Tip #220 – Tresillo Pattern

One way of incorporating some rhythmic interest in your piece is to use a tresillo pattern.

Basically, think of it as trying to take the 8 eighth-notes in a 4/4 measure and trying to divide it evenly into 3’s.  Without the use of triplets, it is near to impossible.  So, what you would have to end up doing is group the first couple of notes into 3’s while the last two are grouped into their own.  This creates a forward motion based on the unstable/uneven rhythm.  It would look something like this:

Notice how this looks very similar to the “3-side” of the classic Cuban clave figure – that’s because it is.

Use it as a repeated figure or as an interjected figure.

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