I'm composing a song. The song is in 4/4. In the bass clef, I have two half notes, one occurring on beat one and the other on beat three. Since each note rings out for half of the measure, I want to put in a quarter on beats two and four. This will make six beats, though--won't it? I thought of perhaps putting quarter rests on beats one and three beside the quarter notes to show that they are separate voices. I don't know if that will work. I'm confused. Can you help me?


Yes, that's basically how having two voices on one stave works.

enter image description here

  • 1
    Tried to edit your great answer @LaurencePayne but the edit was too short to be accepted. Isn't the singular form 'staff' and the plural 'staves'? – dwilli May 7 '18 at 2:22
  • Depends where you are. For some reason I (in London, UK) chose the American form! – Laurence Payne May 7 '18 at 9:18

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.