Beams are thicker then stems, which makes them easier to distinguish as different from horizontal staff lines.
Beams connect to the end of stems and serve to define a note’s duration. (length)
Any number of stems can connect to beams.
As with stems, whether the beam is on top or beneath the note, the rhythm result is the same.
Notes with 1, 2 and 3 Beams are shown above.
When multiple notes attach to beams, they stack together. Beam combinations define the exact time allotment of each note to which they are attached.
Beams group notes together within a single beat. At times, an individual note requires a beamed note’s definition. This single note, (with its equivalent duration dictated by a beam), utilizes a different symbol. These notes have their own look, where the beam transforms into a flag.
Exact beam-defined time units, will be displayed shortly. For now, remember that beams help to define a note’s duration, group multiple notes and organize rhythm.