# Counting 32nd Notes? 16th note triplets?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by The_Orlonater, Feb 28, 2008.

1. ### The_Orlonater

Jun 6, 2007
Hello, I'd just like some help on learning how to count these tricky notes. I'd just like some methods YOU guys use, for example, 16th's are usually 1e&a2e&a and so forth. I'd just like to have some info because this stuff is handy to know and a lot of pieces of music have this so, thanks for your help(If you hopefully help).

2. ### bigthemat

Jan 25, 2008
Salt Lake City
well, I know 3 counting systems, all have some overlap.

McHose:

Te tas.

so quarters:

1 2 3 4

eighths

1 te 2 te 3 te 4 te

16ths

1 ta te ta 2 ta te ta 3 ta te ta 4 ta te ta

32nd

1 ta ta ta te ta ta ta 2 ta ta ta te ta ta ta etc.

Tiplets:

1 la li 2 la li 3 la li 4 la li

1 ta la ta li ta 2 ta la ta li ta

Gordon

do des (pronounced DAY)

quarters:

do do do do

eighths:

do de do de do de do de

triplets:

16ths

do ta de ta do ta de ta do ta de ta do ta de ta

32nd

do ta ta ta de ta ta ta do ta ta ta de ta ta ta

Triplets:

Do da di Do da di Do da di

do ta da ta di ta do ta da ta di ta

quarters

1 2 3 4

Eighths

1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and

16ths

1 ee and a 2 ee and a

triplets are the same as mchose.

HTH

3. ### nsmar4211

Nov 11, 2007
+1 to above

But, there's two other points. Counting them completely depends on the tempo of a song. If it's a slooooooow song, just mentally erase the top line on the music (so eights become quarters, 32nd's become 16ths) and double the time. So, if in 2/4 there's a measure of 32nd's, but it's at 60bpm, mentally make it a 4/4 measure of 16ths at 120.......much easier to count! (confused yet?)

Conversely, if the song is *fast*, instead of trying to count every beat, count every other.....or every third.......or every fourth. This is a trick you use in drumline to clean up fast parts. In drumline, fast notes are usually alternating (r l r l r l r l). Turns into mud when there's 6 or more people playing it fast the first time. So, what we did was eliminate the left hand and just clean up the right. So rather than 32nd rlrlrlrl, you counted/played 16th r r r r. Once that was clean, you tossed back in the left hand. Mentally you count the right hand and you just keep the two hands even. You could use this in bass if you're trying to do "machine gun" patterns to a metronome- just count out one finger to the beat and keep the other one alternating evenly.
For fast runs, pick a beat to count, figure out which notes fall on those beats. So, a 16th cdef done fast, count 8ths c e and do the run, making sure that c e line up with the 8th note pulse and keep d f evenly spaced and viola! Same idea is to find the first note and the last note and make sure that you start the first note on the beat, and by the time the beat comes again you hit the last note on it's beat. Keep whatevers inbetween smooth and viola!
If that doesn't work, you can build it up little by little. Say you're trying to do the c scale in 32nds really fast. So
c d e f g a b c . Do the mental math, and know that two 32 make up one 16th. So your grouping is cd ef ga bc. What I'd do is start with cd e. Make sure I can play that piece up to speed, counting only 16ths. Then add f g , so cd ef g (the extra note is so you end on a beat). Now you just keep adding notes to the run until you've got the timing.
Sometimes you just can't count every beat! Trust me, the flutes and clarinets don't count every beat in their 32nd note runs like in a ton of marches. They use the start the first note of the run on the beat, end the last note on the beat, play all the notes in between evenly mental thing.
Make any sense?

4. ### tZer

1/8 note triplets (6 notes in the span of 4 beats)
1 po let 3 po let

1/16th note triplets (12 notes in the span of 4 beats)
1 po let 2 po let 3 po let 4 po let

5. ### Steve Clark

Jan 9, 2004
London ON
Reading is something I need lots more work on. I try to note where the strong beats are in a syncopated pattern. I'll make a mark where the 1, 2, 3 , 4 are if they are to be played. I then try to think of 16th as pick ups to those strong beats/pulses. Dotted 8ths and tied notes can still be looked at this way.

I'm doing a lot more reading on gigs now with big band charts as well as eastern and near eastern music which really gets me to focus on reading. Lots of that music is in 7, 9 and 10 so that really helps with reading in 4.

There are lots of books out there to help with reading practice. The more you do it the more you recognize patterns as opposed to actually reading every note. Lots of repetitious stuff in big band charts.

