Sextuplets

A subdivision that involves splitting the note into six equal beats. Learn about its notation and application here.

Sextuplets are a new kind of Note Values that are a similar concept to Eighth Note Triplets. A triplet was defined as three notes in the space of two and a sextuplet is six notes in the space of four. You will most often see this as semi quavers, and for a sextuplet you will find six 16th notes in the space of one crotchet beat.

Sextuplets are identified by a '6' above the group of notes. Sometimes a square bracket is put over the notes as well. Written below is a bar of sextuplets:


A Bar Of Sextuplets Without Brackets

Sextuplets Without Brackets.

Notice that for each crotchet grouping, there are now six notes joined together with one double beam?


For the time being you should play the sextuplet as a Single Stroke Roll, meaning that the sticking will be 'R L' all the way through. There will be several rudiments based in sextuplets that use an alternate sticking.


Sextuplets could also be thought of as two sets of 16th note triplets. If an eighth note triplet was three quavers in the space of two quavers, a sixteenth note triplet is three sixteenth notes in the space of two sixteenth notes. The bar written below would sound exactly the same as the example shown above, but the notation is far messier and less easy to follow.


A Bar Of Sixteenth Note Triplets

Sixteenth Note Triplets.


TASK

  • Play sextuplets continuously for 1 minute at a tempo of at least 120bpm using a single stroke sticking.

An Exercise

When you are comfortable playing the sextuplet individually try playing a bar of straight sixteenth notes followed by a bar of sextuplets then repeat. The change in timing can be hard to get but it is a great exercise for speeding up your hands. Use single strokes all the way through.

Switching from straight sixteenths notes to sextuplets.