I'm learning some solos for guitar and it has this notation. I don't really know how to read it, but it would help if I knew what it was called.

Is it a 16th note triplet with an 8th note at the end?

apparent 16th note triplet followed by eight note

  • 1
    Honestly this seems poorly stenographed. Either the 3 should appear without the brackets, directly under the triplet, or there should be a dot after the eighth note. Could you provide a bit more of the surrounding music, and the time signature?
    – John Wu
    Commented Apr 8, 2022 at 4:38
  • 2
    @JohnWu Huh? It's a 16th note triplet which clearly lasts the length of an eighth note and the entire figure acting as a quarter note. You seem to think it is a 16th note group.
    – Gupta
    Commented Apr 8, 2022 at 5:08
  • 1
    Your "eye" should collapse that triplet in to an eighth note so you see just two eighth notes. You could, in fact, just see it as g8 f8 rather than g16t a16t g16t f8. It's just playing the upper note. Is that from stairway to heaven solo?
    – Gupta
    Commented Apr 8, 2022 at 5:10
  • 1
    Without time signature it is difficult to say, but since the notes add up to one quarter only and we are at the start of the bar, there is little choice; you count is as one.
    – guidot
    Commented Apr 8, 2022 at 8:38
  • 3
    @guidot Would also be helpful to see the whole measure in addition to the time signature. It's possible this figure is incorrectly written, but it's impossible to say without seeing the whole measure and knowing the time signature to see if the beats add up. Commented Apr 8, 2022 at 13:34

1 Answer 1


Yes, it is a sixteenth-note triplet followed by an eighth note. The triplet takes the time of one eighth note, then the eighth note itself, so the entire figure takes the time of a quarter note — half for the triplet, half for the eighth note.

The triplet and eighth note are beamed together to visually present that they form a rhythmic unit.

It has no special name.

  • Most likely correct, but I can imagine scenarios (with or without different time signatures) where some genius wants the 16th notes to be a triplet encompassing the first two eighth-notes of a triplet covering one full quarter note. Commented Apr 8, 2022 at 15:30
  • 1
    +1 for correct answer. As for "counting" it, the phrase I use is strawberry jam. Not "strawbry", straw-berr-y jam.
    – Pam
    Commented Apr 8, 2022 at 19:40

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