A little while ago, on my old website I published an article on counting 3s and 5s (triplets and quintuplets). I also recorded a quick video to demo the counting method for you too.
When counting 3s, or triplets, the phrase “Trip-Let” will help provide the correct phrasing. So the counting for a bar of 4 beats will become:
1-Trip-Let, 2-Trip-Let, 3-Trip-Let, 4-Trip-Let
This will work at the slower tempos. However, as the tempo increases, the phrase “Trip-Let” becomes difficult. In this instance, I would recommend replacing “Trip-Let” with “E-A” and so the counting for a bar of 4 beats will become:
1-e-a, 2-e-a, 3-e-a, 4-e-a
In the 1950s and 1960s there was an actress called Gina Lollobrigida. If you think about the phrasing of Gina’s surname, this will give the perfect phrasing for counting 5s, or quintuplets. So, the counting for a bar of 4 will be
Loll-o-brig-id-a, Loll-o-brig-id-a, Loll-o-brig-id-a, Loll-o-brig-id-a