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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Cant do triplet strumming !

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by mikhett, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. mikhett

    mikhett TDPRI Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    jackson nj
    Ok,Im self taught been playing about 5 years for the life of me I cant do fast triplet strumming without dropping the pick! I cant play the ALL MY LOVING rhythm part which is frustrating as its simple chord changes.Ive never had a lesson.
    holdonphoton likes this.

  2. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 9, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    Practice daily, set up a metronome and start slow
    Danjabellza likes this.

  3. PelhamES-LP

    PelhamES-LP formerly MilwMark Ad Free Member

    Apr 29, 2013
    near Arnold's
    I'd guess you are tensing up as you try to go faster. bearing down will slow you down, and cause you to drop the pick.

    As waparker4 says, you need to slow way down to speed way up. Maybe get the slowdowner so you can play along with the original song, at pitch, just at a slower speed. That might help you keep the "feel" of the rhythm better than a metronome (don't get me wrong, I heartily endorse metronomes).
    wayloncash likes this.

  4. stringslinger

    stringslinger Tele-Holic

    Mar 22, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    With strumming, especially anything in 3 or triplets, all strums are not created equal. You have rhythmic accent points that serve as pulse markers, if that makes any sense.

    ex) DOWN - up - down - UP - down - up

    Try to emphasize only the bold strokes by tightening your grip on the pick. It's nothing extreme, just a subtle emphasis to help define the downbeat and/or important rhythmic subdivisions. If your grip on the pick stays constantly tight, you end up striking every down- and up-stroke at equal volume. That creates an unmusical groove.

    Eventually, for faster triplet strumming, you can begin to think of it as just emphasized down and up strokes, with the hand filling in the rhythmic space inbetween.

  5. mitchfinck

    mitchfinck Tele-Holic

    Dec 7, 2015
    Stratford, Ontario
    If you're counting or using a metronome try "One-and-a Two-and-a Three-and-a Four-and-a" with the bolds (on the beat) as the accent as our friendly neighbourhood @stringslinger said. That's how I learned when I started out. Give it a try, let us know what works.
    stringslinger likes this.

  6. Rayner

    Rayner Tele-Meister

    Jun 7, 2015
    Somerset England
    I struggled with this same thing for a while, when I got really frustrated with it, trying to slow it down etc etc I got to the point where I wondered if I'd ever be able to do it my tutor told me something that I didn't think I'd hear him say..... "just leave it and come back to it in a month or so time, unless you've got to learn it for a gig on Saturday night who cares?"

    I didn't get it in a months time but I tried a different song and without actually noticing I was playing the exact rhythm I was struggling with. Sometimes I think it's genuinely just us telling ourselves we find something hard that makes it hard. When I tried to learn my favourite solo, the solo to Eagles - One of these nights I found it incredibly difficult, I think the reason was because I hold it in such high esteem and Don Felder is one of my guitar heros that I subconsciously told myself it'd be really hard to play. When I play it now without agonising over it, is play it easily.

    That might be terrible advice to some people but it works for me, whenever I can't get something down after a while I just leave it, move on and come back later, it's always easier every time.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
    Axis29 likes this.

  7. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    I remember struggling with it as well, but once you get it, you have it forever. Keep on practicing, it will connect. Maybe try a simple YouTube vid for help. The above suggestions are all good ones. Slow down, accent one of the notes in a set to keep the timing going. I can't remember my first triplet song I learned, but it seems like it was an old Beatles tune of some sort.

    Good luck and keep at it.
    Axis29 likes this.

  8. holdonphoton

    holdonphoton Tele-Holic

    Jul 17, 2013
    Workin on the same thing! Glad I saw this. So many helpful suggestions. Love this place.

  9. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Friend of Leo's

    Oct 9, 2008
    S. CA
    Start slow. Which means dinosaur slow. Boring slow. So slow you could read the newspaper while you try to learn it. Get the feel in the hands, wrists and arms. Hear it in your head and in your ears. Once you can lock the sound in your head, what your ears hear and what you feel in your hands/wrists/arms, then try to speed it up. Until then it will just feel foreign. Some can jump from this step straight to full speed very quickly, some it takes time. There is no race. If you're not getting a particular technique it's usually cause what's in your head isn't what your hands/wrists/arms are doing, thus your ears are hearing something different.

    If you don't want to use a metronome at least tap your foot on the down beats and try to get the triplet in there.

    Sometime breaking things out of context help too. Simply practice triplet burst strums. D-U-D. D-U-D. Get the feel of bursting into that strum. Then try to put it back into context.

    Fast picking/strumming is why I like thicker picks. 1.5mm is my default, but for exclusive rhythm worth I prefer something in the 3mm range.

  10. Danjabellza

    Danjabellza Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 22, 2014
    Pahrump, nv
    Slow is smooth, smooth is fast. If you can't do it fast slow it down, iron it out, then speed it up once you get the hang of it. Just like tying shoes, a 6 year old can't tie their shoes very fast, I guarantee I can destroy darn near any 6 year old in a shoe tying contest. For speed or quality. But, I've got 24 years of practice on them...

  11. Fred Rogers

    Fred Rogers Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 8, 2013
    Long Island
    All good suggestions. Try using a different size pick. I normally play with a heavy pick, but sometimes switch to a medium for fast strumming.

  12. mitchfinck

    mitchfinck Tele-Holic

    Dec 7, 2015
    Stratford, Ontario
    Another thing I would suggest is ignoring the strumming part and just working on the triplets. Pick one string and play single note triplets. Then move it around on that string and then to other strings. After you're comfortable with that do the same with double stops. From double stops you can move on to larger chord shapes.
    I assume it's the timing and getting that timing to fit with how you strum that is the problem. So if you work it up from single notes you'll get the timing and then you'll get the strumming (which I assume isn't a problem for non triplet playing).

  13. wayloncash

    wayloncash Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 7, 2012
    Houston, TX
    Loosen your wrist, used to be my problem too stiff.

  14. puddin

    puddin Tele-Meister

    Apr 14, 2010
    Punta Gorda, florida
    Wow.. lot of good advice here. Broke my pinky, both middle fingers,plus both bones in my forearm playing high school football. Over the years a lot of calcium build up. Hopefully one day I'll get there. Thanks

  15. Pineears

    Pineears Tele-Holic

    Jun 25, 2016
    These feel/act just like a regular flat pick. IMG_0537.JPG IMG_0538.JPG

  16. ieatlions

    ieatlions Tele-Meister

    Jul 26, 2013
    Wales, UK
    Soft pick for easier strumming

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