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Triplet Rhythms (Guitar Lesson BC-155) Guitar for beginners Stage 5

November 23, 2019

Now, what we’re talking about
in this lesson today is ‘triplets.’ And a ‘triplet’ is when we divide a beat
into three instead of two. So far we’ve always been talking about
having this idea of having a beat, which is 1, 2, 3, 4 and we’ve talked about dividing it in half, which gave us our ‘ands.’ So if we had… I’ll tap on the guitar here: Hopefully, you can pick that up clearly. So, here’s your beat: 1, 2, 3, 4. We had: 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and. That was a pretty nice easy count. And we just divided each beat by half. So, you know: 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and. But we can also
divide that beat each time into three. So we have: 1 trip-let, 2 trip-let, 3 trip-let, 4 trip-let. 1 trip-let, 2 trip-let, 3 trip-let, 4 trip-let. It’s really important
that you get the idea that a beat doesn’t just divide in half, It can divide actually by any number. Very commonly into three,
which is triplets, into four,
which is called sixteenth notes. Fives you can do, sixes and sevens is possible, but they’re a little less common. So, we’re not going to be dealing with them
for quite some time. So, the thing
that I want you to get used to is the idea of a triplet and the count for a triplet. So, with triplets … I’ve seen a few books and stuff trying to get people to count it: Trip-a-let, Trip-a-let, which is just really horrible on the tongue and you lose the count then. It’s really important that, when you’re counting along with music, that you are saying:
1 and 2 and 3 and 4. It’s the 1-2-3-4 that’s really valuable, because it helps you know
where you are in the bar. Especially in the beginner’s stage,
until it becomes instinctive. So, with triplets,
we count them: 1 trip-let, 2 trip-let, 3 trip-let, 4 trip-let. So, something I just want you to practice. We’re not going to be strumming these triplets, because… they’re kind of awkward to strum, and we don’t tend to use full triplets
for strumming very often. It’s possible, just definitely not on a beginner’s course. So, what we are going to be doing
is just counting it. So what I want you to do
is just strum on 1 and count your triplet. So, if you just pick a G chord, say. I want you to go: 1 trip-let, 2 trip-let 3 trip-let, 4 trip-let, 1 trip-let, 2 trip-let 3 trip-let, 4 trip-let. And get used to the count of it
in your mouth. Because we’re going to be using it for some scales and we’re going to use it in our next lesson, for this kind of a blues shuffle rhythm. Which is very cool,
I’m sure you’ll like it. But first of all,
you really need to get this idea of a triplet really clear in your mind. So, make sure the big deal here
is the counting of it. 1 trip-let, 2 trip-let, 3 trip-let, 4 trip-let. Good exercise,
if you want to do, would be to put your metronome on and practice going like: 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and, 1 trip-let, 2 trip-let, 3 trip-let, 4 trip-let. 1 trip-let, 2 trip-let, 3 trip-let, 4 trip-let. 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and. So, practicing dividing each beat just vocally: doing “1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and” and then:
“1 trip-let, 2 triplet, 3 trip-let, 4 trip-let,” but keeping the 1, 2, 3 and the 4
exactly aligned with the beat. It’s quite tricky,
it’s good fun. Have a go at that, practice up speaking your triplets Practice feeling it, tapping it, Just strumming on 1,
don’t even strumming the whole triplet yet. And then I’ll see you for the next lesson, where we’re actually going to turn this triplet into a bit of a blues groovy rhythm. So, I’ll see you for that some time real soon. Bye bye.


  • Reply Jacob king July 29, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Good one. Justin.

  • Reply Sagesparten007 July 30, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    great one justin 🙂

  • Reply Lysergic Psilocibe August 5, 2009 at 12:24 am

    You're the best Justin. Thank you
    I can play because of you. Thank youuuuuuuuu

  • Reply jx14aby August 7, 2009 at 12:51 am

    Thank you justin. Great lesson.

  • Reply Culture Vandals February 3, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    oh my god that guitar is beautiful

  • Reply smashingpumpkinsxD July 23, 2010 at 12:49 am

    You rock man! Thank you! ,,/

  • Reply omar mousa August 20, 2010 at 5:26 am

    i acctually know what triplets are, like (te re le)
    but i swear i'm just glad that someone has the integrity to explain it well thank you really.

