When you count to the beat of a song, you’re doing math! The beat often falls in 4s — 1, 2, 3, 4, then 1, 2, 3, 4 again — so we call those “quarter notes.” But you can play twice as fast to fit in 8th notes, and twice that to make 16th notes. A lot of songs play 60 to 100 quarter notes per minute. Of course, “extreme drummers” go much faster. Last we checked, Tom Grosset holds the record with 1,208 strokes in 1 minute!

*Wee ones:* If you count 1, 2, 3…what number comes next?

*Little kids:* If you count 1, 2 ,3, 4 and repeat again and again, what number do you say on the 10th beat? *Bonus:* If you count in 8s instead, how many beats have you played when you say “5” for the 2nd time?

*Big kids:* Notes twice as fast as 8th notes are called 16th notes, since you fit in twice as many …so what do you get if you play twice as fast as that? *Bonus:* If speed drummer Tom Grosset played exactly 20 strokes per second, would that have been faster or slower than his record of 1,208 in 60 seconds?

Answers:

*Wee ones:* 4.

*Little kids:* 2. *Bonus:* 13 beats.

*Big kids:* 32nd notes. *Bonus:* A little slower, as that would be 1,200…he actually played a little faster than that!