The Origin of the Shuffle Groove


Junior Member
I never count or pay attention to the 1e and a 2e and a 3a ....garbage, I just play! Did i mention I also dislike practice pads? Not everyone has to break it down like that and can play those shuffles in all its incarnations. Oh, and I find guitarists the worst people to engineer, critique (like beato) and produce songs involving lots of drums, with the exception of Jimmy Page.


Junior Member
I love Rick's channel but this video was the equivalent of scratching nails on a chalkboard. The guy he brought in might be able to play but seemed to be making stuff up. The shuffle was imitating a train? Wouldn't that be a train beat in straight 16th notes - a very unshuffled groove? For shuffles you can go back to blues shuffles and they're similarity to swing beats from the big bands. And then from there go back to Dixieland. And so on. The Daniel Glass series of videos is much better for this kind of stuff.

Like I said, I love that channel but this video was a cringe fest for me.


Platinum Member
I get you now. But the back beat is on three so I wouldn't classify the specific Rosanna beat as a 16th note shuffle. It is definitely a half time shuffle.
Yes and no.

Yes, It can easily be thought of as a 1/2 time shuffle, and that is what Jeff calls it in his instructional tape.

But, In the video in the OP, at the 2:36 mark the drummer in the video says "snare on 2 and 4" which makes it a 16th not shuffle, which is how I recall learning it.

But that fact remains, in the OP video, they DO NOT explain this, which would make it really confusing to any new drummers trying to learn what a shuffle is.


Silver Member
..With all due respect....I hope I'm not being an a-hole here...The backbeat is always on 2 and 4. When it's not counted in the accepted manner, yes, the backbeat does appear to be on beat 4, but in reality, it's actually beat 2. One of the accepted ways to count triplets is... one-trip-let, two-trip-let, three-trip-let, four-trip-let. Not 1 2 3 4 5 6. I did that for quite a long time. It's easier to communicate when everyone is on the same page verbiage-wise..

..If you count Roseanna using the above triplet verbiage you will see that the backbeat lands on beat 2 and 4. All shuffles are in triplet time with the backbeat on 2 and 4...

To me whats written here makes little sense..

When counting in triplets like that, and (just to simplify things) taking the hi hat part from the song, would be like this..:

one = hi hat
trip = ghostnote
let = hi hat

two = hi hat
trip = ghostnote
let = hi hat


Meaning, that in that case the backbeat clearly will be on 3..

And, regarding using the same verbiage, i spoke and heard quite a few drummers in my life, but i never ever heard someone speak the words that shuffles are "in triplet time"..

Even the wisdom of google gives me only 9 results on "playing in triplet time", 45 results on "playing in triple time" and no results at all for "counting in triplet time"..

The combination "in triplet time" gives me 820 results, which is also not a lot given the billions of words that are spoken on the almighty internet about music and things like that..
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Junior Member
And, regarding using the same verbiage, i spoke and heard quite a few drummers in my life, but i never ever heard someone speak the words that shuffles are "in triplet time"..
That's because there is no such thing. When you say "time" in that context, it implies a time signature, to me. Even in a more slang sense, I've never heard it and wouldn't interpret it the way he meant. Maybe 12/8 or 6/8 could be interpreted that way but they're not "triplet time". And if you're playing triplets in 4/4 (or any other time signature) then you're playing triplets and perhaps playing in a triplet feel but the "time" is still 4/4.