I am using this book


and just on page 3, the said:

enter image description here

I am using this virtual piano


so what is the difference in this picture enter image description here

between the ones with the line above and ones without ? (the time ? )

Please use simple words since as you can see I am still in the first page of this book and my theoretical knowledge of music is bad (that's why I am learning and asking).

2 Answers 2


The difference is that while tapping out the beats, you're supposed to sing a note—any note—on the beats that have the line over them, and not sing on the beats that don't. You're supposed to sing a single note, and that note is supposed to last the length of the beats that have the line above them.

In other words, you tap or clap out a steady beat, and for exercise (a), you sing a note lasting five beats, then don't sing for five beats, then sing another note lasting five beats, then don't sing for five beats, etc.

For exercise (b), you sing a note for the first four beats, then don't sing for four beats, then sing for four beats, then don't sing for four beats. etc.

And so on. For these exercise, at least, you don't need an instrument of any kind, including the virtual piano. These exercises are about training your ear and sense of rhythm; the actual notes aren't important.


Sorry to disagree with Alex, but the alternative seems like a better bet for a complete beginner, as in play/sing/tap 5 separate notes, then rest for the next 5.'Sing the tone only on the strokes'. That would be why there are 5 stems shown. The same idea works for each example. In fact, you could also use Alex's idea for a change.

In fact, the instructions are ambiguous - possibly on purpose, but who knows.

  • Yours is a fine idea, but if you download the PDF, the instructions aren't ambiguous. In the clip the OP posted, the instructions mention "the tone", which is defined previously in Exercise 2 as a single long tone lasting the duration of the connected beats. Commented May 9, 2016 at 10:43
  • Thanks, Alex. Unfortunately, not enough information wasn't given. If that info. is there, why the question?
    – Tim
    Commented May 9, 2016 at 11:43
  • You got me; maybe the OP just wanted to be sure. Anyway, it's a very interesting book, and I really enjoyed reading the introduction. Commented May 9, 2016 at 23:25
  • @Tim from the user name and profile, OP's first language is probably not English. It might not be obvious to an Italian speaker whether "tone" meant "tono", "tonalità", or "timbro" (though an English speaking musician probably doesn't need an Italian dictionary to guess the different meanings of those three words!)
    – user19146
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 20:30
  • @alephzero - all the more reason for having an accurate profile on this site. It gives us more basis for an intelligent answer.
    – Tim
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 20:42

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