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Hey everyone - new video is live! In this one I go over a simple process of how to count and play quarter note triplets. I hear and see so many people not only playing this incorrectly but teaching is wrong as well. If you just do a little counting it will become easy for you! Check it out and let me know what you think.

 

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Great video.

I was taught to subdivide quarter note into three beats and count eighth note triplets as 1-1-1. Overall length is quarter note, 3 eighth note triplet beats.

And quarter note triplets as 1-2, 1-2, 1-2. Overall length is two quarter notes, or 6 eighth note triplet beats.

Of course this is exactly the same thing you describe with the concept of tying the eighth notes. Simple math really, but you’re right many people don’t play quarter note triplets correctly (including myself, for too long a time.)

Thanks for all the great videos.
 

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Great video.

I was taught to subdivide quarter note into three beats and count eight note triplets as 1-1-1. Overall length is quarter note, 3 eight note triplet beats.

And quarter note triplets as 1-2, 1-2, 1-2. Overall length is two quarter notes, or 6 eighth note triplet beats.

Of course this is exactly the same thing you describe with the concept of tying the eight notes. Simple math really, but you’re right many people don’t play quarter note triplets correctly (including myself, for too long a time.)

Thanks for all the great videos.

Which is of course the same
Thank you so much! As long as people aren't guessing the rhythm and have a way to systematically play it correctly, that's cool with me! Glad you dug it.
 

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Good idea. I also have taught that in 4/4 time just tapping or counting the beats on 1 and 3 allows the player to think and feel 3 notes to 1 beat rather than 3 notes to 2 beats.
That definitely helps, especially with faster tempos.
 

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That example that you gave of playing it wrong sounds like clave.
 

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That example that you gave of playing it wrong sounds like clave.
It is! The 3 of a 3-2 or 2-3 son or bossa nova clave is dotted 8th, dotted 8th, 8th (or dotted quarter, dotted quarter, quarter). The last beat of the 3 for a rumba clave is a half of a beat later.
 

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I also have taught that in 4/4 time just tapping or counting the beats on 1 and 3 allows the player to think and feel 3 notes to 1 beat rather than 3 notes to 2 beats.
+1. This is how I've always done it. Feeling beats 1 & 3, with the quarter note triplets in between.

However, I'm also going to work with what you outlined, Dave, and see how that goes. Your method seems very precise. Thanks for posting it!
 

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My band director in college frequently emphasized our correct playing of this rhythm. I really learned to play it when I played in the Zelda Symphony and the classical musicians were the ones nailing it!
 

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I mentioned this on the youtube page :

View attachment 233338

Is this not the same rhythm .. but spread out over 4 bars ?? :scratch:

(Harrison Crabfeathers bridge)
 

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Edited.
Never mind.
 

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Very useful approach to keep those triplets truly spot on.

I suppose the next level (or “another level”) is to internalize the exact metrics and feel of not only the “3 over 2” and “3 over 4”, but also the other way around; going from “triplety” to square and back - “2 over 3” and “4 over 3”. West-African and Afro-Cuban music tends to use this type of pulse transition to great effect, often quite nonchalantly.

The first couple of times you encounter this, as a simple man with only a single metronome and no drum training or talent, it’s enough to make you a bit queasy.
 

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Interestingly, some of those clips of April in Paris that click posted come close to being examples of playing the quarter note triplets in the wrong style that Dave outlined. Especially the vocalists. But I guess it's a pretty fine line and with that particular song, it can sound ok either way.

The real goal of course is to play any given rhythm accurately by feel. First get it down through focused practice in a precise way, then eventually reach the point where you can't get it 'wrong', playing by feel. For me anyway, rhythmic elements are very oriented to getting the feel right.
 

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Interestingly, some of those clips of April in Paris that click posted come close to being examples of playing the quarter note triplets in the wrong style that Dave outlined. Especially the vocalists. But I guess it's a pretty fine line and with that particular song, it can sound ok either way.

The real goal of course is to play any given rhythm accurately by feel. First get it down through focused practice in a precise way, then eventually reach the point where you can't get it 'wrong', playing by feel. For me anyway, rhythmic elements are very oriented to getting the feel right.
I thought that's why they were posted :mrgreen:
Even Frank-who I consider one of the best phrasers of melodies ever-butchers the triplet figure. Billie's the only one who came close in my opinion. Outside of the Basie Band, I highly doubt any of them had the written notation in front of them when they sang the tune though.
 
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