View Full Version : picked triplets...
I just wondered if anyone has any tips for getting picked triplets on fast reels? I find it generally ok to play triplets on jigs/slip jigs as i use a duddud picking pattern which seems to fit with playing triplets ok, but I find it puts my wrist completely out of kilter when attempting to play them on reels, particularly fast ones.
I use a heavy pick which i don't think helps, but feel pretty loath to play with a thin one at the expense of tone...
any tips are eagerly awaited.... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif
Try holding the pick very loosely and be sure that the contact points on either side of the pick are directly opposite each other, rather than the finger on one side being closer to the pick than on the other side. After that, it's just a matter of doing it a zillion times. Often, triplets can be shifted to make the pattern a bit easier to play. So, if a phrase is eighth-note, eighth-note, triplet, perhaps it will work as triplet, eighth-note, eighth-note, for example, or even eighth-note, triplet, eighth-note. Of course, it has to make sense musically, but sometimes shifting a triplet can make if fall more naturally into the pattern of your picking.
I taped myself the other day, something I haven't done in a long time, and my timing was pretty terrible. It's gotten sloppy through neglect and carelessness. So, I probably shouldn't be giving advice to others until I clean up my own act.
thanks Bob, I'll try what you're suggesting. I suspect that you're right about it being largely down to practise (ie playing it a zillion times)
This will probably sound pretty odd but ... I sort of learned how to do fast triplets by playing a whole tune (very much slowed down) in a tremolo. I was forcing myself to listen to the smoothness I was achieving in string crossing, melody, pulsing the tremolo, long sustain etc.
Then I started to remove any of the tremolo parts which seemed over the top. I had to experiment with various picks, various string approaches, angles of the pick, position in relationship to the bridge etc. It seemed as if a complete exploration of what I knew of technique (little enough it seemed) was needed to get a sound which worked. After about a gazillion repetions (see above) the triples seemed to flow into the required space.
That's part of it and sometimes, when the moon is in the right phase and the pick mojo entity is right, it works.
A few gazillion more exercises and maybe I'll get it right - on a consistent basis.
Try playing two "up" picks immediately after the triplet, then return to normal down-up picking after that. #And, yes, keep your wrist as loose as possible. #Also, learn to practice the triplet and follow-up notes slowly at first, if you are not doing that already.
thanks James, will definitely give that a go as that should put my wrist back on the right footing
Paul Brady has a real simplified technique. #I learned a great deal from listening to his solo guitar work on the; #Malloy, Brady, Peoples disc.
Brilliant work. #Sometimes trips are quads, but yet slow and managable.
Just an idea, maybe listen to his style.
Hope this helps....
Two upstrokes in a row sounds like torture to me. I try to follow every triplet with a downstroke, to get 'back on track' so to speak. Sometimes, when you get trapped in a UDUD pattern after a triplet, it can help to throw in another triplet at the next opportunity, thus reverting to the DUDU pattern.
Whatever works for you, that's the way to go. But the two "ups" after a single triplet figure works every time for me. It is effortless, can be done at any rate of speed and avoids what I found to be an awkward follow-up second "down" pick after the last "down" of the triplet's DUD. I have never had it fail me.
Reading your description of triplets jamesrenz made me realise that that is exactly how I play them myself although I wasn't aware of it! I even described my own picking technique wrongly recently on the forum - I wasn't aware that I was actually playing two upstrokes after my triplet. It really is the key to smooth fast triplets - thanks for pointing it out.