Undersanding Counting Numbers: a Supplement to pp. 32 - 40 of the Text First of all, remember what a time signature is. In 4/4 time, for example, there are four beats to a measure and each quarter note gets one beat. That's the key to counting numbers. So, with this in mind, we know the following: 1) There will be four beats in each measure (i.e. you must use counting numbers 1,2,3,4). If you only count 3 of those, it's wrong. If you count 5 (i.e. 1,2,3,4,5), it's wrong. 2) The numbers will suffice if the song is in 4/4 and contains only quarter notes or higher. For example, if a song has a whole note, it takes up a whole bar, and under that whole note you'd place 1. You'd count the 2,3, and the 4 to yourself. 3) If the song is in 4/4 and some of the notes are eighth notes, you need to add "divisions" to the numbers. For this, you would use "and" or the ampersand "&" in addition to the numbers, so the counting numbers are now 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &. If a song has a measure with 8 eighth notes, you'd use 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 &. If the measure has a half note and four eighth notes, you would use 1 3 & 4 &, to indicate that the first note gets played on the count of 1 and the four eighth notes get played on 3, on &, on 4, and on &. The 2 is not included, even though you count it to yourself while performing the song, because it gets counted while you're holding the half note. 4) If the song is in 4/4 and some of the notes are sixteenth notes, you need to add "subdivisions" to the numbers. For this you would use "e" and "a", so that the beat subdivides into 1 e & a 2 e & a 3 e & a 4 e & a. In this case, a measure with a half note, four sixteenth notes, and 2 eighth notes would be counted 1 3 e & a 4 &. 5) In all cases, treat rests the same as notes, except indicate rests with parentheses. So, I measure with a quarter note, a quarter rest, and a half note would be counted 1 (2) 3.