Ukulele Secret #5 Galloping Triplet

As seen on my latest William Tell Lone Ranger video, here is a variation of a ukulele triplet.

This is not the triplet I usually see in ukulele playing as this one uses the thumb on an up stroke, the middle finger on the down stroke and then the thumb follows with a down stroke.

Thumb UP

Middle DOWN
(really shoot that finger down like you’re flicking a mosquito off your arm)

Thumb DOWN


Practice it with a steady 123 123 123 123 rhythm.
Trip-a-let, trip-a-let, trip-a-let, trip-a-let.

But to get the gallop feel you pause between triplets. Musically I think it seems like playing successive quadruplets with the last stroke of each beat being silent. 123(4) 123(4) 123(4) 123(4).

Trip-a-let-stop, trip-a-let-stop, trip-a-let-stop, trip-a-let-stop.
This also sounds great with the strings muted by the left hand.

At the end of the video I give you an extra credit assignment. Enjoy!

9 responses to “Ukulele Secret #5 Galloping Triplet

  • Bonita

    Thanks, loved this one even though I had to put my ear up to the computer to hear what you were saying. I can’t criticize as I’ve never made an audio or video.

  • Keith

    Excellent contribution, I seriously look forward to posts of your stuff.

  • Liz Q

    Odd that you says its not the triplet you usually see, i’ve seen both James Hill and Jake Shimabukuro show this one before. Whats the one they ‘Normally’ teach/show/do ?

    • ukulelesecrets

      Liz, I definitely have not had the same experience as you. Please post the links to the lessons James and Jake have offered for this technique. We can all certainly benefit from it. THanks!

      • Liz Q

        James Hill one was in person not online (YES!!) and the jake one is on youtube , though now that i think about it i think he strums with his middle 2 fingers just because hes odd, but still same basic thumb/finger action.
        When James showed me, he said it was one of the most used and best strums to know, so we had the whole group practicing

      • ukulelesecrets

        OMG it would be so cool if you would share with us what James (or was it Jake?) taught you.. as that is what this site is all about. Especially the ‘best strum to know’.

      • Liz Q

        Well, James Hill was originally born in NZ (before moving to Canada), and he has family not far from here so i found out. He came to NZ and did a Gig, i just happened to meet up with the right people who invited me to a pre-concert meet and greet.
        There was about 10 of us and everyone else seemed to shy to talk to him so i did (and one or two others) and we got along great. He showed us a few neat tricks (the triple strum, and ways of changing it), how he found some methods, how he did others. Lasted for about an hour or so.
        After the concert i waited for my ride and he came out, saw me and walked up to me and we had a chat again and he told me to email him which i did, and next time hes in NZ hes gonna let me know and we can “hang out” or something (maybe i can organize a local group meet and greet?)
        Hes very down to earth, does not see himself as famous or cooler than anyone else at all. Just enjoys playing uke 🙂

  • Norine Mungo

    Thank you for teaching us this strum. Whether or not someone else teaches it is not of concern. I was looking for hints on William Tell and your site came up from Ukulele Hunt. I don’t think any of us own the copy-write on strum patterns. LOL.

    What with July 4th looming and great songs not in abundance for Ukulele, I appreciate everything that you and others do to further our skills and knowledge.

    I am teaching beginners basic patterns and this is one strum I hadn’t perfected for myself yet. Every time I asked someone to show me, it seemed to go by so fast that I still didn’t see/feel it. Know what I mean? Haha. But your explanation above as well as the video make it remarkably simple to understand. I def have to look you up once I’m home from work, (shhhh!) and subscribe to your youtube channel if you have one! Ever Yours, 30s Uke Girl aka Norine Mungo

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