The Origin of the Shuffle Groove

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
No I don't think it was explained well, the discussion was all over the map. We hear about the year Zildjian was created and got to watch Vinnie play at the Buddy Rich tribute. All wonderful in their own right, but fundamental things like New Orleans weren't mentioned that I can recall.

About halfway through the video he mentions the "military command on the battlefield in the fog of war, a train, the shuffle & the art form that jazz is" all within the same sentence. I was like 'wait, what?'

He's certainly knowledgeable and I'm sure a competent drummer, but the subject wasn't explained in a lucid manner that followed any sort of cohesive progression.
 
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Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
No I don't think it was explained well, the discussion was all over the map. We hear about the year Zildjian was created and got to watch Vinnie play at the Buddy Rich tribute. All wonderful in their own right, but fundamental things like New Orleans weren't mentioned that I can recall.
At the halfway mark through the video he mentions the "military command on the battlefield in the fog of war, the train, the shuffle & the art form that jazz is " all within the same sentence.


He certainly has a lot of knowledge and I'm sure an accomplished drummer, but the subject wasn't explained in a lucid manner that followed any sort of cohesive storyline.
Maybe the sound of a freight train really was the origin of the shuffle beat, but they offered zero evidence for that. I agree that they were all over the place.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Maybe the sound of a freight train really was the origin of the shuffle beat, but they offered zero evidence for that. I agree that they were all over the place.
Yeah, at this point it's all hearsay. Even if it was the freight train, the freight train is far newer than the snare drum. Surely someone had figured out the shuffle long before the train.

I wish this Beato guy would stop. Lots of his videos he tries to explain things that have no answer (this), or use his opinion as fact to teach us something, i.e. "What makes (insert song here) great" series.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Well It is Youtube so you have to expect some hype for attention I guess. Heck everyone knows Bernard Purdie invented the shuffle as well as the pfsst, pfsst and oh about everything I believe. Maybe that's where Beato gets it LOL. I love Bernard -I've watched all the shuffle videos of various drummers and when I watch Porcaro's and Bernard's videos demonstrating the Roseanna and Purdie shuffles what they demonstrate "resembles" what they do on their famed songs-heck they can't even explain it I guess LOL.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
I really love Beato's channel, but yeah, this episode was weak. As others already pointed out, there was no focus; it was like a general video about drumming with no real point. The one thing it definitely did not do was establish the origins of the shuffle groove.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
The feel of the shuffle goes back hundreds of years. It's roots are in the iambic foot of poetry containing unaccented and short syllable, followed by a long and accented syllable. And the root of iambic is the hearbeat. Your heart beats in an iambic meter. The drum shuffle is the natural accompaniment to music that evolved into an iambic rhythm. Nobody invented the shuffle: it's a natural accompaniment to music with an iambic pulse.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
The feel of the shuffle goes back hundreds of years. It's roots are in the iambic foot of poetry containing unaccented and short syllable, followed by a long and accented syllable. And the root of iambic is the hearbeat. Your heart beats in an iambic meter. The drum shuffle is the natural accompaniment to music that evolved into an iambic rhythm. Nobody invented the shuffle: it's a natural accompaniment to music with an iambic pulse.
That is the same direction my mind was going on this, but far better thought-out and phrased.
 

MrPockets

Gold Member
or use his opinion as fact to teach us something, i.e. "What makes (insert song here) great" series.
I actually quite enjoy those episodes. I don't get how you see him using his opinion as fact. He is just showing cool things about the song.

The feel of the shuffle goes back hundreds of years. It's roots are in the iambic foot of poetry containing unaccented and short syllable, followed by a long and accented syllable. And the root of iambic is the hearbeat. Your heart beats in an iambic meter. The drum shuffle is the natural accompaniment to music that evolved into an iambic rhythm. Nobody invented the shuffle: it's a natural accompaniment to music with an iambic pulse.
I believe you, but I am not sure how that relates to the drum set unless you can point to a drummer stating that as the inspiration. I think the drum set shuffle is analogous to Leibniz and Newton coming up with calculus at the same time.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I actually quite enjoy those episodes. I don't get how you see him using his opinion as fact. He is just showing cool things about the song.
Music is subjective, therefore what makes it great to him isn't necessarily what makes it great to others. Ergo, it's his opinion.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Somebody had to do it first? I don't remember any in classical music-course that could be I just don't remember. But it definitely has been in jazz,/swing, rhythm and blues, and country music (I guess every genre now). I'm betting the roots in jazz but could be country I guess. Which came first? I know probably some fella name "Bobby Shuffle" who slipped on his regular part and accidentally played a shuffle. First they called it the "Bobby" (that name was taken by British police) but that wasn't catchy so the "Shuffle" was born. Now watch this made up crap now become dogma on the internet.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
Strauss galops and Souza marches in 6/8 time have a really similar feel to the shuffle, and they were written 100 - 150 years ago.
Scottish jigs and reels too. So I guess the 'shuffle' has evolved in one form or other around the world.
 

Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
Point is no one person or group of specific individuals invented the shuffle groove. It's origins evolved with the evolution of blues and jazz and swing and big band music.

There is a school of Western European music commonly referred to as Viennaese Classicism. Hayden Mozart Beethoven. That school of music evolved from the historically religious roots of music to a more secular form, and it became more secular through subsequent centuries. No one person invented "classical" Western music. It evolved.

In America blues and jazz evolved from the environment, with some roots in gospel music. No one person invented blues or jazz. No one person invented shuffle grooves as drum accompaniment to the secularized blues and jazz.

Therefore, the origin of the pulsing you hear in blues that drummers started accompanying with shuffle grooves in various forms is really hundreds of years old and is rooted in iambic accents that mimic the human heartbeat.

That is the same direction my mind was going on this, but far better thought-out and phrased.
 
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GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
That's an excellent answer Rattlin' Bones. It did evolve-but I "think" that it predates modern humans. "Obviously" shuffles originated with the Western Neanderthals-they were big and "shuffled along", and then the Eastern Denisovans well they didn't shuffle. Thus Western and Eastern music separated-all cause the shuffle-which is likely why it is so popular. You know Neanderthals had larger brains than modern humans-likely why they were so smart to "think" of a shuffle. Man I love "logic" it all makes sense now. Thanks folks-we should write a Wikipedia article cause their Shuffle (Music) redirects to Swing (jazz performance style) article. They gotta do better than that.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
This is an odd criticism and I do not believe you understand his intent of the series.
No I get it. He deconstructs the song, shows us how the instruments did whatever they did, how they all play together, and explains why that's what makes it great. What if I don't like the particular song he says is great? That means in my eyes (and ears) he is wrong. What's odd about that?

The way he goes through the songs, it's like he is trying to prove something. There is nothing to prove, it's music which is subjective.
 

MrPockets

Gold Member
What if I don't like the particular song he says is great? That means in my eyes (and ears) he is wrong. What's odd about that?

The way he goes through the songs, it's like he is trying to prove something. There is nothing to prove, it's music which is subjective.
I think you need a paradigm shift on this subject.

Rick is presenting songs he thinks and cool that have unique and easy to understand musical or production processes. For his audience he chooses a mix of songs for variety. He isn't trying to prove anything, he is just showcasing.

As for "What Makes this Song Great?". What other title would you suggest? 'Great' is common and easily understood. It is a good catch all for the music he showcases. YouTube will like it and promote it. Calling it "Songs that Were Produced in Interesting Ways" doesn't really role off the tongue and YouTube algorithm would hate it.
 
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