6. ### K-Funk

Sep 24, 2007
Auburn Hills, MI
I count 32nd notes:

ONE ah e ah and e ah e TWO ah e ah and e ah e

16th note triplets? I don't really have a syllable, I just do it.

7. ### JimK

Dec 12, 1999
For ALL Triplets, I use "Hig-a-dee Bog-a-dee" (cannot recall who suggested this...Ed Friedland?).

So, for 1/16th note triplets....it's all about the tempo-
If it's part of a beat (in 16th notes)-
1e hig-a-dee
hig-a-dee &a

Same method works for 1/8th note triplets; keep the count relative to the tempo-
1_ &_ hig-a-dee3_ &_ hig-a-dee

1/4 note triplets-
1___2___hig-a-dee

1____hig-a-dee 4

hig-a-dee 3___4___

8. ### DocBop

Feb 22, 2007
Los Angeles, CA
Talk to a drummer on bass you rarely see 32nd notes. To me its like when you have learned 8th notes and have them down then start working on 16th's. It eventually hits you they are the same rhythmic patterns, just twice as fast. So you learn to transfer your knowledge of 8th to 16th's and train the eye to look at the smaller note groupings.

9. ### Corporate Boy

Feb 12, 2008
Washington, DC

10. ### nsmar4211

Nov 11, 2007
Don't know about a verbal thing for 2 beat triplets (hereafter referred to as quarter note triplets), but I can tell you what will help on timing them.

Take your hands and a surface, and start playing eight note triplets. Alternate your hands R L R L R L. Line it up with a beat (the hand striking the beat will alternate) R l r L r l R l r L r l R (first note of next measure).
Once you have that timing down, (this is to make sure you are playing in tempo), go back to not emphasizing any beat. r l r l r l etc.
Now......keeping your hands moving in time, emphasize the only right hand the whole measure.
R l R l R l R l R l R l R.
Your right hand is playing the quarter note triplet!

Alternate playing four beat measures of accenting the eight note triplet ( R L R L for the accents) and then four beats of the quarter note triplet (R R R R R R)-with a metronome or click track. This will train your ear what the timing sounds like, and going back and forth between the two lets you make sure you are keeping the eighth notes constant and not speeding up the accents.

Notice that the first beat of a quarter note triplet is on the click (trip)......the second (po) is is before the click......and the third (let) is after the click. Next click starts the next triplet (trip po let)

You can also do quarter note triplets on one hand (left in example) while tapping the straight beat on the other (right) to hear the timing. How? Say this:

Fat- Kit- ty- Cat -Fat-Kit-ty-Cat . Both hands strike at the same time on Fat...... Kit is on left hand.... ty on right....cat on left.......both again on Fat and etc. You're then playing three over four.

Or.......one I found easier...... is the christmas song Carol of Bells.... The part that goes
Hark go the bells/ Sweet silver bells /All seem to say/ Throw cares away. Is also three over four. Both hands together on Hark Sweet All Throw and the rest alternates.

Ok so you didn't ask about playing both at same time.....but if you can get the timing in your head of how the beats play off each other, it's just then a matter of using fingers on bass

11. ### Corporate Boy

Feb 12, 2008
Washington, DC
Cool. Thanks for the really helpful tip!!! I'll be passing time at work with it now. I never really worked on it, but I have always wanted to be able to tap out 3 against 4 like that. I am learning now more then ever that learning new rhythm patterns is a lot easier then I ever thought and being faced with learning crazy funkiness should be that fearful.

On a side note - I am no longer in the sight-reading/audition phase of my playing, but if I ever had to do it again and if I was given charts with weird grooves or odd rhythmic patterns, that first thing I would do would be to sing syllables to get the rhythm in my head before I even worry about the notes and not even pretended I know what the riff or groove sounds like before I look at it.

12. ### lonestarwings

Dec 30, 2007
Austin, TX, USA
I was always taught

1 tic a tic a tic a tic

for 32nd notes.

Don't know about sixteenth note triplets, don't see them that much but I think we always just said trip--ull-it twice real fast. So:

trip-ull-it-trip-ull-it

13. ### vinny

Apr 3, 2006
Las Vegas, NV.
Are you guys really using 32nds? I don't mean to sound like a smart***, but I can't remember the last time I even thought about them until now.

14. ### Corporate Boy

Feb 12, 2008
Washington, DC
I don't think I ever played a 32nd note in my life (Darn dummer is always pushing the tempo)

I think practicing sub-dividing a 32nd note might unlock some doors within your groove because you are looking at the rythmn at a different angle.