Clean and fast shuffle (Louis Prima)

ZackPomerleau

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Check this one out:

It’s insane how fast but clean this is. All four notes of the shuffle on the snare at an insane tempo. I can’t even begin to understand how.
 

pwc1141

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I play a bit of Bluegrass occasionally and get to do that tempo with brushes splitting the pattern between two hands. That is a nice demonstration of how to use left hand on snare though !!
 

Markkuliini

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I'm aware that Prima-drummer(s) were unbelievably fast, but in my opinion this is out of even their league.
This sounds like a 2 handed train beat played with swing feel. On the video the drummer is playing the hats with big movement, but all I can hear is really clear snare notes.
I suspect this is a play back taping, no live performance from the drummer at least.
 
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blueshadow

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I'm aware that Prima-drummer(s) were unbelievably fast, but in my opinion this is out of even their league.
This sounds like a 2 handed train beat played with swing feel. On the video the drummer is playing the hats with big movement, but all I can hear is really clear snare notes.
I suspect this is a play back taping, no live performance from the drummer at least.
That's what I hear as well and how I'd play it if I had to :)
 

SwivoNut

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Watch the drummer. He seems to cut out and just sit there later in the clip.
There's another drummer behind and to the left of Keely just out of camera range. He can be seen in the last few seconds of the clip when the camera pans back.
 
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BennyK

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I'm aware that Prima-drummer(s) were unbelievably fast, but in my opinion this is out of even their league.
This sounds like a 2 handed train beat played with swing feel. On the video the drummer is playing the hats with big movement, but all I can hear is really clear snare notes.
I suspect this is a play back taping, no live performance from the drummer at least.
Picture a boxing speed bag and call it counterpoint motion, where the bag is moving fsater than the hands . What you're calling a shuffle is a very fast flat tire beat . Closer to bebop than swing . Out of curiousity try and figure out which band member is actually defining a shuffle pulse (it doesn't always have to be the drums) to keep it from drifting into polka world.

 
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Markkuliini

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Picture a boxing speed bag and call it counterpoint motion, where the bag is moving fsater than the hands . What you're calling a shuffle is a very fast flat tire beat . Closer to bebop than swing . Out of curiousity try and figure out which band member is actually defining a shuffle pulse (it doesn't always have to be the drums) to keep it from drifting into polka world.

Well...I most definitely hear all the eight notes played on the snare, and the ones at 2 and 4 accented.
 

JDA

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"That's how you play, when you're Louie Prima's drummer, it's 1959, he calls you backstage into the dressing room and informs you that for the next 7 months, you his drummer, will be earning 2000$ per week"

b'doom tsshh



(his sax player) Sam Butera. I was in the studio with him and on-stage once local nightclub .
He was a friend with the local old time gentleman I was playing with at the time.

The drummer may be playing the first three notes, very gently, light
hi hat covers for the last..something like that..

Research https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=+louis+prima+live
 
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NewBeat

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Pretty sure he's simply playing 16th notes between the snare & the closed hi-hat.
 

Tornado

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One of the marks of a great drummer is the ability to blend the hats with the snare so well that it's difficult to tell what's what.
 

SteveB

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Another thing they did back then was to alternate hands...so the left hand (if you're a righty) is playing all the back beats and the right is playing singles again, or dribbling on the hats or ride (loose swing). Ain't you guys seen a stripper back in the 60's. Its almost like an oompa beat...that swings. I do this on some real up tempo shuffles where you can't possibly keep up otherwise. Think Alvin Lee..at times.
 

ZackPomerleau

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I’m not on a laptop so I can’t type much. But being an avid listener of Louis, the drummers certainly play all the shuffles eighths on the snare. The hi hat plays the swing pattern with two and four accented. There’s tons of other examples in the studio.
 

ZackPomerleau

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So this is slower, but it's a great example:

This is slower but the snare is super defined here. The backbeat really comes from the hi hat more than the shuffe, which fills in spaces. I think what's shocking is that at higher tempos like "When You're Smiling" it still sounds fundamentally the same but super fast. With a matched grip I can see doing it by becoming really good at the tap the Moeller gives you. It's crazy he did it with traditional.

One other thing is I don't think this is really a flat tire. That'd emphasize the off beats, whether a double shuffle or not. This to me follows more the jump style of a shuffle like this:
In that tune you can hear it's a double shuffle but it fits the boogie woogie line to a T. There is also no accents happening. Super common in the West Coast blues thing and I think Prima did a modified version of it.

That's kind of the big thing about this shuffle, though, is it's multifaceted so it sucks when it's not played. I do some of these tunes and at high tempos I just haven't nailed it yet. I leave out the 1 and 3 like someone mentioned before for those tempos. There's something about how these shuffles fill in the spaces.
 


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