Shuffle beat

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I remember when Exile on Mainstreet came out a lot of my friends went ape over the heresy of "Sweet Virginia". Now I thought it was a nice country shuffle and I liked they would commit such a heresy. I guess I was rebellious LOL. Actually there are a lot of popular rock songs with a definite country sway. Jeff Porcaro did a really nice job on shuffles in this video (it's a really nice video for Porcaro grooves in general as he demonstrates as "useful" and I sit and think about all the songs he used them-like his samba)
 
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AzHeat

Platinum Member
I just watched the ZZ Top documentary on Netflix and they played this song. Frank Beard was playing quarter notes on the hats and the shuffle pattern on the snare, is that how he did it on the original?
Surprised by this as well! I've been playing the song as a rock shuffle and even alternating doubles between left and right and...well, actually, it's such a cool sung to practice too that it just makes sense to practice shuffles against, period.
 

Good Karma

Well-known member
Trying to play "La Grange" cleanly will put the white hot spotlight on any weak hand issues.

It's a great strengthening exercise for the weak hand, shuffling on the snare one handed with a nice clean backbeat.

It's that damn accented backbeat that is the killer for me.
I listened to La Grange today a few times, I see what your talking about. He changes the accent pattern puts them on the "and's" of 4.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
It's first groove I learned. Well, I probably learned it and what I call a "rock" groove (8's) at same time. You can't play blues unless you shuffle.

Blues is a lotta quarters on kick, but play a lotta shuffle patterns on kick doing lots of other things on cymbals in blues, rock, and jazz.

After posting that, i went downstairs and shuffled for a few minutes. I can’t believe I only discovered shuffles like a year ago. They are way more fun than other beats.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I always called shuffles on cymbal and snare a Texas Shuffle.
There is no standard accepted way of "naming" shuffles that I'm aware of. So whatever makes sense to you.
That won't stop me from trying.
If we could all agree that what Frank Beard plays during "La Grange" is a Texas shuffle, then it would make it easier to name it, so we would all be on the same page.
It is helpful to have names for the different variations for clarity's sake.
Here's a partial list of names I use for the major shuffle variations.

Backbeat shuffle
Non-backbeat shuffle (I sometimes use these in faster Chicago type shuffles)
Rock shuffle ("Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow")
Texas shuffle ("La Grange")
Double shuffle (I consider "Pride and Joy" a double shuffle with a backbeat)
(I'd like to add a triple shuffle)
Flat Tire shuffle (fun beat)
Half Time shuffle "(Roseanna")
Swing shuffle (really fast backbeat shuffle I typically play on just the the snare 2 handed, quarters on the bass drum)

Not saying this is accurate, but it helps me to keep them straight.
 
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KamaK

Platinum Member
I've always struggled with a shuffle beat so I never really practiced them. The last few weeks I've been forcing myself to try and learn a few different patterns and I'm really starting to enjoy these beats. I'm up to 90 bpm and they still sound clean and in time.
So my question is, what max bpm should I set a goal for myself to play these at.
You should practice them to their maximum useful speed for your genre.

For me, the goal was ZZ Top's "La Grange" at approximately 160 BPM (or 80 depending on how you count).

I imagine I could try for quicker, like VH's "Hot For Teacher", but it would be a waste for me as it is outside my genre.
 

Lee-Bro

Senior Member
Back in '94 the music store I managed had Mitch Dorge (Crash Test Dummies) in for a clinic. We had a good crowd and was having people come up to the kit and play different things. When he started on shuffles, he looked my way and I quickly deferred to our in-house drum teacher. Afterward I told him that shuffles were/are the bane of my existence.

I dig playing them, but don't practice them as much as I really should.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Oh man LaGrange/Tush-love the Montreux version here. It shows you the power of a simple shuffle driving this song.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Thanks Art.

I love the 3 piece sound. Everyone has plenty of space.

Dusty can still hit those notes.

Frank's left handed snare shuffle still rocks ha ha. He makes it look easy.

Frank drinks Tab? I didn't even know Tab was still around.

Those guys are the epitome of cool.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
So, I was partially correct on the La Grange groove. Frank does play doubles on the snare, just no follow-up doubles on the ride, but continuous doubles on the snare! Crud....back to the kit for another few months of burning wrists! :(
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
So, I was partially correct on the La Grange groove. Frank does play doubles on the snare, just no follow-up doubles on the ride, but continuous doubles on the snare! Crud....back to the kit for another few months of burning wrists! :(
La Grange was presented to me as the "Texas Shuffle", and it was during the lesson where I should be able to apply the shuffle with each/any of the limbs, both individually and in combination/unison with multiple instruments.

The shuffle that ended up giving me the red-ass was the "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" shuffle with the goofy hat and shuffled BD. Something about the combination gave me agita
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
La Grange was presented to me as the "Texas Shuffle", and it was during the lesson where I should be able to apply the shuffle with each/any of the limbs, both individually and in combination/unison with multiple instruments.

The shuffle that ended up giving me the red-ass was the "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" shuffle with the goofy hat and shuffled BD. Something about the combination gave me agita
I've actually been playing that song for quite a while. It's an odd feel, because it's a shaker in the recording, even though they show hats in the video, so it skews the feel. I've been playing it as a linear groove, with hats on the "&" and "A", so 1&a, 2&a, etc.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I've actually been playing that song for quite a while. It's an odd feel, because it's a shaker in the recording, even though they show hats in the video, so it skews the feel. I've been playing it as a linear groove, with hats on the "&" and "A", so 1&a, 2&a, etc.
Indeed. There's a few ways to play it to emulate (or coordinate with) the shaker. The manner in which I was instructed was slanted towards teaching the poly-hat-independence than reproduce original. I basically learned exactly what this guy is doing:

 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
Indeed. There's a few ways to play it to emulate (or coordinate with) the shaker. The manner in which I was instructed was slanted towards teaching the poly-hat-independence than reproduce original. I basically learned exactly what this guy is doing:

So singles on the hats, doubles on the kick and what's the snare doing?
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
In the video I posted he plays a single on ride and doubles snare (he does make it look easy) but I thought on original he did that but there was hi hats part and "I thought" he played doubles on hats and single on snare so "shuffled" it up LOL. I need to listen to it again.
 

Rock Salad

Junior Member
re La Grange style
ymmv
i find doubling the bass muddies the beat except as an accent or fill and tends to make it drag or something it gets heavier and doesn't bounce. Could be my technique.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
In the video I posted he plays a single on ride and doubles snare (he does make it look easy) but I thought on original he did that but there was hi hats part and "I thought" he played doubles on hats and single on snare so "shuffled" it up LOL. I need to listen to it again.
The snare is ultimately just playing the backbeat. There's an opportunity to add a grace note in unison with the hat, but I can't say that I've ever used it. I only learned the groove as an aside to the lesson "Here's 4 common Blues/Jazz/Texas/etc shuffles and several uncommon ones to demonstrate that you can shuffle with any limb".
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Well looked lookey! Here is Sina doing La Grange and she looks she is doing what I was trying to describe.
 
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