I'm writing down piano sheet music and I'm not sure how correctly to write a specific section. The left hand is playing a little arpeggio and I want the first note to be sustained. I came up with two ways to write it down (see below), but I'm not sure which is correct. So the question is: which is the right way to notate this? If it's the first method, I would also like to know if the starting rest is necessary?
The first way is correct, and yes, the initial quarter rest is important. It might not seem important in this example, but in more complex environments these rests are vitally important.
A performer will probably know what you mean if you were to write the second measure, but it's needlessly "busy." It also doesn't clarify that it's two separate musical lines occurring, which is clearly shown in the first measure.