How do I count these rhythms for the shaker part? It is in 4/4 and I know it’s not difficult. But, I’ve never played shaker before and want to write in the counting in my score.

Also, the same for the triangle part at the beginning of the piece.

Thanks! I wanna make sure I can practice this correctly!

enter image description here

  • "1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &"
    – PiedPiper
    Oct 25, 2022 at 14:29
  • What would be the specific counting I would write for the measures? Oct 25, 2022 at 14:41
  • 1
    That works for every measure. A lot of the notes are on the '&'.
    – PiedPiper
    Oct 25, 2022 at 14:48
  • I suggest you use an electronic metronome that sounds a different pitch at the beginning of each measure. Oct 26, 2022 at 23:00

1 Answer 1


Some of these are notated in ways that are a bit confusing (though the alternative might be a bit confusing too, for a percussion instrument). Looking at m. 50 and those like it, the first quarter note occupies all of "beat 1." But the eight rest that follows "pushes" the subsequent quarter notes, so that they both occupy the last half of one beat and the first half of another. These kinds of rhythms are often printed, instead, in ways that break these quarters into tied eighths so that the beats can be more clearly seen:

enter image description here

Of course, on an instrument like the shaker that has no sustain, I suppose this might confuse some and they might think they should play on each eighth note.

It might help you, as long as you understand what you're doing, to write out some of the measures this way. For instance, m. 25 becomes: enter image description here

After that it's just a matter of understanding how the out-loud counting "1 & 2 &" aligns with the actual quarters and eighths.

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