Rest Shapes

In music theory, rests are symbols which tell you to stop playing, and how long to stop for. Rests come in different shapes depending on how long they last for, just like notes do. Rests take the same names as the notes of the same length. 

Crotchet (Quarter) Rests

Crotchet rest = 1 beat of silence.

crotchet rest

The crotchet rest isn’t easy to draw. I suggest starting with a “z” then continuing with a “c” underneath!

Quaver (8th) Rests

Quaver rest = 1/2 beat of silence.

quaver rest

The quaver rest looks a bit like a number 7, with a “blob” at the top.

Semiquaver (16th) Rests

NB semiquaver rests are introduced at grade 2 on the Trinity syllabus.

Semiquaver rest = 1/4 beat of silence

semiquaver rest

The semiquaver rest looks a lot like the quaver rest, but it’s got 2 tails, just like the semiquaver note note has.

Minim (Half) Rests

Minim rest = 2 beats of silence

The minim rest is a small black block. The minim rest sits on the middle line of the staff.

Semibreve (Whole) Rests

Semibreve rest = 4 beats of silence, or a whole bar of silence worth any number of beats.

semibreve rest

Rests Exercises

1. Next to each note, write a rest that has the same time value.

rests 0 0rests 0 1rests 0 2rests 0 3rests 0 4

2. Add the rests together, to make a new rest.