Shuffle writing woes

ludwigkid

Junior Member
Hey guys. I was messing around today and tried writing down this shuffle I was playing. Well my writing skills really suck so I could use some help. The 4 bass drum hits are supposed to line up with the dotted sixteenth notes, and the snare hits in between besides on 2 and 4. I'm sure it's really simple, but like I said i'm pretty new haha. Thanks for the help!

 

pauloconnor

Junior Member
You put too much pressure on yourself my friend.

I've just played that from your notation without any worries. The more practice your get at writing things down it'll just get neater. You're writing things down which is more than I'm doing!!
 

DanJacobs

Member
I can easily hear the groove too. I'm guessing the snares that aren't on 2 + 4 are ghost notes? - if so they should have a bracket around them, the bass drum notes are in the right place but just need to be written as the correct notation.

As said, keep writing stuff down and read notation books and/or look online etc - you'll get there.
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
Hey guys. I was messing around today and tried writing down this shuffle I was playing. Well my writing skills really suck so I could use some help. The 4 bass drum hits are supposed to line up with the dotted sixteenth notes, and the snare hits in between besides on 2 and 4. I'm sure it's really simple, but like I said i'm pretty new haha. Thanks for the help!

Ah yes, the Bernard Purdie Half Time Shuffle. Great groove.

Your rendition gets the point across, but only because I know what you're going for. You're missing stems and rests on all your SD and BD notes. There aren't hard fast rules about this, but I usually group my SD with the HH and create a "system" for what the hands play, while making a second "system" for the feet. The hands system has stems going up and it's own rests and the feet system has stems going down and its own rests. Remember that all rests and notes in a system must add up to the time signature.


One thing that will make this easier, is to write your shuffle rhythm not as dotted 16ths/32nds, but as 16th-note triplets or sextuplets. That way, the SD ghost notes fall in nicely between your HH notes and can be beamed together with them. Or, simply write the groove out as 8th-note triplets. However, doing it that way means you'll need to use two bars for the groove. Check out the Shuffle from Steely Dan's "Babylon Sisters" (Played by Mr. Purdie himself) at the bottom left of this PDF to see what I mean: www.vater.com/education/Vater_BeatPoster.pdf

What you see is that by writing it out as 8th note triplets, the backbeat is now on beat 3 of each bar, rather than on 2 and 4 of every bar. This last way has the advantage of using a lot less ink and there being fewer niggly rests to squint at and nested notes to think about. I also find it about eleventy-billion times easier to count "1-trip-let 2-trip-let, etc." then come up with some tongue-twisting way to count 16th note triplets. But, either way, I think that shifting your concept into triplets (be they 16ths or 8ths) will help you not only notate what you're playing, but get a sense of how it's supposed to feel.

For example, see the attached PDF. Sorry, I don't have time to do a version with 16th-note triplets so you can see it, but this'll get you started.
 

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ludwigkid

Junior Member
Thanks for the helps guys. I thought about it some today, and realized the dotted sixteenth notes were silly. Here's what i got. Also I wasn't sure how to notate the last bass drum note.




P.S. Sorry the about the image quality.

Also I didn't realize it was the purdie shuffle.
 
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Boomka

Platinum Member
Thanks for the helps guys. I thought about it some today, and realized the dotted sixteenth notes were silly. Here's what i got. Also I wasn't sure how to notate the last bass drum note.




P.S. Sorry the about the image quality.

Also I didn't realize it was the purdie shuffle.
Well, it's also the Porcaro (Rosanna) shuffle, the Bonham (Fool In The Rain) shuffle, etc. It's a Half Time Shuffle. :) But, go research the Purdie shuffle and you'll find plenty of useful information that could help you with this project of yours.

As for your most recent offering, it's a bit clearer that way, don't you think? You're missing rests, however, both in the hand pattern (the middle notes of your triplets on beats 3 and 4 of the first bar and beats 1, 3, 4 of the second bar need to be accounted for) and in your bass drum system. Check out the PDF I attached above to see what I mean. Remember that when you separate the hands and feet into two systems (hands with stems up and feet with stems down) you need to have all the notes and rests in each system add up to your time signature - in this case 4 quarter notes.

So, in the first bar, you need to account for all that space between the 1/4 note on beat 1 and the last triplet of the bar (which needs fixing, I think). You've only got 2 quarter notes worth of notes/rests - i.e. one quarter on beat one and the equivalent of a quarter (8th triplet) on beat 4. Beats 2 and 3 need to have 1/4 rests and the first two triplets of beat 4 need rests - specifically "8th" rests, though in this case they're representing the strangely named "8th-note-triplets". As for the second bar and the last bass drum note, if you intend that to be on beat 2, then I would write it as a 1/4 note and put a half rest on beats 3 and 4. The reason that wouldn't be, say, a dotted half-note is that we tend to split the bar into halves when notating, to keep things neat and tidy. Does that make sense? Also, we try to use the largest note we can rather than write rests, basically because they're murder on the eyes.
 

double_G

Silver Member
here is an example of something i did recently. the notation is a PITA but i hate writing eighths w/ swing interpretation comments. sometimes i do full triplets like ludwigkid, but normally as 6s like in the three days grace tune here.



+ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75QuDNteT6o
 
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