Is the James Gadson 16th note shuffle suitable for blues?

KJIB

Member
As a beginner to jams (& clearly a novice on the drums still), I recently went to my 1st blues jam. They said they're beginner friendly. I mentioned that I'm a beginner and that I basically can only do simpler 4/4 or 12/8 or the most basic shuffle. On the 1st tune they went for the shuffle & the guy leading the jam stopped to ask me if I could do something "more shuffle like". I had been doing a back beat triplet based shuffle, (i.e. if the triplet is 1-an-a then I was doing 1- -a-2- -a-3- -a-4- -a- on the hi-hat with kick on 1 & 3 and snare on 2 & 4) which is, a shuffle from what I read. I said that this was it & that I'd only just learnt this one recently so they went with it.

Anyway, I way, I'd like to go back soon with something new in my toolkit so looked up some other shuffles. I realised that I could already do most of the James Gadson 16th note Shuffle so that might make a good one to nail down better. But I don't want to concentrate lots of practice time on that if it doesn't fit into a blue jam.

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So, opinion; is the James Gadson 16th note Shuffle suitable for use in a blues jam?
 

jda

Gold Member
"more shuffle like".
is usually some "triplet-skip" in the Ride hand
whether it be a Bernard Purdie babylon Sister/ Home At Last or an Art Blakey One By One
 

LarryJ

Active Member
I play in a blues/rock band and I can't think of a song where I have used 16ths on the hats unless the song had a straight 1/8ths (rock) feel. So I would not expect that to be used on a shuffle song at a jam session where they play mostly standards.

What you played is a perfectly valid blues shuffle. That and a basic rock beat should get you through a beginner jam session just fine. Expand on it by leaving your hands alone and working on some bass drum variations. Start with 1 2 3 4. Then 1-a --- 3-a ---. Or 1-a --a 3-a --a. Then start experimenting with other variations.

Once you get comfortable playing variations with your right foot, go to work on your left hand,, playing variations with the snare on the beat and or the a, still accenting the 2 and 4.

Just keep the shuffle going on the ride or hats and line up you kick and snare hits with your right hand.

You will be surprised how quickly you can develop some independence with your right foot and left hand. This won't make you a professional blues drummer, but you can have fun at jam sessions without feeling like a beginner.
 
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LarryJ

Active Member
On the 1st tune they went for the shuffle & the guy leading the jam stopped to ask me if I could do something "more shuffle like".

He may have meant your hihat pattern was closer to straight 1/8ths feel than triplets. Triplet is minimum spacing, some songs approach the dotted eigth/sixteenth. Just make sure you have that lope in your hats or ride pattern.
 

1 hit wonder

Well-known Member
Were you playing a Flat Tire pattern? That fits the pattern but has a diff locomotion than a straight shuffle.

I did a fill in set with an opener for Mark Hummel, Wes Starr, Billy Flynn, John Ross and Clay Swafford recently. Pretty much every song we played in the opener was a shuffle. Same thing happened. In the mid point I threw him the tire and he asked for a straight shuffle.
 
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Stroman

Platinum Member
I'm with Larry - I love that Gadson groove, but it isn't really a shuffle. Gadson may swing the sixteenths a little, but never to the point where it's a shuffle. It's more of a funk beat.
 

jda

Gold Member

or


or you can go back further in History or over to Rock shuffles
but is a feel..
or dare I say "swingin"

:D
 
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Stroman

Platinum Member
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C. Dave Run

Gold Member
Not sure what you mean? Most shuffles I know of are in 4, or 6/8?

Three is a waltz! Lol
Count the drums, not the melody. The skip note is 123/123/123/123.

What I am postulating is how does one turn 16th hats/ride (1234/1234/1234/1234) into a skip note pattern? They feel completely different.

Rosanna for example. The melody is 4/4 but the hats are 12/8. That's 3s, not 4s.

So again, drumwise, how does one turn the Gadson example posted, with 16th hats, into 3s?
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
Count the drums, not the melody. The skip note is 123/123/123/123.

What I am postulating is how does one turn 16th hats/ride (1234/1234/1234/1234) into a skip note pattern? They feel completely different.

Rosanna for example. The melody is 4/4 but the hats are 12/8. That's 3s, not 4s.

So again, drumwise, how does one turn the Gadson example posted, with 16th hats, into 3s?
I see. You're talking about three subdivisions per beat, not beats per measure.

I guess you could swing those 16ths to the extreme and make it like a Purdie halftime shuffle, but that isn't really the way I've heard Gadson play the beat in question.
 

C. Dave Run

Gold Member
I see. You're talking about three subdivisions per beat, not beats per measure.

I guess you could swing those 16ths to the extreme and make it like a Purdie halftime shuffle, but that isn't really the way I've heard Gadson play the beat in question.
This is why I'm confused. To me, there is a grouping of 3 somewhere drumwise with a shuffle. I'm not finding it in the example.

Just trying to learn something.
 

1 hit wonder

Well-known Member
Not sure what you mean? Most shuffles I know of are in 4, or 6/8?

Three is a waltz! Lol
A drum teacher once quizzed me on what style of music was 3/4 time.
I thought for a second and disgustingly replied, "Country."
He immediately imagined the beat I was creating in my head (bont-da-da, bont-da-da) and he horse laughed.
"No, a Waltz."
 

Chris Whitten

Silver Member
Shuffles are in 4/4 or 12/8, not 3.
Most blues songs are counted in with 1 - 2 - 3 - 4.
A lot of jazz standards (with the classic dotted feel) are counted in with 1 - 2 - 3 - 4.
It's just a 4 with a swung groove as opposed to 4 with a straight groove.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
This is why I'm confused. To me, there is a grouping of 3 somewhere drumwise with a shuffle. I'm not finding it in the example.

Just trying to learn something.
I understand the confusion!

It's all in the vagaries of drum notation. When I was learning to read, my teacher showed me charts with eighth note ride patterns, but with markings that said things like "swing" or "shuffle", and he said that means we're supposed to pay them with a shuffle feel rather than metrically straight eighth notes. It's just a shortcut in writing - easier to write eighth notes than all those triplets with a rest in the middle. 😉

Extrapolating, you could apply the same swing interpretation to the sixteenths and get a halftime shuffle, but that isn't how Gadson played the beat shown.
 

C. Dave Run

Gold Member
It's all in the vagaries of drum notation. When I was learning to read, my teacher showed me charts with eighth note ride patterns, but with markings that said things like "swing" or "shuffle", and he said that means we're supposed to pay them with a shuffle feel rather than metrically straight eighth notes. It's just a shortcut in writing - easier to write eighth notes than all those triplets with a rest in the middle. 😉
Okay, that makes sense. Thank you.
 
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