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  #41  
Old 08-22-2013, 03:43 AM
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Default Re: Numpty shuffle questions

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Originally Posted by rhumbagirl View Post
No wonder I always feel out of my comfort zone at the blues jams. I knew though it wasn't as "simple' as those drummers say it is. In fact I've hurt my wrist a couple of times trying to do it without the right technique. And I've seen drummers that obviously are hurting themselves doing it.

Steph
It can be muscle fatiguing, is that the kind of hurt you're talking about?

I sucked at shuffling for the first few years before I finally started getting the hang of it. I wasn't really raised on the shuffle, I had to learn it. But I loved Blues, so that was easy. You gotta stay loose to shuffle. It's has a real attitude that you can't tap if you're tense. It's a never ending refinement process. It can sound anywhere from completely tight and punchy and dead on the beat, to completely greasy and loosey goosey and even to a loping type of feel .....and everything in between. There's seriously a lot of possibilities of feel to mine with the shuffle. Which is why it's so interesting. It's deceptive because it sounds easier than it actually is. The money beat is a walk in the park compared to a well played shuffle.
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  #42  
Old 08-22-2013, 05:06 AM
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Default Re: Numpty shuffle questions

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It can be muscle fatiguing, is that the kind of hurt you're talking about?
I think it has to do more with the Moeller technique which I haven't consciously tried to implement in my left (trad) hand. The blues shuffle I'm talking about is the ghost note on the "ah" of the beat, followed by the usual 2 and 4. I'm much more prepared now to tackle it, as opposed to a couple of years ago when I didn't know what I was doing.

Putting it simply, the coordination of the shuffle is simple. It's the execution and technique that is difficult. It's analogous to someone perfecting 1000 hits per minute for a single stroke roll. It's all technique and endurance. And why get into a bar with a bunch of drunk angry guys over you 'cause you can't "get it", or "keep it simple", or "hang with us".

Because of the coordination mark against it, I haven't had it on my todo list. I'm even wondering if it's in a world all it's own, where people that play blues aren't necessarily good at playing jazz or fusion. And people that play jazz and fusion aren't good at playing blues - because they know it's there, what it is. Perhaps blues is technique and endurance, and fusion is that squared, plus a bit mathematical polyrhythm gotchas.

Hmmm, kind a cool to be able to put these thoughts down that I've put together over the last several years.

I can't play blues but ask me to play Roseanna or Lido and I jump with delight :)

So yes, Camcoman, the "ah" is that big a deal for me, and is the difference between just the "alang alang" and jazz.

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Last edited by rhumbagirl; 08-22-2013 at 05:15 AM. Reason: include Camcoman
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  #43  
Old 08-22-2013, 08:23 AM
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Default Re: Numpty shuffle questions

If I could jump in here before it gets any deeper, meaning, before you guys talk so much about the shuffle that people begin to question whether or not they can do them, otherwise, a paralysis by analysis conundrum, let me say that if you are working on shuffles, and can't find yourself really getting them down to your liking, before you run away from the drums if the band wants to play a shuffle, remind yourself that if you play a four-on-the-floor bass drum and snare drum on 2 & 4, with your hi-hat or ride cymbal playing just quarter notes, you can play drums for a song that needs a shuffle.

I've met too many people here (and in person) that when confronted with a band that would like to try any famous shuffle song, they shy away from it, or suggest something else, or flat-out won't do it. Remember that 2 & 4 rule our little popular music world, so just as long as that is happening, there isn't really anything you can't play through. Also remember that with all the other rhythms and notes flying from the other members in the band, your shuffle will be more or less implied and the audience won't notice that you're not doing a note-for-note rendition of what Jeff, John, Bernard. or Frank would be doing (quick - who am I talking about?).

Just make it work and make everyone tap their feet. You can woodshed the actual shuffle at home, and introduce more of it to the band as you get better. Just don't be so cerebral about it that you can't lay down time, because that's the more important issue here.

OK, carry on ;)
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  #44  
Old 08-22-2013, 08:32 AM
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Default Re: Numpty shuffle questions

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
remind yourself that if you play a four-on-the-floor bass drum and snare drum on 2 & 4, with your hi-hat or ride cymbal playing just quarter notes, you can play drums for a song that needs a shuffle.
Totally agree with you. But I've never met anyone who couldn't play one ah, two ah, three ah, four ah on the hit hat whilst playing the kick on 1 and 3 and snare on 2 and 4.

