An eighth note (also called a quaver) represents the duration of a half beat in an 4/4 time signature.It is identified on sheet music by a filled-in oval notehead at the base of a single straight stem, with a flag. When they appear below the middle line of the staff they are drawn with stems to the right of the notehead, facing up. Else, they appear on or above the middle line, they are drawn with the stems to the left, facing down.

Eighth Note

When multiple eighth notes are played next to each other,  instead of flags, the notes are beamed together.

Beamed Eighth Notes

Practicing Eighth Notes

As the name suggests, an eighth note is played for one eighth of the duration of a whole note. It lasts a quarter of the duration of a half note and half of the duration of a quarter note.A good way to practice is by using a metronome set to 60 beats per minute. Strum on each beat, counting out loud “1 and 2 and 3 and 4, and 1 and 2 and 3 and 4, and…”. The numbers you should fall directly on each beat, while the ‘ands’ should fall between each beat.

Counting eighth notes