A better way to count 16th note triplets ?

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DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I was taught to count 16th note triplets as 1 ti ta + ti ta or 1 tuh tuh + tuh tuh or such variations that are always two groups of 3 syllables.

Which works just fine when going from an 8th note triple feel into 16th note triplets,
and works when you go from 8th notes into a fill with 3 note groupings such as RlrLrl

However, when going from 8th notes or straight 16ths into 16th note triplets where the fill in phrased in groups of 2s RlRlRl or 4+2 RlrlRl it's always "feels" a bit awkward to count them in the traditional manner.

Why does it fell awkward? Because if you're playing a beat that in groups of 2s and 4s (as one would when playing straight 8ths and/or 16ths) and then you play a fill that is groups of 2's and/or 4+2, there is no 3 syllable feel or phrase, just a change in the sub-division.

This becomes especially awkward when breaking the 2s and 4's between hands and feet, like Steve Smith does on the into to "Where Were You".

So today I'm working on some ideas, and I just think, man, there HAS to be a better way to count 16th note triplets in such a situation that better aligns the "feel" of 2's and 4's rather than feeling them "against" the 3 syllable phrase that is otherwise no where to be found in the song(s) I'm working on.

And then I think, I can't be the only drumming dork who finds this a bit strange. But I've never heard a 6 syllable phrase.

Any ideas?

Thank you.
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
When counting 8th note triplets, I first learned "1 and uh 2 and uh", but I didn't like how it used some of the same words/syllables as16th notes. So I read somewhere along the line about counting them "1 trip let 2 trip let", so that's what I use. So, I use the same thing with 16th note triplets- "1 trip let & trip let 2 trip let & trip let". This gets tongue-tying at even a moderate tempo though, so I just think it rather than say it out loud. I teach this to my students and it seems to stick.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I say, learn how to play it, then only be concerned with where the 1 is, or the 1, 2 is. You should relax and fall into the pulse of what you're playing.

If you try to count out everything, your focus will not be on the phrase, but the individual notes, which means you're not thinking about the pulse, and your timing is going everywhere, or nowhere.

This might be for your future learning, but feeling the pulse is more important than how to count all the notes. If you're stating the time for the band (concert band, jazz band, marching band, whatever) whatever the notes are doing, you make sure you hit the '1' of the next bar on time. Listening and staying together as an ensemble is why you'll get hired to play.

Just come up with your way of counting sextuplets for now, but understand that the most important thing is where the quarter is in the phrase.
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
I say, learn how to play it, then only be concerned with where the 1 is, or the 1, 2 is. You should relax and fall into the pulse of what you're playing.

If you try to count out everything, your focus will not be on the phrase, but the individual notes, which means you're not thinking about the pulse, and your timing is going everywhere, or nowhere.

This might be for your future learning, but feeling the pulse is more important than how to count all the notes. If you're stating the time for the band (concert band, jazz band, marching band, whatever) whatever the notes are doing, you make sure you hit the '1' of the next bar on time. Listening and staying together as an ensemble is why you'll get hired to play.

Just come up with your way of counting sextuplets for now, but understand that the most important thing is where the quarter is in the phrase.
To further clarify- with all rhythms, learn how to count them out while you're learning & perfecting playing them, then you can let go of the actual counting and just feel how they fit within the tempo pulse.
 

Longfuse

Senior Member
wid-d-ly, wid-d-ly

From triplet to straight 16ths in one beat:

wid-d-ly & a

or visa versa:

1 e wid-d-ly

Well, that's the morons way of doing it (I count myself among their number)...
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I say, learn how to play it, then only be concerned with where the 1 is, or the 1, 2 is. You should relax and fall into the pulse of what you're playing.

.
That's what I have been doing for years, and it works. And really, once a tempo hits a certain point, you can not count that fast and have to feel it.

But I want to take this concept up a notch, so much like how we might go back over stick control or a Jojo Mayer exercise, even though we've been playing rudiments for years, I'm trying to break it back down to see how I got here.

It's more about trying to get a certain vibe out the figures than anything else.
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
i like counting triplets as "1 ah lee 2 ah lee..." and so on. those syllables are very easy to pronounce and you can count them out loud really fast. you can also count sixteenth note triplets like this "1 ah lee an ah lee 2 ah lee an ah lee". i always had trouble counting "1 trip let 2 trip let" fast.
 

Spectron

Silver Member
I don't really count 16th triplets per say....

what helps me execute them is to only accent the 1
DA, da, da, da, da, da
or
Chocolatechip and uh

Either way you're accenting with the same hand as opposed to accenting alternating hands in 8th triplets.
But yeah counting this out at 120bpm - forget about it lol!
 

