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Thread: "Faux" Triplet Strum

  1. #1
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    Feb 2016
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    Default "Faux" Triplet Strum

    Hi friends, I continue to struggle with the George Formby-inspired "triplet strum", despite working on it for a few years now. I love the technique, which is demonstrated in many online instructional/tutorial videos, but to save my soul (as my Mom would have said), I cannot seem to master it. To clarify, it's the one where you go down with the index, down with the thumb, up with the index, and down again with the index. My main problem is that I can't decide if I should curl my middle, ring, and pinky fingers up during this process, or just let 'em fly open. A secondary problem is that when I attempt the triplet strum technique, it seems like I'm playing the uke way, way too hard and loud. So, in an effort to achieve an effect similar to that of the triplet strum, with a nice moderate touch and volume, I will often utilize a very quick and discreet "hammering-on" technique with certain chords (it won't work with every chord, so it has to be used somewhat sparingly), which produces the "trip-a-let" effect desired, but which employs primarily the fretting hand, and only secondarily the strumming hand (the index finger still has to do a "down-up-down" strumming motion, but that motion is, I believe, much easier than the motion involved in the "true" triplet strum technique, as it eliminates the thumb from the equation). I'm wondering if any of you have also opted for some version of a "faux" triplet strum? On a good day, used in moderate doses, it sounds pretty darn good, actually. I would love to post a little clip showing how I'm accomplishing it it, but I haven't figured out how to do that yet!
    Last edited by Bill Sheehan; 09-25-2019 at 05:38 PM.

  2. #2
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    May 2015
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    Default

    If it's any consolation, I've been practicing the triplet strum for a while and still don't feel I've got it. I think I just need to incorporate it in to more of the songs I play so eventually it'll come. I've not tried any alternative technique, but I did notice someone (might've been Joe Brown) in a video call it something like a 'thumb drag' which I think best describes the way I can best make it work.. on a good day!

  3. #3
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    Sep 2019
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    In the hills, France
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    I ‘got’ it about a year ago. My advice would be to use your trusty metronome, and set it SLOW.
    Aim to complete the cycle of three strums in 9 seconds.
    Yes nine seconds.
    Slow motion, count maybe 4 beats per strum.
    You need enough time to think, and enough of the metronome to get it smooth.

    Do this for 5 minutes without stopping.
    Deliberately relax shoulders etc. during the 5 minutes, but do not stop.

    Efficiency maybe comes later as you speed up.


    Another one is to not play chords, just gently barre the fretboard at the seventh fret. It’ll produce sole harmonic but mostly muffled. Then you can concentrate on the right hand (first).

    (5 minutes correct at super slow speed is better than 5 hours at normal speed)
    Last edited by AtSunrise; 09-28-2019 at 02:15 AM.
    YouTube: https://m.youtube.com/user/joedynamo1066/featured
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  4. #4
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    Thank you so much, Jim and Sunrise, for your input; I appreciate it so much. I will continue to work on it, very slowly, and hopefully one day in the not-too-distant future I'll "turn the corner" and find that it's second-nature!

  5. #5
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    Apr 2019
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    I've found that it's easier for me to play it by going down with the index, down with the thumb & then up with the thumb. I don't worry about coming back up with the index, mainly because the thumb is already in position from the previous down stroke, so it's the digit that does the job
    Happy just to be a Newbie +, Penny

  6. #6
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    Mar 2014
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    I tried it a couple of times watching on videos and it wasn't working. I went to a Lil' Rev workshop and he taught it. I caught right on. I don't know what was the difference, but he just has a knack for teaching people. I don't know if Lil' Rev in video is the same as in person, but maybe he has a video somewhere.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    I just want everyone to understand that I am not a ukulele expert, even though it may look at times like I'm pretending to be.

    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_n...tective+Agency

  7. #7
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    Jul 2015
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    I am also struggling with it. Marcy Marxer showed it to me and she suggested that for the first downstrum one can also use middle finger or multiple fingers whatever works.

  8. #8
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    Thanks, Penny, R.L. and Merlin! I will tinker with your suggestions and see if anything "clicks" !

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    I practice triplets whilst strumming "Five Foot Two. Every strum.

    I, too learned from Lil' Rev.

    I'm getting better...

  10. #10
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    I like Kimo's explanation. Can I do it yet? Of course not!

    John

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