Need Help With the Name of a Drum Pattern/Beat


Silver Member
For the life of me I can't remember the name of a specific drum pattern/beat.

Can someone please help, this is driving me crazy!!!

The pattern begins around 1:02. It is when the drummer is playing two handed on the hi hats and then bringing his left hand onto the snare. It is a swing pattern, but I believe there is a specific name for the pattern. Driving. Me. Crazy.


Silver Member
You talking about a shuffle?

(Although I'm not really sure it's a shuffle.)
But it's two handed (alternating on the hi hats) with the backbeat being played with the left hand. I swear there is a specific name for the groove. I don't believe it's just called a shuffle.


Silver Member
Not a shuffle, that's just a pop 12/8. Never heard anything more specific than that.
I hear ya. The difference is in the clip I posted, he is playing with two hands on the hi hats.

I just was looking on YouTube and I can’t find a single video of a drummer playing 12/8 with two hands on the hi hats. Is thee another name for it?


Platinum Member
I have never heard it called a specific name, but I call it the "Call Me" by Blondie beat when charting out something similar.

Alex Sanguinetti

Silver Member
I´m pretty sure the pattern does not have a name, and, besides, why do you need a name for it?

Oh, by the way, you can say is in 12/8 but is, at the same time, 4/4 (played with 8th note triplets on the hi-hat). In a profi setting it will be written like this (4/4) at least 90% of times (or more), that is not only because is correct but because it allows you to put yourself in an easier situation subdivision wise.
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Platinum Member
I don't know of a name for it and I'm pretty sure there isn't one. One of my favorite pop tracks of the 80s features the drummer playing the beat that way in the video, although who knows what was actually done in the studio in terms of overdubs or even a drum machine.


Platinum Member
Let's call it the Chunkaway, because it sounds like that: "chunkawaychunkawaychunkawaychunkaway..."

(It does NOT have a name. It's a two-handed 12/8, if anything. At that speed, you could play it one-handed, too.)

We should make a list of beats with names...

Steady Freddy

Pioneer Member
Shuffles are triplet based grooves. Tradition shuffles are played with the first and last note of the triplet played in a pattern.

Half time shuffles, Rosanna, are played in the same way but with the middle triplet ghosted with the left hand.

So, yes it is a shuffle. It could also be called a triplet based groove.



Gold Member
For what it's worth, technically speaking 12/8 is not actually triplets even though it has a triplet feel. 12/8 is compound time, i.e three eight notes make up a dotted 1/4 note and there are a total of four dotted 1/4 notes per measure of 12/8.

While this song could be written as 12/8 or 4/4, the sheet music I've seen for the Billy Ocean song I posted earlier is written in 4/4. So I'd assume the song the OP is asking about is also 4/4 and not 12/8, as it's the same rhythm and therefore played as triplets

What I've also noticed that helps me distinguish 12/8 is that they're often but not always slower songs, or in the case of Hold the line, Alicia Keys Fallin, This is a man's world, Unchained melody, they all have piano playing every 1/8 note in an ascending and descending arpeggio. (I think arpeggio is the right term).


Platinum Member
I can't really sweat the theoretical distinction between the two. Technically compound meter 8th notes are not triplets; to be a triplet you have to be playing three notes in the place of two of the same value notes for that meter. But functionally, in real playing, compound meter = triplet feel = triplets in 4/4. No matter which meter it's written in, I refer to it as a triplet feel. Half the time when I see anything written with mostly triplets in 4/4, the copyist only indicates triplets in the first couple of measures, so for the rest of the chart it looks exactly like 12/8. There are reasons to choose one over the other if you're writing a chart, but functionally... it's a triplet feel in 4.

re: shuffle or not: I only call it a shuffle if the shuffle rhythm is present. I don't call anything with a triplet feel a shuffle. I'm sure there are people who do.


"Uncle Larry"
Just a guess, because a "Fool In The Rain"or "Roseanna" beat would fit a lot, if not all, of this song. Are you sure you're not thinking of a half time shuffle?

If he played the hi hat with one hand, it might look like a regular half time shuffle....


Silver Member
Thank you everyone who offered opinions and suggestions. Much appreciated.

I was trying to teach my daughter about this groove, and we were having a little success, but she needs additional help. In other words, help that isn't coming from her dad. :/ I couldn't find anything on YouTube demonstrating this groove, which is what led me down this path in the first place. My drum teacher (from 25 years ago) called it something but I just can't remember what it was called. I have always thought of it as 12/8 but when I looked that up on YouTube, I did not see one video which demonstrated the groove played with two hands.


"Uncle Larry"
I would not call it 12/8.

Slow Blues is 12/8. There's definitely a 4/4 shuffle feel there. It feels closer to a halftime shuffle than a Chicago type shuffle to me.

12/8 and a shuffle feel....while both are triplet based, I don't consider a 12/8 a shuffle feel. That's open to individual interpretation though.

12/8: 1-triplet-2-triplet-3-triplet-4-triplet

Shuffle: ah-1-ah-2-ah-3-ah-4

Both feel different. To me anyway.


Platinum Member
Definitely a fast 12/8.

The drummer plays 12 hihats per bar (almost - actually 2 of the 12 are snare hits instead).

Similar beat to Amii Stewart's 'Knock on Wood', also Hold the Line and Everybody wants to rule the world, as mentioned earlier.