  • Reply JsinStrd September 1, 2010 at 5:17 am

    IDEAR of a triplet…

  • Reply LukeSniper March 16, 2011 at 2:08 am

    I don't mean to be a stickler, but you said "divided a beat BY half" which would actually make the notes twice as long (1 / .5 = 2)

    = P

    Anyway, I needed a video to explain triplets to someone online, as I couldn't just show them myself, and I found this. Nice job.

  • Reply LukeSniper March 16, 2011 at 2:13 am

    Oh, and I'm sure you've noticed, but when you're talking about the metronome, you start counting double-time… so it's really sextuplets.

    I just found it amusing how you mentioned they were uncommon and then counted them a minute later.

  • Reply chillysdad May 22, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Thanks. You make learning the guitar easy and fun. I am inspired by you.

  • Reply Carlos Gustavos October 29, 2011 at 2:59 am

    dude that guitar in the backround is that a fender roadworn?

  • Reply NandeDattebayoo November 22, 2011 at 1:56 am

    @karlinngustafinn be quiet.

  • Reply chocobo January 27, 2012 at 3:34 am

    you can also say za-ta-ta like i remember in music class

  • Reply miloticae May 22, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    thanks !

  • Reply Carlos Gustavos October 10, 2012 at 12:02 pm


  • Reply 57IronMaiden November 28, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    Haha that's how I learned them. I learnt them from the songs "Out Of The Silent Planet" and "El Dorado"

  • Reply Jimmy Hindrix January 23, 2013 at 8:43 am

    1 e and ah 2 e and ah 3 e and ah 4 e and ah

  • Reply Saad N April 21, 2013 at 6:53 am

    my thoughts exactly. you should try n get his album also man, he's an amazing musician. you can also get a dvd of his lessons as well.

  • Reply Saad N April 21, 2013 at 6:57 am

    you get what he means though. which is why it works. he meant the beat itself, which yeah does mean the actual beat, but it seems more natural to assume he wasn't talking about the notes.

  • Reply Patrick Rennemo June 24, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    So a triplet is the same as putting the metronome on 3/4 and 16th note is 4/4?

  • Reply Tom Gionet August 10, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    Essentially, yes. Mine beeps on triplets on 3/4 and eighths on 4/4 and 2/4

  • Reply Jake Yu September 2, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    thank you

  • Reply Diana Torres November 26, 2014 at 12:10 am

    What can I say to you Justin, you are awesome awesome awesome! I am very appreciative for your time in sharing your talent with us, for free. Thank you soooo much. I am finally pursuing what I always desires to do… learn and be good at playing guitar so I found you :-). For the first time I am confident I can do it and am doing it along with you. May the Lord bless you.

  • Reply The Extinct Surgeon April 11, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    Metallica-Battery triplet is an asshole

  • Reply Anas Azkoul June 17, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Thanks man it was a big problem for me

  • Reply royothebuzz September 11, 2015 at 5:54 am

    Thanks Justin, most informative yet simple lesson on triplets

  • Reply bolan arewa January 4, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    ur the best teacher i have seen that explains the guitar as best so we understand better

  • Reply Jethro Stoltzfus March 7, 2016 at 3:13 am

    I learned this same thing but a different way. 1 and a 2 and a 3 and a 4 and a. I think its easier especially if you use 1 and 2 and…

  • Reply Polarized September 16, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    Totally needed this to learn "Live in a hole" by Pantera. Didnt understand shit of the intro of that song until today.

  • Reply tgchan June 16, 2017 at 10:03 pm


  • Reply George Baker September 12, 2017 at 5:26 am

    shave ur unibrow

  • Reply 壬晴 December 28, 2017 at 4:43 am

    I started with Meshuggah – Bleed and worked my way up to triplet rhythms.

  • Reply my curly sky October 17, 2018 at 12:19 am

    this works with a metronome sooo

  • Reply jackson studio April 17, 2019 at 4:48 am

    Thanks bro it helped me a lot

  • Reply Lance Chris. June 12, 2019 at 9:35 pm

    Do we only count? We don't play the triplet and?

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