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A triplet riff

903 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Hammertime
The notation shown in the attachment represents a common riff in improvisation. It fits most tempos, although you hear it more often in uptempo tunes.

Assume that each 2-measure riff has one of three sets of chord changes.

Dm7 / / / | G7 / / / |


Dm7 / G7 / | CMaj7 / / / |


G7 / / / | CMaj7 / / / |

The 2nd measure is any line you want that fits the chord.

The important part of the riff is in the 1st two beats of the 1st measure. The 2nd two beats can be anything that fits.

The riff consists of an 8th note followed by a eighth note triplet triad. The triad is taken from major scale notes of the tonal center, in this example, C. The triplet is preceded by an 8th note that is one half tone below the 1st note of the triad.

Transpose these riffs to all the other keys and practice them all. You'll find many places where they fit. You'll find other situations with different changes in the 2nd measure, too.

The first beat of the first measure might not start with an 8th note rest. It might be the last note of a previous line you played.
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That's the one known to the over 40 set as the "Woody Woodpecker" riff.
old10m said:
That's the one known to the over 40 set as the "Woody Woodpecker" riff.
Not really. The WW riff starts the triplet on the 4th beat of the previous measure and always has two eight notes on the downbeat.
Ah, I had to learn that as a fingering practice (really, you can invent infinite things like these) Bird is using these things like hell.
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