Practice Suggestions for Learning How to Play Triplets

It is essential to subdivide these rhythms to play them accurately and feel the triple subdivision. Read the Lesson 16 Introduction to understand triplets. Even though the time signatures in this lesson are in simple meter, the rhythms in these patterns subdivide the beat into three equal parts. Use the letters k and d for the second and third subdivisions: “one-k-d-two-k-d”

To play half note triplets you must be able to play quarter note triplets. To play quarter note triplets you must be able to play eighth note triplets. Practice and use accurate repetition on the rhythms in Part 1 to feel the triple eighth note subdivision.

When you are practicing a rhythm that includes any notes shorter than one beat, subdivide every beat in the pattern, not just the beats with the short notes. Subdividing every beat will help you keep the tempo steady and play the rhythms accurately.

Using the triple subdivision metronome will help you subdivide these rhythms accurately.

The patterns in Part 4 are very challenging and involve rhythms with both duple and triple subdivisions. The audio examples for these patterns only include a basic metronome that only clicks on the beat. You have to do the subdividing yourself, so count clearly and strongly. Focus on patterns 1619 and 1622 which alternate between duple and triple subdivisions.

Practice these patterns slowly with a single click metronome many times, making sure to subdivide each beat evenly. A good way to begin practicing these patterns is to count the beats and the subdivisions without clapping. Once you are comfortable counting the subdivisions, then clap the rhythms, too.

For more practice tips and suggestions, visit the Practice page.

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