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Triplet Timings – Online Training Courses

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Once you have mastered the previous lesson, its then time to try and get triplet timings down.

The difficulty with Half note & quarter note triplets is learning to play notes over 2 or more beats.

Triplet Timings

Playing eight note and sixteenth note triplets is relatively straight forward if you had a good grasp of the previous lesson.

The trickier rhythm to play however is the quarter note triplet timing, this requires you to get used to playing a group of notes over two beats rather one. What I mean by this is that you will essentially ignore the middle beat, See above bar 3. In music theory this is called a Hemiola, and they are difficult at first to play

This concept and feel is even more pronounced with the half note triplet timing, here you are play three notes over 4 beats. Check out bar 2 and listen carefully to the music file to hear what it sounds like.


If you start out using a metronome at a setting of 60 BPM and tap you foot on each beat, you get a feel for the pulse. Now keep the same metronome setting but instead of tapping your foot on each beat, tap it on every other beat. Begin to play triplets but instead of focusing on the metronome clicking away at 60 BPM, focus on playing the triplets in time to your foot tapping the beat every 2 beats.

This will feel pretty slow, as you are effectively playing triplets at 30 BPM instead of 60. Confused? Try giving it a go, once you have the metronome clicking away and the guitar in hand hopefully things become clearer.

Once you have got a handle on this try the half note triplet. As ever gradually build up the metronome setting until you can play this a fast BPM.

Practice using these rhythms in single note phrases and chord work, the Hemiola works particularly well if you are playing a sixteenth note based funk rhythm and suddenly you drop in some quarter note triplets, it really tweaks the ear!.

Whole Note / Semibreve

Half Note Triplet / Minim Triplet

Quarter Note Triplet / Crotchet Triplet

Eighth Note Triplet / Quaver Triplet

Sixteenth Note Triplet / Semi Quaver Triplet