Insight 7: Triplets

Today we discuss a little right hand technique on how to play triplets.  Check out our Insight #2 about rhythm where we talk about how to subdivide beats within a measure in order to give us more ability to vary our strum patterns.  We can create quarter notes, 1/8th notes, and 1/16th notes but we can also subdivide the beats into three different parts or into triplets to give a completely different feel to our rhythm.

1 2 3 2 2 4 3 2 3 4 2 3

For this technique we are going to involve both our index finger and our thumb.  Play the first beat or “downbeat” with a down strum with the index finger, follow that with a downstrum with the thumb, and lastly an upstrum with the index finger.  Which takes you to the next beat in the measure and you repeat.  Start slow and increase the speed as you become more comfortable with the technique.  You can include triplets into the exercise we described in Insight #2.  Try changing between 1/4, 1/8th, and 1/16th and triplets while keeping the tempo constant.  Check out Insight #6 video to see how we move our upbeats to create a different feel to our strumming.  These triplets fit really well when we are playing with this “swing” feel because we are actually shifting our upbeats into the last part of that triplet sequence!  So give it a try, play some swinging 1/8ths or some strums built from them and see if you can add this triplet technique for some variation 🙂

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