Do many really struggle with the most basic of shuffles? Excluding absolute beginners of course?
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  #45  
Old 08-22-2013, 08:47 AM
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Default Re: Numpty shuffle questions

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Totally agree with you. But I've never met anyone who couldn't play one ah, two ah, three ah, four ah on the hit hat whilst playing the kick on 1 and 3 and snare on 2 and 4.

Do many really struggle with the most basic of shuffles? Excluding absolute beginners of course?
I think this would be a matter of taste. How you play the one ah, two ah, three ah, and four ah, as was already implied by others, is really what makes a good shuffle. I've heard some awfully awkward shuffles played by otherwise good players because of a slight difference in where they hear the 'lope' - I thought I'd just point out that even if you just hammer quarter notes, with a slight emphasis on 2 and 4, that would sound better than an all-notes on deck shuffle debacle. People probably just need to listen and study the shuffle masters and really internalize what it's supposed to be. Don't just listen to Purdie or Frank Beard, dig a little and listen to the guys those guys listened too.

[Well, Purdie will probably say there wasn't anyone to listen to besides himself ;) ]
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  #46  
Old 08-22-2013, 08:52 AM
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Default Re: Numpty shuffle questions

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Do many really struggle with the most basic of shuffles? Excluding absolute beginners of course?
Probably not, but when my instructor suggested having a look at shuffle, my knee jerked and I said No, it's too hard - which is why I started this thread. I can play the most basic of shuffles even if I don't really know what I'm doing (I just hit things in a way that feels appropriate), but anything more sophisticated than that is scary.
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  #47  
Old 08-22-2013, 01:13 PM
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Default Re: Numpty shuffle questions

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...I just hit things in a way that feels appropriate...
I believe that's what is known, technically, as "drumming".





Although the term "I'd hit that!" has entirely different connotations.
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  #48  
Old 08-22-2013, 01:20 PM
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Default Re: Numpty shuffle questions

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I believe that's what is known, technically, as "drumming".

Although the term "I'd hit that!" has entirely different connotations.
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  #49  
Old 08-22-2013, 03:56 PM
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Default Re: Numpty shuffle questions

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
OK. I couldn't hear much shuffling, crappy laptop speakers.
Yes, it is very subtle, but the back beat is steady.
If I'm not mistaken, you can shuffle the bass drum, the hats or the snare drum or any combination for it to be a shuffle. Would you agree?
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Old 08-22-2013, 04:54 PM
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Default Re: Numpty shuffle questions

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Yes, it is very subtle, but the back beat is steady.
If I'm not mistaken, you can shuffle the bass drum, the hats or the snare drum or any combination for it to be a shuffle. Would you agree?

Yes, for sure. The shuffle rhythm has to permeate the whole song to qualify as a shuffle IMO. Which drums/cymbals/hats you play the shuffle on is a matter of choice.
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  #51  
Old 08-22-2013, 06:38 PM
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Default Re: Numpty shuffle questions

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Yes, for sure. The shuffle rhythm has to permeate the whole song to qualify as a shuffle IMO. Which drums/cymbals/hats you play the shuffle on is a matter of choice.
I see. So even if a 2/4 beat has a shuffle element to it, it's not really a shuffle unless it shuffles throughout the whole song. That makes sense. Let's take CCR's Bad Moon Rising, it's almost all 2/4 but it has that shuffle feel to it, but technically it's not a shuffle.
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  #52  
Old 08-23-2013, 06:50 AM
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Not in these examples. A triplet subdivided in 4/4 is one and ah, two and ah, three and ah, four and ah (or one trip-let, two trip-let for the counting purists). In the context of these shuffles the hi hat is playing the quarter notes and the "ah's"....the "and's" are ghosted, but even if he left them out entirely he'd still be lending a triplet feel to the shuffle and it's still in 4/4 time.

Now that doesn't mean you can't shuffle in 12/8....but that's not what's happening in those particular examples.
Just for clarity: I'm trying to understand, not getting into an Interweb fight.

Is the reason that these examples are in 4/4 time because we are using triplets to fit 3 pulses into the quarter note, where we'd usually expect to play 2 8th notes?