Davo-London

Gold Member
Try this it works for me:

1 and a 1 and a 2 and a 2 and 3 and a 3 and a 4 and a 4 etc ... you can say this very quickly.

Davo
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
And really, once a tempo hits a certain point, you can not count that fast and have to feel it.
Great topic Drum.......counting sextuplets at higher tempos has screwed with my mind for years. I really have no way of counting them as such. 1 ti ta + ti ta.....or 1 la le....li lo....rah rah....blah blah....has just never worked for me......leaves me way too confused.

I've always worked on "feeling them" as discussed by Bo and yourself. To this day, I'll still play triplets (which I CAN count and do so as 1 & uh) into sextuplets as a pad drill. I've found the drill gets my hands used to feeling the pulse.
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
i like counting triplets as "1 ah lee 2 ah lee..." and so on. those syllables are very easy to pronounce and you can count them out loud really fast. you can also count sixteenth note triplets like this "1 ah lee an ah lee 2 ah lee an ah lee". i always had trouble counting "1 trip let 2 trip let" fast.
Me too, if you're talking about counting them out loud... But you can THINK it rather than try to speak it. Then, further still when you're better at them and you "feel" how they go rather than literally quantize it with counting mnemonics, it's moot. When I teach my beginner students this counting method, I also point out that it's nearly impossible to literally say it, even at medium tempos, without getting tongue-tied. I emphasize that I teach them to count it this way so that they understand how they go, but to only count it out loud at slow tempos, work their way up to thinking the counts at medium tempos, and then when they try it at fast tempos, go more by feel. I usually get good results this way.
 
C

Crazy8s

Guest
WWBRD? (Buddy Rich)

Somehow I don't think he was counting. I meter 16th triplets by using Moeller stroke plus 2 rebounds per half beat. Dah-duh-duh Dah-duh-duh. Depending on tempo, it will be triple strokes or single strokes. With triples its very easy to meter. With Moeller motion, you can do a single, a double or a triple, and each type feels slightly different. All you need to know is how each type feels, and you use that feel per beat.

Consider a single to be an apple. A double to be a tree. A triple to be a forest. 16th triplets would be two forests per beat, or 3 trees per beat, or 6 apples.

I count when I am learning. I don't count when I am playing.

My .02.
 

skreg

Senior Member
After a certain tempo I just start thinking of the accents . . . - - - - AH - - - - AH - - - AH - - -

-sheldon
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Re: A different way to count 16th note triplets ?

Maybe I should have titled the thread "a different way to count".

"Better" was a bad choice of worlds in retrospect.

The issue isn't not feeling them, or not being able to play them, or not knowing where the accents are, nor the strokes involved.

I was just trying to think of different ways of counting a 6 note grouping in something other than 2 sets of 3 syllables.
 

Maddog57

Junior Member
Growing up when I was nine yrs old my drum teacher taught me
To practice groups of 6 with a metronome. Starting slow about 60 bpm playing
Continues groups of 6 counting 1-2-3-4. This way you learn to feel the six
Notes Instead of counting them. He called it memory and musle memory
Exercise. When your playing 32nd notes...you'll never be able to count them
It's all about FEELING the PULSE of 6.
I hope this helps anyone out there. By the way my drum teacher was good
Friend with Buddy Rich. I think that's where he got his lesson from!!! Lol
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
I think the best way to count sextuplets is

1+a1+a 2+a2+a 3+a3+a 4+a4+a
 

caddywumpus

Platinum Member
"ONE trip let AND trip let TWO trip let AND trip let..." That's what I was taught by two private instructors, my college professor, and at least two theory teachers. If you start counting the triplets with syllables you use when counting sixteenths or 32nds, it can get confusing, especially to a beginner.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
15 replies and not one single person actually read the question LOL.

And I thought most of the drummers around here knew how to read........ *ba-dum-crash*
 
A

Anthony Amodeo

Guest
"ONE trip let AND trip let TWO trip let AND trip let..." That's what I was taught by two private instructors, my college professor, and at least two theory teachers. If you start counting the triplets with syllables you use when counting sixteenths or 32nds, it can get confusing, especially to a beginner.
thats seems like a bit of a mouth full to me

when I teach trips I definitely use the syllables

but once they are sped up the word "triplet" and the word "and" to substitute the number gets a bit clunky

the 1+a1+a system I find rolls off the tongue easier

sounding like "one en uh one en uh"
 
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