When you count in 4/4 time, to get 16th notes you normally say something like:

1 ee and ah two ee and ah 3 ee and ah 4 ee and ah

When you count 8th note triplets you normally say something like

1 and ah 2 and ah 3 and ah 4 and ah

But what about when I want to count 16th note triplets? Is there some kind of way to say that rythmically?

2 Answers 2


In the 1 and ah system, your best option is to subdivide. For example, a piece in 4/4 you would count as though it were 8/8.

"1"c2y"2"yy"3"c(3"4"c/2"&"c/2"a"c/2 "5"c"6"c "7"c`"8"c

However, there is an alternative system devised by Richard Hoffman that covers sixteenth-note triplets quite well. His mnemonic for a full sextuplet is Ta va ki di da ma. You would extract the appropriate three syllables depending on where in the beat the triplet falls. So, for example:

X: 1
L: 1/16
K: C
M: none
(6"ta"c"va"c"ki"c"di"c"da"c"ma"c | (3"ta"c"va"c"ki"c "di"c2 | "ta"c2 (3"di"c"da"c"ma"c

Richard Hoffman. 2009. The Rhythm Book 2nd ed. Franklin, TN: Harpeth River Publishing.

The Takadimi system is nicely explained on Wikipedia.


I count triplets '1-trip-let, 2-trip-let' etc. The fact that semis are faster than quavers doesn't matter. They can be counted at whatever speed you want. Chances are if going through something tricky, it'll be slower than it should eventually be, so count as normal.

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