That quirky rhythmic figure–the half note triplet–has confounded beginning drum students (and music students in general) for eons. In this post, we’ll dispel the mystery by explaining everything you need to know. Let’s dive right in.
To understand how the half note triplet works, you need to use the eighth note triplet as your guide. Start with a measure of eighth note triplets. Now, accent the first note, the fifth note and the ninth note of series. Those three notes you’ve accented make up the half note triplet. This is confusing without a visual, so let’s get out the diagram! The PDF here will explain it all: Understanding Half Note Triplets
Got the PDF? Good. It should all be clear. Count the following out loud, and clap on the syllables that are bolded and in all CAPS: “ONE-trip-let-two-TRIP-let-three-trip-LET-four-trip-let.” And that’s all there is to it.
If you missed the earlier related article about quarter note triplets (another quirky little devil of a rhythm), you can learn about them here: “Understanding Quarter Note Triplets”