I was a little surprised that this question wasn't already asked here - perhaps I missed it/it's off topic. I'm trying to write out the count for a piece in common time (I can barely read sheets) and I have no idea what syllabic notation to use for the 32nd notes/demisemiquavers. From what I recall, "1 e & a" is used for semiquavers. All I've found online are people saying you simply don't count shorter notes with these syllables, and I haven't found anything for the Eastman Counting System either. Not counting them seems a bit unsatisfying for me, because you might also end up with hemidemisemiquavers...

  • Mentally double each note value, put it into 2/4 and count 1e&a?
    – Tim
    Jul 7, 2016 at 5:16
  • At some point you have to move from consciously counting to internalizing the rhythm. That just takes time and practice :-) Jul 7, 2016 at 11:41
  • If you want to count out the rhythm slowly, take the main beats as 8th-notes (or 16th-notes if the rhythm contains 64th-notes) with 8 or 16 beats in the bar instead of 4. As @CarlWitthoft said, eventually you will learn to just internalize reading the rhythm, rather than counting it out loud.
    – user19146
    Jul 7, 2016 at 15:44
  • well as Adam Neely said: count "how to count thirty-second notes"
    – Divide1918
    Mar 7, 2020 at 13:16

1 Answer 1


If I'm not mistaken, you don't count every single note, because they are really fast and it would be really tough. Instead, you break them in groups of two. You count them as you would count 16th notes (semiquavers), but with two beats on each hit:

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Image source

Another video which states the same:

1 e and a, but two notes on each syllable

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