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How to learn to play a quarter note triplet?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by MicceO, Sep 20, 2004.

  1. MicceO


    Aug 12, 2004
    I've got a problem. For some reason, learning to play a quarter note triplet so that it is rhythmically correct seems to be extremely difficult to me :confused: (any other have similar problems?).

    Especially difficult to maintain even foot tap.

    So, any word of advice would be highly appreciated!
  2. jtauban


    Oct 28, 2003
    Tough to tap your foot along triplets? it seems the problem is not mechanical but has to do with your level of comfort with music that uses triplets in general. I used to play the drums and had the same issue 11 years ago. I managed to overcome it by intensively listening and playing music with triplets, like traditionnal jazz, blues,...
    Also start practicing with the metronome playing on beat 2 and 4. (like a drummer's snare drum or hihat), it will help you develop strong swing and feel!
    good luck!
  3. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Only way is to practice, and listen to pieces where they're featured.

    I hear you, though - they're not the kind of triplet divisions most of us are used to hearing.
  4. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Get a notation program like Finale Notepad and create a section with triplets over a 4/4 beat, so you can hear then and practice along.
  5. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    It can be a bit tricky until you get the feel of it. I found the best way for me was to listen and imitate. See if you can have any use of this simple MIDI. It's all steady quarter notes in the beat, one bar count in, one bar arpeggiated quarter notes, then four bars of arpeggiated quarter triplets. You could always start with just listening and tapping your foot to the beat. Then tap your foot to the beat and sing along with the "melody". Then play it.

    EDIT: Why can't I attach anything? Ah, seems like you have to do the MIDI yourself after all.
  6. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    Make the midi file a zip file first and attach the zip file.

  7. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    I've tried, it doesn't work. No matter what I do, it just won't attach. Something for a bug report, perhaps?
  8. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    You are right. Not working for me either. Worked last week on another thread.

  9. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    The best way I can explain how to play a 1/4 note triplet is to think of them as two 1/8 note triplets tied together.
  10. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
  11. Scot

    Scot Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2004
    Pacifica, CA, USA
    When you tap your foot on the quarter note and play quarter note triplets you're playing a 3:2 rhythm. Try this - tap your foot on the quarters with a metronome clicking at around 70 bpm. Now, somehow vocalize 1/8 note triplets, which should be pretty easy to do. Sing, click your tongue, count, whatever. Now, clap your hands on every other 1/8 note triplet. cassanova had it right with the tied 1/8 note triplet thing. The key is to feel the 1/8 note triplets while playing the 1/4 triplets. Once you got that, give 1/2 note triplets a shot. :)

  12. MicceO


    Aug 12, 2004
    Thank you all for your replies, they are most helpful!

    I keep on practicing :bassist: and hope that I could report on progress in the near future!
  13. mjw


    Jun 12, 2001
    Spring, TX USA
    You might also want to have a look at the:Active Bass Line Builder

    It's free, and you have a variety of programming options. Looks like this:

  14. Matt Ides

    Matt Ides

    May 12, 2004
    Minneapolis, MN
    usa a metronome. Set it to a two beat feel. a Click on every 1 & 3. Play straight quarter notes(1234). Then play the triplets (1-trip-let 2-trip-let) then back to straight quarter notes(1234).

    Do this enough and you will have no problem hearing and being able to play the triplets from a straight 4/4.

  15. MicceO


    Aug 12, 2004
    Sounds good, thanks! Will try it right away! :bassist:
  16. BlacksHole


    Mar 22, 2000
    Rockville, MD
    What helped me was to consider 1/4 note triplets as 1/8 note triplets with each note doubled, i.e., if the note were C, E, G, I'd first play it as CC, EE, GG in 1/8 note triplets (CCE, EGG). From this it was easy to see that the quarter note triplets fall on 1 and 3 of the first quarter note and on 2 of the second quarter note.

    If you really want to get the hang of it break it right down

    ie. Say we have our friends the eight note triplets

    1&a 2&a 3&a 4&a

    We know by experience that a quarter note triplet is valued at 2 beats ( minium or half note )
    Now hit the 1 the a of 1 and the & of 2