# 4 pairs of triplets and a loose one

I was trying to transcribe by ear a song on the piano, I've reached a moment where it seems to be that there are 4 pairs of triplets and a loose one (so 4x3 + 1 = 13 loose triplets) but I can´t manage to find the appropriate time signature to complete the bar, I want to put them all in a single bar or divide it in two, one with the first 3 pair of triplets (3/4 time?) and the next with the last pair and the loose one.

Maybe I´m completely wrong and they aren´t even triplets (I´m pretty sure I´m mistaken), so here is the song: Tenhi - Kuvajainen

The bar at issue starts at minute 2:30, the first bar has 13 loose triplets and the second 11, so, actually the main question is which is the time signature?

This could be written as an alternation of two additive meters: `9 + 4 / 8` and `9 + 2 / 8`, where the 9 quavers are naturally subdivided in 3+3+3, so no need for triplets. You could also write the two additive meters as `3+3+3+2+2 / 8` and `3+3+3+2 / 8`, but this might be an overkill.

Just take your two index fingers and beat them on your table (if you happened to have one - I don't ;-)

-> (edit: talking about the table not the index finger)

Start with your stronger hand - for me it's the right hand - and try to make only the sound of the right hand ( R ) audible. The left hand ( L ) only beats the (almost) inaudible - so called - ghost notes. Like the drummer does on the recording!

What you've got here is a pattern of a 13 / 8 bar and a 11 / 8 bar...

The 13 / 8 is divided into -> ( 3 - 3 - 3 - 2 - 2 )
The 11 / 8 is divided into -> ( 3 - 3 - 3 - 2 )

Now let's have fun!!! Practice only the 13 / 8 part

( R L L ) ( R L L ) ( R L L ) ( R L ) ( R L )

Later go for the 11 / 8 part by dropping the last 2 eights of the 13 / 8 part

( R L L ) ( R L L ) ( R L L ) ( R L )

When you got them - combine the whole pattern...

( R L L ) ( R L L ) ( R L L ) ( R L ) ( R L )
( R L L ) ( R L L ) ( R L L ) ( R L )

It's almost like the good old 'Take Five' by Dave Brubeck where you have a 5 / 4 measure that is split into 3 + 2 quarter notes. The sax-melody actually does go for the 5 / 4 beat ( in eights ) but for the accompanying piano it is easier to see it as a 10 / 8 pattern. So the first 3 quarter notes are rather 6 eights - but instead of dividing them into ( 2 - 2 - 2 ) eights ( like the Saxophone does ) they are split into ( 3 - 3 ) eights. The last two quarter notes ( 4 eights ) are ( 2 - 2 ) . That finally brings you to 10 eights ( 3 - 3 - 2 - 2 ) instead of the 5 quarter ( 3 + 2 ). Even the bass player plays a pattern of two dotted quarters ( one of them is 3 eights ) an two plain quarters ( 2 eights ) which is again ( 3 - 3 - 2 - 2 ) .

Now tap them on your table like in the example above

( R L L ) ( R L L ) ( R L ) ( R L )

You see - you almost got the same pattern - only one ( R L L ) in the middle is missing. Of course your song is even a bit more sophisticated because the 10 / 8 of 'Take Five' have a basic beat of 5 quarter notes but neither the 13 / 8 nor the 11 / 8 bar in your song can be devided by two to get a straight quarter feel that hammers the beat home like in 'Take Five' ...

Although a little bit Off-Topic I hope that helped you to understand the basic structure of the beat of your song better!

Happy Table-Drumming!!!