What are triplets?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Lowend4s, Feb 14, 2002.

  1. Lowend4s


    Jan 2, 2001
    I have heard so much talk about them!

    I must say though this site it great! So much input from so many different bassists! Excellent!
  2. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    A triplet is when three notes are played on the same time as two notes would have been played. Let's say a quarter note beat goes 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4, quarter note triplets would be like
    Beat:     1  2  3  4
    Triplets: 1-2-3 1-2-3
    8th note triplets over the same beat would come up as:

    Beat:     1   2   3   4
    Triplets: 123 123 123 123
    I'd do a MIDI file demonstrating this, but I can't right now. Someone else will probably explain this better than I do.
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Basically to understand triplets, you need to get to grips with reading some music and see how they are used - tabs won't help as they have no rhythmic information.

    OM is right, but it is much easier to grasp when you see it in the context of a tune or line. Triplets are not about "technique" as such, but are rather about subdividing the bar in different ways - so you could have a very slow ballad with triplets included or tunes where part of the triplet is a rest - the musical context is everything.
  4. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    That reminds me of the time I was tryin' to explain a 'tripletted feel' to some piano player.
    She kept saying & arguing the fact that "...but, I'm only hearing TWO notes".

    Ya think maybe a REST could be involved?
    Or maybe even a TIE?
  5. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Off to General Instruction
  6. Turn on your metronome(you do have one, right?) ... set it at something slow like 80 or 90 bpm and count the following OUT LOUD(without your bass in hand) or even tap on something. After a couple times it should give you the feel of triplets: Make sure the Numbers are in time with the click ...

    1 2 3 4 - quarter notes
    1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & - eigth notes
    1e&a 2e&a 3e&a 4e&a - sixteenth notes
    1 trip let 2 trip let 3 trip let 4 trip let - TRIPLETS!

    Soon you'll be counting like a drummer!
    Later -
  7. Paul A

    Paul A

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hertfordshire U.K!
    These, My boy,are triplets!
    :D :D :D
  8. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    I have the hardest time playing triplets correctly (that's why my teacher always has me playin em I guess! LOL :D). When trying to play 8th-note triplets, I always end up playing a 16th-note rhythm instead (ya know, "1-e-and...2-e-and...blah blah blah..."). I have a hard time keeping the notes even. :(

    Just a vent...

  9. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    i had that problem too steph, i was told to count um out as such to help me remedy the problem

    trip-ah-let, trip-ah-let, or just 1-2-3 1-2-3.

    what kinda of exercises are you doing for them? i could afford to brush up on them again myself.


    mama cass

    :D <-----just for you;)
  10. Heh, very nice. I also enjoy the sig.
  11. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    OK, here's a simple MIDI file demonstrating triplets. What you (hopefully) hear in it is:

    1 bar of 4 quarter notes
    1 bar of 8 8th nothes
    1 bar of 12 8th note TRIPLETS
    1 bar of 16 16th notes
    1 bar of 24 16th note TRIPLETS
  12. Well people have done a pretty good job explaining them so far. That there are many more tuplets then just the triplet. In fact eight notes and sixteenth notes are tuplets as well. what it comes down to is telling you how many notes are played evenly in a given time frame (ie. in 4/4 a eight note triplet gets 3 notes played in one beat and a quarter note triplet get 3 notes played in 2 beats.) There are some rather unused tuplets that like quintuplets wich is 5 notes in said time frame. then there is the more common sextuplets where it is 6 notes in said time frame ( same thing in theory as a 16th note triplet) I have found that if you learn in theory what a tuplet is instead of what a triplet is it helps should you run across any other kind of tuplet. At least this has helped me if it helps you great if not well i tried.
  13. SoggyTrousers

    SoggyTrousers Guest

    Jan 9, 2002
    Wayne, New Jersey
    hmmm... 1-trip-let 2-trip-let and so on and so forth works well.
  14. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    If we're talking phonetics-
    Rather than '1-trip-let, 2-trip-let, etc'...
    What works better for me is 'hig-a-dee bog-a-dee'.
    IMO, this works great on those 1/16th note triplets(Flows better than the aforementioned '1-trip-let 2-trip-let', etc).
  15. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    Hey Cass,

    Yeah I try counting them out as well: "trip-ah-let...trip-ah-let"....I like JimK's advice on the "hig-a-dee...bog-a-dee"! :D

    As for exercises, I try to play a line: start with a measure of quarter notes, then a measure of eight notes, then a measure of triplets. Other things I do are just play the triplets against the metronome for a loooooooong time. Also, I posted a thread over at Technique the other day about an exercise my teacher gave me on playing 3rds 2 octaves up and down the neck. I had to play them in triplets. (For example the C major scale: CDE DEF EFG FGA and so on). (I posted at technique b/c I was experiencing pain playing em fast..heh..)


    Hahahah.....thanks! :D
  16. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    the hig-a-dee, bog-a-dee isnt workin for me, i laugh for some reason when i say it. (i start thinkin redneck for some reason, nothin personal jim)

    i should try and play a line like you do, i usually just practice triplettes to a click track, or i'll incorporate them into some of the lines i create with the group im in. I dont really have a set practice routine on them, perhaps i should.

    and yw :D :oops:P~~~
  17. lump


    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    Maybe this is what Jim had in mind.

  18. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999

    ...and HEY, NOW!

    (And, thanks...now I'll be 'up' all night!).
  19. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    Har har har, very funny. Thos triplets get around don't they? :p :D

    But, anyway, Cass, if that "hig-a-dee...bog-a-dee" doesn't work for you then...well...it doesn't.

    Back to doing "trip-ah-let...trip-ah-let". Is it just me or when counting it out loud, you find an emphasis on the "trip" part? Am I wrong in finding this? Also, when I play the triplets the "let" seems to flow, so to speak, smoothly into the "trip" of the next triplet.

    One day....I will be able to play triplets correctly and evenly...one day...

  20. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000

    i bet those tripplets are easier than the ones we try and practice :eek: