Playing the 3/2 Polyrhythm on 2 strings

Playing a simple polyrhythm on the G and A strings

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Playing a 3/2 Polyrhythm on 2 strings

A 3/2 polyrhythm is a rhythm that can be counted either in “threes” or in “twos”. 

Let’s see this in action by playing a simple polyrhythm on 2 strings.


Polyrhythms = using conflicting rhythms

Polyrhythm is the simultaneous use of two or more conflicting rhythms (this is the Wikipedia definition).

In this lesson, we will explore the 3/2 polyrhythm. What this means is that we will play a rhythm that could be counted in “threes” or just as easily could be counted in “twos”.



Counting in Threes

There are several ways to ‘count’ triplets

  • Count 1-2-3, 2-2-3, 3-2-
  • Count One-and-uh, Two-and-uh, Three-and-uh


Below is a single bar with two triplets. 

We play the 3rd string open (the G string)


Counting in Twos

Let’s now just play 4 quarter notes on the 5th string at the 3rd fret. 

You could count this as 1-2-3-4 but actually we will count it like this “1 2 1 2”.

(the most important thing is that it is not a triplet)

Putting it all together

Putting it all together – the threes and the twos, it will sound like this.


Playing slowly at first and then increasing speed

Start by playing the pattern by tapping on the guitar like I do in the video.

Then play the twos and threes individually and then combine.

Once you have mastered it, then try to play along to the metronome. 

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