Triplet Timing.


New member
This will be a long post, so I decided to make it's own thread, as it can benefit all. This is just a brief lesson in Triplet Timing, and how it fits.

First of all, a Triplet is a group of three in the space of a beat. Where the space is of a quarter note, or where two 8th notes would be, three 8th notes instead take place, making a triplet.

These triplets in 4/4 show that there are 3 notes per beat. Here it is in 6/8.

Now, in counting triplets, Gong from One to Six can be beneficial in slow tempos, when trying to learn how triplets fit in with the metronome. This, however, can get tiresome, especially when speeding up the tempo. Counting in 6 works up to about 60 BPM. Anything faster, it would be better to count in Two. Here's an example of what it looks like. The met click would be on the bottom.

Notice the Quarter notes. That's in Two, with Triplets on top.

Now, counting in Two is really all you would need. This works in all ranges of tempo. However, when getting faster and faster (160 BPM and higher), counting in Two starts to become a burden to think about. Again, as the tempo gets faster, so does the counting, making it more difficult to think about when trying to play. Therefore, counting in One comes into play, making it easier to feel the pulse and tempo without having to strain your brain with counting two at high rates.

Now, looking at this, you might hit across something. Counting in One now allows for 6 instead of 3 to be the beat division. Instead of being 2 beats for 3 notes each, it's now 1 beat for 6 notes. Now, we can write the same exact thing, but at a more manageable and logical tempo.

Notice, that the patterns are the exact same thing. Measures 1 and 2 will be heard the exact same way as measure 3 will be. Now, we have created a Sixlet, 6 notes in one beat. Also, it can be referred to as 16th Note Triplets, just Triplets with 16th note instead of 8th.

Another way to think of it is that a Sixlet is a diddled Triplet. Diddles, as you know, is making a beat doubled. For example, a diddle 8th note would sound like two 16th notes. this saves a lot of unnecessary writing-out the sticking of doubles. Saves time and money. Here's what I mean about the Sixlet:

Another way to think of Sixlets and Triplets.

Here's a small breakdown of how Triplet's in different patterns and sub-divisions. Also, there's a line of how some of the odd divisions fit into a click.

As an added bonus, I've written out a timing and chop building Exercise. It is what's called a Rhythmic Crescendo and Decrescendo. Basically, the exercise increases the note count per beat, and then goes back down. It is great as developing timing to a click, as well as chops. It can be practiced on both hands and feet, and two different ways: One-Handed or Straight Sticking. If one-Handed, I suggest starting at a SLOW tempo, as it gets hairy in the middle. If Straight Sticking (which is RLRL...the entire way through the exercise), then pick a comfortable tempo, and don't over exert yourself. The middle is where it becomes a nightmare. I apologize that the image can't be bigger. PhotoBucket limits it to a certain size, and it's a bit difficult to read, but not impossible. Good luck.



New member
that last exercise is a goodie. I use pretty much the same exercise. I will switch it up sometimes to develop comfort in shifting gears between different subdivisions.