May 15, 2019 by Klaus Crow
Photo by Bigstockphoto
The first scale sequence I learned without being aware of it was the “pentatonic triplet sequence”. They were all over the place in Metallica solos and I learned a lot of them.
Once I knew what I triplet really was I noticed them in many other rock and metal songs. But also in a lot of blues solos, usually played with hammer-ons and pull-offs.
A triplet is when you’re playing 3 consecutive notes per beat. Also called an eighth note triplet. (There are also sixteenth note triplets but we’ll save that for another post) Since there are 4 beats per bar in 4/4 time, you can count them like this: 1 trip-let, 2 trip-let, 3 trip-let, 4 trip-let or if you prefer you can count: 1 & a, 2 & a, 3 & a, 4 & a. It’s important to learn the feel of playing triplets.
Triplets are often used at the end of a musical phrase. They can be played fast and ascending, building a climax and leading up to that final screaming note or descending to a lower impressive last note to give it more impact.
Once you know your scales and you’re starting to improvise you don’t want to sound like you’re playing scales all the time. That’s where sequences come in. Sequences are a great tool for building your improvising chops.
After practicing sequences for a while your fingers start to lead the way without you having to think about it. It has become part of your subconscious. It’s like speaking a language. You’re creating sentences without having to think about the letters of each word or even the words themselves. They just flow naturally.
Practicing triplets will also build dexterity, a greater flexibility and you’ll discover it’s benefits in many other areas of your playing as well.
So let’s dive into the some triplet scale sequences!
EXERCISE 1 (A MINOR PENTATONIC)
EXERCISE 2 (A BLUES)
EXERCISE 3 (A PENTATONIC ALL OVER THE NECK)
EXERCISE 4 (A MAJOR)
EXERCISE 5 (A MINOR)
Awesome exercises . Thanks for keeping this blog updated. One of my favorites!
Klaus Crow says
I will update guitarhabits as much as I can. I love writing and interacting.
Thanks for your comment.
This is great stuff. I’ve already come with new ideas and licks based on these sequences. Love all of your lessons Keep ’em coming. A donation is on the way.
Fred Thomas says
Help guys! I have signed up to receive the 150 Chord book and the system is not sending out the confirmation email. No wonder I am not getting it. This site is absolutely awesome and is keeping in my new efforts to learning the guitar after suffering a small stroke that took the guitar away from me. Thanks for a great site!
Darrryl Sandlands says
Love the video to the right! I don’t read music or tab but that video kept me busy for a while.Thanks
Nice lesson! My teacher now is having me learning this stuff since Iron Maiden and Megadeth are notorious for using lots of this fast sequencing in their songs.
Erie Jones says
Very nice nice presentation. I like that you present them in various keys!
At some point if you have the time and/or inclination – :) –
It’d be nice to reference a few specific guitar pieces/solos that use this kind of ascending triplet formation.
I’m an old guy so I remember one old Allman Brothers tune that employs this. But as you say, there are many.