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triplet strumming pattern


(@whssportsman)
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Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 1
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when strumming out triplets how do you know to up or down stroke the middle note of the triplet?


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(@davidhodge)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 4485
 

It tends to depend on a number of things but mostly the overall tempo (the number of beats per minute) of the music you're playing as well as your personal penchant for playing triplets in the first place.

Typically, there are two ways of playing triplets - either using strict alternating picking or going "down-up-down" for each triplet. If you go with alternating picking, the second note of the triplet will vary. For instance, if you play two sets of triplets in a row, then the second note of the first triplet will be an upstroke while the second note of the second triplet will be a downstroke.

If you go with the "down up down" method, the second note will usually be a down. I say "usually" because none of this takes other possibilities into account, such as having hammer-ons and/or pull-offs being a part of the triplet, which often occurs.

In other words, you don't always know. The best thing to do is to try it out in different ways and see which one works for you in each particular instance.

I hope this helps.

And welcome to Guitar Noise, by the way. I look forward to seeing you around on the boards.

Peace


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(@classicshredder999)
Eminent Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 42
 

i use alternative picking which is down-up-down and i think its the best way for triplets and galloping in my opinion.


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(@noteboat)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4933
 

I'm with David. In general if I'm playing a straight triplet run, I'll use either D-U-D D-U-D (starting each with a downstroke) or straight alternate picking depending on the situation. Factors I consider:

1. Are there notes to be accented? It's easiest to control the dynamics of accents if they all have the same stroke direction. So if accents happen on beats, I'll start each beat with a downstroke. If they're irregularly placed, I'll analyze the music and see if there's a useful pattern.

2. How fast do I need to go? Alternate picking gives a bit more speed in general, but...

3. What does the line look like, and what fingering am I going to use? More 'extended' scale fingerings (like those that start with the index finger) tend to put three notes on a string; these are ideal for 'economy' picking of triplets if they're in a scale run. And a lot of arpeggio patterns lend themselves to sweep picking.

4. Finally, are any of the triplets subdivided? If so, I'll have to be moving my pick at a speed to get six notes per beat - and If that's the case (and especially if there's also some syncopation involved) I'll use D-D-D picking on the triplets themselves, and save my upstrokes for the divisions. It helps keep more precise time. Things get even more complicated if you're dividing triplets into triplets (nine divisions per beat). So the bottom line on what's best is the standard answer:

It depends :)

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


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(@davidhodge)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 4485
 

Another drawback to playing triplets with straight alternate picking (and I think most teachers will verify this) is that many beginners often end up turning their triplets into sixteenth notes without realizing they are doing so. The "down up down / down up down" method ensures knowing where the beat is, since you are marking the start of each beat with a downstroke.

Once one is comfortable playing triplets, and understands and feels the difference between triplets and sixteenth notes (and other rhythmic divisions) either picking method works fine. And, ideally, one should be okay playing with either method, because, as Toms says, "it depends."

Peace


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(@hyperborea)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 833
 

All of these can be practiced. Spend some of your technique practice time doing picking drills. Play each pattern (D-U-D etc and D-U-D U-D-U etc) repeatedly on a single string until you get the feel of it. You can move it to other strings and do the same thing. Later you can move strings on every triplet and/or putting the accent on different parts of the triplet.

Keep the tempo low until you can do it easily. You can also set the metronome to triplets to help keep you playing in time. Beyond this you can start to do patterns with one triplet split to different strings as well but don't go there until the triplet on a string is comfortable.

Pop music is about stealing pocket money from children. - Ian Anderson


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(@preacher)
Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 128
 

What I do (regardless of the tempo), is down-pic on the first note, hammer on or pull off the second, and up-pick the third.

I play the guitar, I taught myself how to play the guitar, which was a bad decision... because I didn't know how to play it, so I was a sh***y teacher. I would never have went to me. -Mitch Hedberg


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(@noteboat)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4933
 

What I do (regardless of the tempo), is down-pic on the first note, hammer on or pull off the second, and up-pick the third.

But triplets are rhythmic figures, and can be applied to any melody... what do you do if the first two notes are an octave apart?

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


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(@preacher)
Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 128
 

But triplets are rhythmic figures, and can be applied to any melody... what do you do if the first two notes are an octave apart?
sorry, should have clarified. I do that when Im playing in the minor pentatonic (which I usually am), but otherwise its D-U-D.

I play the guitar, I taught myself how to play the guitar, which was a bad decision... because I didn't know how to play it, so I was a sh***y teacher. I would never have went to me. -Mitch Hedberg


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