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  • Writer's pictureTom Glasson

Grade 1:17 - Grouping of Notes

Previous: Lesson 16 - Accidentals

This is the last lesson of the Grade 1 series! Congratulations for making it this far. After this lesson give yourself as much of a break as you need, before starting Grade 2. If you are interested in taking the exams, I recommend downloading the free workbook at the bottom of the page, or taking our online course. These resources will prepare you for the exams, they contain a mock exam, with answers to test your knowledge and give you confidence that you are ready to take the exam.

*If you want to take the video course, click through the download pdf link as there is a discount there ;) Otherwise, check out the courses section of our site.

The contents of this lesson are included in the drawing tips and grouping nots guide, download it below if you want.

Drawing Tips & Grouping Notes
Download PDF • 10.83MB

Onto the lesson...

Grouping Notes within a Bar


Two or more quavers (8th Notes) or semiquavers (16th Notes) can be beamed together to make the music neater.

Quavers (8th notes) have one beam, semiquavers (16th notes) have two beams.

Beaming Quavers and Semiquavers

Notes are beamed within beats (beats are the way the bar is divided based on the time signature).

Beaming within the Beat

Notice the first two semiquavers (16th notes) are not beamed, as they are split over different beats, the last two are beamed.

Quavers (8th), semiquavers (16th) and dotted quavers and semiquavers can be grouped together, again, within the beat. Rests can be included within the groups. Half beams are used to join an 8th note with a 16th.


Don't use a tie when you could use a dotted note.

Dotted note over a tie

EXCEPTION: Use a tie for semiquavers (16th Notes). To join these groups of notes, a tie is more clear than the dotted note and easier to read, as they are fast notes. This only applies to semiquavers (16th Notes).

Dotted note or Tie?

Thank-you for taking the time to study with us, good luck with your music or exams and if you want to continue, see you in grade 2!

A Free Gift for you...

Download the Grade 1 Music Theory Workbook - An Introduction to Music Theory for free. The workbook is a written course which teaches you the entire content of Grade 1 music theory from start to finish, it is the full written version of our video course. It contains activities, with answers, to test your knowledge and give you chance to practice what you are learning.

There are 19 sections, covering every topic as well as reference sheets and materials which will come in handy as you study.

Click here to check it out.

Introduction to Music Theory Workbook

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