Robert Estrin - piano expert

What Do Two Dots do to a Note?

Learn what two dots after a note means in music notation

In this second video about dotted notes, Robert gives you a new lesson: what does two dots after a note mean?

Released on November 18, 2015

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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

Hi I'm Robert Estrin. Welcome to and for the second part of a series about dotted notes. Last time we talked about dotted notes and how adding a dot to a note simply adds the note value of the next faster note. Or put another way, half of the value of the note.

Well, what are double dotted notes? Sometimes you see them, a note with two dots next to it. Well, you can look at it as adding the value of the next faster note and the next faster note still. Or more confusingly, adding half the value plus a quarter of the value of the note which gets to be a mathematical puzzle which is why I like the first way better.

So how does this work? Well, if you add a dotted doubly dotted whole note, the first dot would add the value of the half note, the next dot would the value of a quarter note. So you could add all those beats together, the four plus the two plus the one. Seven beats would be a dotted whole note. And you can look at all the note values this way. So a doubly dotted half note would equal a half note plus a quarter note plus an eighth note. And so on down the line, a double dotted quarter note equals a quarter note plus an eighth plus a 16th.

It makes it so much easier thinking note values than fractions because note values are ultimately what you need to be thinking in your music. You can sub-divide and count out. Sometimes in music with very, very fast notes it's helpful to draw in little lines where the beats or even the ands are located. So you can fit it in the notes and figure out where the pulse is in your music which is ultimately the key to figuring out rhythms.

I hope this has demystified doubly dotted notes for you. Any other questions about rhythms, send them to me It's a pleasure to bring you these videos also on See you next time.
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

Fulvia * VSM MEMBER * on November 18, 2015 @6:48 am PST
Glad you mentioned about drawing a pencil line when it gets too complicated to figure out all those notes with dots. I occasionally have to do this. Thanks!


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