Banjo triplet

Banjo triplet

I was just wondering if any banjo players had any techniques on doing triplets on the banjo. Like do you take time off playing and just do triplets for ten minutes or something? And does anybody do triplets starting on an upstroke? Plus have you any techniques for doing triplets crossing over strings like (3FGA and (3def. Thank’s,Paul.

Re: Banjo triplet

Yip. I would recommend that you do take ten minutes out every time you practice, to run up & down some scales just tripletting each note up & down. Alternate them & start one scale with the down triplet first, then next time round start the scale with the up triplet.

You need to be able to throw a triplet in anywhere, any time, & you can’t always be in a position to start down.

Like all ornamentation, I reckon you have to practice the techniques over & over, putting it in anywhere & everywhere, until your really comfortable with it - then the secret of good playing is to leave them out, & only throw them in now & again.

Too many folk clutter up their music with over ornamentation, & the poor wee melody gets totally lost in a cacophony of technique. I find loads of these newly composed tunes for example are just exercises in showing off ornamentation - strip them down, play them slowly, with no ornamentation, & your left with damn all. Do the same to a quality tune, with a real strong melody, & you can play it as slowly as you like, with no ornamentation, & you still have a class tune. Try it sometime with one of Charlie Lennon’s tunes, or an old classic & you’ll see what I mean, then try it with some of these hyped up new super tunes.

So, practice those triplet chappies till your blue in the face, 100 miles an hour, as often as you can, fingers fraying at the edges, the blood a-drippin’ on the carpet - then shun them, & only use them very, very sparingly.

You need ornamentation, & don’t get me wrong, I love it but don’t let it be a false idol - ‘The melody is yer only man’.

You can play tunes for ever without ornamentation, but you can’t play ornamentation for very long without a tune.

Right, that’s me off my soap box. I hope that helps. Good Luck.

Re: Banjo triplet

Thank’s for your comments ptarmigan.

Re: Banjo triplet

Ptarmigan, that’s great advice, but do you have any special techniques for keeping your mind on your practice and not inadvertently wandering off into your favourite tune?