Converting Those Old Rhythms, Part 1
by David Garibaldi
(2) A practical application of the shuffle.
The Shuffle rhythm is based on 8th note triplets:Playing the first and third note of each triplet produces the shuffle rhythm:
Placing an accent on the first note of each triplet gives the shuffle rhythm pulse and motion:
On the drum set:
In example (E) the shuffle rhythm was played with the right foot.
In example (F) the shuffle rhythm was played with the right hand and left foot.
Is this dumb? No! It’s foundational. Once you’ve trained your ear to “hear” the consecutive 8th note triplets at various tempos you’ll have no trouble (with practice) executing them evenly. Then while you play the shuffle rhythm and think triplets, the shuffle sound is produced. When your “ear” is trained and you relate that concept to your hands and feet, the thought process (thinking triplets) becomes “second nature.” Then, except for an occasional reminder, thinking triplets is unnecessary. At this point you’re free to coordinate your hands and feet in any way within the context of what the musical situation requires. The primary consideration should always be good, swinging, timekeeping.
Interpreting any 16th note pattern as 24th notes gives the feeling of a shuffle . . . or what I call half-time, shuffle-funk:
Taken one step further by adding a few more notes:
*Example (P) has the left hand moving back and forth between the H.H. and S.D. Thanks. See you in Part II!.
Copyright John David Garibaldi, 1981.
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