After the makams, the usuls comprise the next most typical characteristic of Turkish music. The term usul, which includes both the concepts of meter (mesur) and rhythm, grew and developed out of the marriage of Ottoman-Turkish music and poetic meters. Thus they are a concept that can be integrated with lyrics.

The usuls are performed in beats, known in Turkish as "darp." The beats are traditionally practiced with the right and left hand striking the right and left legs. The usuls are named according to the length and form of their beats. Düm, tek, teke, tekâ, tâhek... Usuls contain internal rhythmic elements known as "düzüm" or "ika". Thus an 8-meter usul can appear in two different forms:

In Turkish music, the usuls are referred to according to their names, not their meters. With an array of characteristics as broad and varied as the makams, the usuls of Turkish music are divided into two main groups:

a) Minor usuls
b) Major usuls

The minors are those of 2 to 15 beats. The majors are those containing from 16 to 124 beats. Below are the usuls of Turkish music according to their time signatures:

A) Minors

2 beats: Nim Sofyan
3 zamanli: Semai
4 beats: Sofyan
5 beats: Türk Aksagi
6 beats: Yürük Semai, Mürekkep Nim Sofyan
7 beats: Devr-i Hindi, Devr-i Turan
8 beats: Düyek, Müsemmen
9 beats: Aksak, Avfer, Oynak, Raks Aksagi
10 beats: Aksak Semai, Lenk Fahte, Ceng-i Harbi
11 beats: Tek vurus
12 beats: Frenkçin, Nim Çember, Ikiz aksak
13 beats: Nim Evsat, Sarki Devr-i Revani, Bektasi Devr-i Revani
14 beats: âyin Devr-i Revani (Mevlevi Devr-i Revani)
15 beats: Raksan

B) Majors

16 beats: Çifte Düyek, Fer', Nim Berefsan, Nim Hafif
18 beats:Türki Darb, Nim Devir
20 beats: Fahte
21 beats: Durak Evferi
22 beats: Hezeç
24 beats: Çenber, Nim Sakil
26 beats: Evsat, Beste Devr-i Revani
28 beats: Frengi Fer, Devr-i Kebir, Remel
32 beats: Muhammes, Hafif Berefsan
38 beats: Darb-i Hüner
48 beats: Sakil
60 beats: Nim Zencir
64 beats: Havi
88 beats: Darb-i Fetih
120 beats: Zencir
124 beats: Çehar