Rhythm Class 11
Triplet Crotchets

  1. Triplet Crotchets

  2. Rhythm Segment 14

  3. Rhythm Patterns 265 - 288

  4. Practice Material

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RC 11.1 - Triplet Crotchets

Triplet crotchets are three crotchets (quarter notes) equally spaced within the time span of two beats (in 4/4 time).

Unlike triplet quavers (3 eighth notes spaced over 1 beat) which are quite easy to play, most students and many experienced players have great trouble in playing crotchet triplets correctly.
I could never play them correctly myself, until one of my teachers put me on the following routine which I urge you to follow too.

This exercise is practised away from the instrument. I used to do it while cooking my evening meal, or when walking on the beach.

Audio 11.1

Follow these three steps, starting slowly and deliberately, as you may need to think each action through at first until you get into a groove.

  1. Tap your foot on each beat

  2. Subdivide each beat in threes in your mind, counting 1 2 3 , 4 5 6

  3. Clap your hands on on the subdivisions 1, 3 and 5

Audio 11.1

Think through the action on each beat subdivision as follows :

  1. Tap foot + Clap hands

  2. no action

  3. Clap hands

  4. Tap foot

  5. Clap hands

  6. no action

When walking you can subdivide each step in threes (step 2 3 , step 5 6) and clap your hands on 1 (with step), 3 and 5.
Within a week of practice you will get control over this important rhythmic feature.
Gradually you will be able to increase the tempo of the beats. When solid you can replace the clapping with a single note on your instrument (still tapping the beat and counting the subdivisions in your mind).

When you can do all this you can regard yourself a member of the Michael Furstner Triplet Crotchets Club.
Soon you will be able to play this rhythm just by feeling alone, as long as you make sure that the first note of each group of three always falls on a downbeat.

Audio 11.2

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RC 11.2 - Rhythm Segment 14

One group of triplet crotchets covers a whole 2-bar rhythm segment and always starts on a downbeat, either on the downbeat of 1 or on the the downbeat of 3.

The two main triplet crotchets rhythm segments are shown below.

  • Rhythm Segment 14 is the basic segment without a rest.

  • Rhythm Segment 14a with a rest replacing the first crotchet.
    This segment occurs usually at the start of a longer run of triplet crotchets.

Press on any Rhythm Segment to hear its Audio.


Clap or play a long with each of above demos to become thoroughly familiar with each one.

The above demos are in the same style as in Lesson 3
Each one plays the rhythm segment on beat 1 and 2 of each bar, while the metronome clicks like this :

  • First 2 bars = count in : 1   3   1 2 3 4

  • Next 4 bars = a click on each beat

  • Next 8 bars = a click on beats 1 and 3 of each bar

  • Next 8 bars = a click on beat 1 of each bar

  • Next 12 bars = a click on beat 1 once every 2 bars

  • Next 16 bars = a click on beat 1 once every 4 bars
Listen carefully, tap with your foot and try to clap or play the rhythm exactly at the right moment each time.

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RC 11.3 : Rhythm Patterns 265 - 288

Rhythm Patterns 265 - 288 are recorded in swing style.
(This does not affect the triplet crotchets, only the quavers of course.)

Clap and play Rhythm Patterns 265 - 288 first at a comfortable tempo (about 60 bpm) until you can play them confidently without any mistakes.
Then :

  1. Increase the tempo to improve your reading and playing skills

  2. Slow down the tempo to improve your timing accuracy.

If you have trouble reading a particular pattern write the beat positions (numbers and plus signs) underneath it in pencil, but rub them out as soon as you can play the pattern with some confidence correctly.

Use the Circle of Fifths play-a-long tracks in swing style.

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RC 11.4 - Practice Material

Metronome   Play-a-Long tracks
Circle of 5ths   Dominant 7th chords
Song for Tara (C instr.)
Song for Tara (Bb instr.)
Song for Tara (Eb instr.)
- Demo   P-a-L (straight)
Rhythm Patterns 265-276 - Demo (swing)
Rhythm Patterns 277-288 - Demo (swing)

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Copyright © 2004 Michael Furstner (Jazclass). All rights reserved.