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How to Play Sixteenth Note Triplets on Heavy Metal Guitar

Let musician Alex Skolnick teach you how to play sixteenth note triplets on guitar in this heavy metal guitar lesson from Howcast.


Let's talk about sixteenth note triplets. First of all, what is a triplet? Well, a triplet is the division of a beat into three parts. So, if you have any tempo, we can take each beat and divide it into three parts. So, let's say I have this tempo. All right, one, two, three, four. If I divide each one of those into three parts, that's going to be a triplet.

Now, those are quarter notes. Any time you divide into triplets, the smaller numerical value is going to apply to them. For example, if you're playing half notes, and you divide those into triplets, the triplets would be called quarter note triplets. If you have quarter notes, and you divide them into triplets, they're eighth note triplets. If you divide eighth notes into triplets, those are called sixteenth note triplets. And so on, and so forth.

Here we have quarter notes. So if I divide quarter notes into triplets, I get this. Now, if I play that twice as fast, I get eighth note triplets. So, if I apply that to the scale, I could do the pentatonic scale. Once again.

So, that's just one example. Of course, you could do triplets with any type of scale. What I did there, was I went down three strings, one, two, three, and then two, three, four, and then the next ones. O.K., I could also do a cool little pattern of sixteenth note triplets on just two strings. Say I'm here, same note from the pentatonic scale, and I go down the pentatonic scale, and I go back up, one, two, three, one, two, three. All right, here's what that sounds like over the tempo.

Next position.

There you have it. Just a few things you can do with sixteenth note triplets.

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