Photo by Dave Hodgkinson

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Mastering the Triplet (part 2) – with video


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Here's another Mastering the Triplet video lesson. This time we’re  using Ted Reed’s Syncopation as material to develop our triplet vocabulary. By dividing up the accents into long notes & short notes (explained below) we can open up a whole host of interesting rhythmic and orchestral possibilities. Below are the first 4 lines of page 38 of Syncopation (if you feel this exercise is useful in any way, please go out and buy the book).



  • Firstly, reading syncopation as swung, we can play rolling hand-to-hand triplets with the syncopation phrase as accents. (0:47 in the video)
  • We want to divide the syncopation phrases into ‘long‘ notes and ‘short‘ notes. Long notes are quarter notes or longer (including ties across the bar). Short notes are all of the eight note accents. (1:13 in the video)
  •  To orchestrate the phrase we move the right hand long notes onto the ride (with an added kick drum underneath). Keep all of the other notes on the snare (2:15 in the video).
  • Now ‘trade 4′s’ with yourself. Play 4 bars of time, followed by 4 bars of rolling triplets with this new orchestration. 
  • Try your own orchestrations using this method including moving the same right hand, long notes accents to the toms.


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