How to Count Quarter Note Triplets

Things You'll Need Metronome Introduction Counting music is a straightforward process that involves a technique called subdivision, which occurs when you break down the rhythm intended to be played to its smallest note value. Most counting is a simple ratio that evenly divides evenly beat. Even eighth note triplets are divided equally across one beat. Quarter note triplets are more complicated because they span the space of more than one beat. While quarter note triplets may seem difficult at first, there are a few tricks for playing them that almost anyone can learn.

Step 1: Listen to the metronome beat. Set it to a tempo of about 72 beats per minute or base it on the tempo of the music you are trying to play.

Step 2: Tap your foot to the beat to get a feel for the pulse. Begin by playing three equally spaced notes per beat. This is going to be your subdivision for counting quarter note triplets. Quarter note triplets can be subdivided with eighth note triplets since two eighth note triplets equal one quarter note triplet. Therefore, six eighth note triplets over the course of two beats equal three quarter note triplets.

Step 3: Count quarter note triplets by internalizing the three notes per beat you played in the previous step. Once you feel confident that you have internalized the beat instead of playing three notes per beat, play every other note so that you have a total of three notes over the length of two beats.

Practice clapping rhythms without an instrument if you have difficulty. This allows you to concentrate on the rhythm without having to worry about getting the right notes.


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