And if that's the case, would I be right in thinking that 12/8 achieves the same sort of feel without using triplets, but by using an emphasis on each 3rd 1/8th note?
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  #53  
Old 08-23-2013, 08:39 AM
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Is the reason that these examples are in 4/4 time because we are using triplets to fit 3 pulses into the quarter note, where we'd usually expect to play 2 8th notes?
It's not so much the triplet itself that lends to the shuffle feel. It's the lope created by the space between the first note of the triplet and the last note. It's the emphasis on those two notes (as opposed to the three even notes of the actual triplet itself) that give the shuffle feel.

Clear as mud, I know.....unfortunately I can't explain it any better. Hence why I'd never teach. I could play it for you and you'd understand what I mean, but I can't write about it as clearly. Hopefully someone can chime in to provide better clarity.

Quote:
And if that's the case, would I be right in thinking that 12/8 achieves the same sort of feel without using triplets, but by using an emphasis on each 3rd 1/8th note?
12/8 offers an entirely different pulse. Here's a few examples that will hopefully go someway to clearing it up a little better.

12/8: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxxGVjLNpek and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKesAnqdq8w

Basic 4/4 shuffle: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snPgFNMCXBs and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SybgWaQy7_c

Last edited by Pocket-full-of-gold; 08-23-2013 at 08:51 AM.
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  #54  
Old 08-23-2013, 08:48 AM
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Default Re: Numpty shuffle questions

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Just for clarity: I'm trying to understand, not getting into an Interweb fight.

Is the reason that these examples are in 4/4 time because we are using triplets to fit 3 pulses into the quarter note, where we'd usually expect to play 2 8th notes?

And if that's the case, would I be right in thinking that 12/8 achieves the same sort of feel without using triplets, but by using an emphasis on each 3rd 1/8th note?
To add more obscurity to what you guys are discussing, 4/4 or 12/8, it doesn't really matter. It's how you play the spaces between the notes that gives you the feel you're looking for. Written music can only convey so much, moreso for drummers than anybody else.
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  #55  
Old 08-23-2013, 10:33 AM
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Default Re: Numpty shuffle questions

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To add more obscurity to what you guys are discussing, 4/4 or 12/8, it doesn't really matter. It's how you play the spaces between the notes that gives you the feel you're looking for. Written music can only convey so much, moreso for drummers than anybody else.
I was going to say, in my non-technical way, that there's a "skip", a moment of suspension, in the shuffle that you don't get in 12/8, which "lilts" more. Am I talking carp?
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Old 08-23-2013, 10:43 AM
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I was going to say, in my non-technical way, that there's a "skip", a moment of suspension, in the shuffle that you don't get in 12/8, which "lilts" more. Am I talking carp?
Yep.

Because what you're talking about would exist in how it's written, and it doesn't matter if you use 8th note triplets in 4/4, or groups of three 8th notes in 12/8. This 'lilt' that you speak of is totally determined by how you play the spaces. If you play the spaces the same in 4/4 or 12/8, then it doesn't matter. So yes, carp ;)
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  #57  
Old 08-23-2013, 10:49 AM
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Yep.

Because what you're talking about would exist in how it's written, and it doesn't matter if you use 8th note triplets in 4/4, or groups of three 8th notes in 12/8. This 'lilt' that you speak of is totally determined by how you play the spaces. If you play the spaces the same in 4/4 or 12/8, then it doesn't matter. So yes, carp ;)
Bloody spaces again. Hmph!
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Old 08-23-2013, 12:55 PM
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I was going to say, in my non-technical way, that there's a "skip", a moment of suspension, in the shuffle that you don't get in 12/8, which "lilts" more. Am I talking carp?
Isn't that "skip" because a shuffle is played with a rest in the middle of each triplet, rather than as straight triplets?

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Old 08-23-2013, 01:03 PM
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Isn't that "skip" because a shuffle is played with a rest in the middle of each triplet, rather than as straight triplets?

Well, at the risk of talking carp (not for the first time or the last) I'd say no, there's more to it than that but you can't tell from the notation. Play it as triplets with a rest, and play it as a shuffle: there's a difference. It's to do with the way it's played, rather than what is played, I'd suggest. (Me with my newly-found encyclopaedic knowledge of shuffle!)
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Old 08-23-2013, 03:28 PM
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Well, at the risk of talking carp (not for the first time or the last) I'd say no, there's more to it than that but you can't tell from the notation. Play it as triplets with a rest, and play it as a shuffle: there's a difference. It's to do with the way it's played, rather than what is played, I'd suggest. (Me with my newly-found encyclopaedic knowledge of shuffle!)
That sounds about right. If I understand you correctly.

