. Some smartphones allow you the option of downloading an app.
So set your metronome and count out loud “1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4”, etc.
Each beat corresponds to a 1/4 note. You can play a note of your choice, repeating the note on the beat. Each time you play the note on the beat, you’re playing a quarter note.
Here’s a video illustrating this:
This note has the same duration as a quarter rest or crotchet rest. Rests represent periods of silence in music. When you see a rest you are not to play anything for the duration of that rest. So if you see a quarter rest, you must pause for one beat. A quarter rest has one-fourth the duration of a whole rest.
Piano notes and keys – Learn the notes which correspond to the various keys on the piano.