What Is the Eighth Note Triplet Rhythm on Bass Guitar?

Learn how to understand the eighth note triplet rhythm on the bass guitar from musician John Sutton in this online guitar lesson from Howcast.

Transcript

This is how to understand the eighth note triplet rhythm. The eighth note is dividing a quarter note into 2 parts. So, if we have even eighth notes dividing a quarter note, it sounds like this. If the beat is; the beat is the quarter note. 1, 2, 3, 4. Even eighth notes are going to sound like this: 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 1 and 2 and 3 and 4. If we divide the quarter note into triplets, we get: 1 2 3, 1 2 3, 1 2 3, 1 2 3 or tri-pl-et tri-pl-et tri-pl-et tri-pl-et. So if we're still dividing the quarter note into 2 parts but we're feeling 3, the way we divide it up is that the 1st eighth note gets the 1st 2 parts of the triplet and the last eighth note gets the last part of the triplet. So instead of feeling the music like 1 and 2 and 3 and 4, instead we hear tri-pl-et tri-pl-et tri-pl-et triple. So, we get like this: 1 2 3, 1 2 3, 1 2 3, 1 2 3. So once you have that you can start applying that into bass lines, or anything else you want to play with it. And that's understanding the eighth note triplet rhythm.

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