You can play the shuffle, or you can be shuffling. ;-) You could play that notated groove perfectly as written while still not getting the feel of it down.
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Old 08-23-2013, 05:52 PM
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Default Re: Numpty shuffle questions

I heard a song yesterday where the drummer was playing ghosted straight 8th's on the snare with the right hand, and accenting 2 and 4 with a flat flam with the left (at least that's what it sounded like). Kind of a popular beat in country/western style music. I thought to myself, if there's such a thing as a "straight shuffle", this is probably it. What would you call a beat like that?
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:00 PM
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I heard a song yesterday where the drummer was playing ghosted straight 8th's on the snare with the right hand, and accenting 2 and 4 with a flat flam with the left (at least that's what it sounded like). Kind of a popular beat in country/western style music. I thought to myself, if there's such a thing as a "straight shuffle", this is probably it. What would you call a beat like that?
If he moved the ghosted straight 8's to the hi hat, what kind of beat would it be then? Sounds like he's just riding on the snare. Was it in 2/4 or 4/4? Not sure what you would call that without hearing it.
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:01 PM
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Isn't that "skip" because a shuffle is played with a rest in the middle of each triplet, rather than as straight triplets?

I would tend to agree with the skip description.
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Old 08-23-2013, 07:06 PM
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I see. So even if a 2/4 beat has a shuffle element to it, it's not really a shuffle unless it shuffles throughout the whole song. That makes sense. Let's take CCR's Bad Moon Rising, it's almost all 2/4 but it has that shuffle feel to it, but technically it's not a shuffle.
It's hard to make hard and fast rules with music. I would not call "Bad Moon Rising" a shuffle. A shuffle rhythm within a 2/4 time sig is still a shuffle to my ears. But the shuffle pattern has to be played. I don't think anything is shuffling on BMR.
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Old 08-23-2013, 08:32 PM
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If he moved the ghosted straight 8's to the hi hat, what kind of beat would it be then? Sounds like he's just riding on the snare. Was it in 2/4 or 4/4? Not sure what you would call that without hearing it.
I suppose it would be a straight-ahead rock beat if it was on the high-hats. So yeah, he's just riding on the snare. 4/4. Four on the floor, snare on 2 and 4, and eights on the snare. Sorry I can't remember what song it was so that you could hear what I'm talking about. I've heard similar beats on old Johnny Cash songs.

I think riding on the snare gives the rhythm a driven feel to it, kind of like a Texas shuffle does.
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Old 08-23-2013, 08:41 PM
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It's hard to make hard and fast rules with music. I would not call "Bad Moon Rising" a shuffle. A shuffle rhythm within a 2/4 time sig is still a shuffle to my ears. But the shuffle pattern has to be played. I don't think anything is shuffling on BMR.
BMR is a shuffle in my book because you guys aren't discussing what everybody else is playing. Think about it, what grid fits under the song? Square straight eighth notes or or rolling triplets? The grid is your answer.
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Old 08-23-2013, 08:54 PM
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Default Re: Numpty shuffle questions

I'm with Bo on this last point. The drums don't necessarily dictate the feel of the tune. In fact, they often don't. Didn't Bermuda do a thing where he illustrates this? I'm pretty sure it was him.

And like Bo says, you can (and often should) play quarter notes and if you've got the feel down, you can swing (or shuffle) the heck out of a groove doing just that.
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Old 08-23-2013, 09:05 PM
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Numpty???????...................
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:56 AM
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BMR is a shuffle in my book because you guys aren't discussing what everybody else is playing. Think about it, what grid fits under the song? Square straight eighth notes or or rolling triplets? The grid is your answer.
Well, that's the thing. Even though the drumming is straight forward for the most part, the guitars are doing all the shuffling. So, the song is a shuffle but the drums are not doing a shuffle, but they have to be because the song is a shuffle. I think I hear a small shuffle in the bass drum every 8 bars. I had to audition once with this song and a couple others. I didn't get the spot, but I went and really listened to the song afterward and noticed this. I wasn't playing it with a shuffle feel.

Another one that comes to mind is Cheap Trick's "I want you to want me". The bass player is playing one of the strangest looking bass guitars I've ever seen. What the heck is that thing? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJs_L7yq5qE
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Last edited by Midnite Zephyr; 08-25-2013 at 09:36 PM. Reason: added song
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