Here's how I was taught to count music. Counting music is important for three reasons: 1) It helps you keep the beat 2) It helps you figure out how to play a figure 3) It helps you keep track of where you are in the music 4/4 = 4 beats to a measure, the 1/4 note receives the full value of one beat/pulse Examples below are in 4/4: one whole note - counted 1 - (2 3 4) (parens = count in your head) So in this example: (WONNNN) two 1/2 notes - counted 1-(2) 3-(4) (WONN Threeee) four 1/4 notes - counted 1-2-3-4 eight 1/8 notes - counted 1-an 2-an 3-an 4-an twelve 1/8 note tripletts - counted 1-la-lee 2-la-lee 3-la-lee 4-la-lee or 1-trip-let 2-trip-let 3-trip-let 4-trip-let sixteen 16th notes - counted 1-e-an-da 2-e-an-da 3-e-an-da 4-e-an-da or 1-ta-tay-teh 2-ta-tay-teh 3-ta-tay-teh 4-ta-tay-teh Note: My college profs preferred 1-ta-tay-teh because 1-e-an-da caused students to swing the beat. twenty four 16th note tripletts - 1-te-la-ta-lay-teh 2-te-la-te-lay-teh 3-te-la-te-lay-teh 4-te-la-te-lay-teh I was told to feel quintuplets (5 notes for one beat) and septuplets (7 notes for one beat) and 32nd and 64th notes. So I have no syllables for them. I have little idea how to count polyrhythms using syllables. Vai's site has some insight but doesn't tell you how to use syllables. http://www.vai.com/LittleBlackDots/tempomental.html -- good article BTW. I know that Indian rudiments use different syllables which may cover what I don't know such as quintuplets and polyrhythms. Please contribute.