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Thanks to the Fred Below thread…

Tubwompus

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The thread about the fabbalusly fabbalus Mr. Below developed an interesting byproduct (well, interesting to me, anyway) regarding different drummers’ perceptions of what is, or isn’t, a shuffle.

So I ask,
Regarding this cut,
YEP, it’s a shuffle?…and if so, why?
or…
NOPE, it t’aint?…and if so, why not?

 
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Squirrel Man

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I'm a high end amateur or low end intermediate, for what it's worth. I can do shuffles. Purdie, Bonham, Rosanna. I'm learning the science.

Having said that I'm going no, not a shuffle. 4/4 with a backbeat. Doesn't have that shuffle triplet feel to me.

Love to hear if I'm wrong too. Learning is fun.
 

Tubwompus

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I'm a high end amateur or low end intermediate, for what it's worth. I can do shuffles. Purdie, Bonham, Rosanna. I'm learning the science.

Having said that I'm going no, not a shuffle. 4/4 with a backbeat. Doesn't have that shuffle triplet feel to me.

Love to hear if I'm wrong too. Learning is fun.
Not sure if there IS a “wrong“ here, it’s more about individual perception.
 

Tornado

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I'm a high end amateur or low end intermediate, for what it's worth. I can do shuffles. Purdie, Bonham, Rosanna. I'm learning the science.

Having said that I'm going no, not a shuffle. 4/4 with a backbeat. Doesn't have that shuffle triplet feel to me.

Love to hear if I'm wrong too. Learning is fun.

The Purdie shuffle and its variants are half time shuffles, and are not the typical blues shuffles.
 

Tornado

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Alright, like la grange?

What makes that a shuffle?
La Grange is a Texas Shuffle, a variant of blues shuffle. Texas shuffles are typically a tighter swing, more dotted 1/16th than triplet. But it's about the swing, and there's usually a strong backbeat on 2 & 4. You'll often hear its different from a jazz swing beat because of that strong 2 & 4 backbeat, and the right hand is playing "spang a-lang a-lang a-lang a-lang" vs "spang spang a-lang spang a-lang". Jazz guys also played shuffles too, so don't let that throw you either. There's a lot of shared DNA in there. Anyway, the closer you get to rock, the heavier the bass drum and snare are, and the more you'll hear the bass drum start playing shuffled notes too. Not all the notes have to be played either, it can be implied.


That's my terrible explanation that hopefully scratches the surface.
 

Tornado

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Here's Art Blakey playing a shuffle in a jazz context:


You know Frank Beard's shuffles in a rock context.

Note that a shuffle can be and often is played with the spang spang a lang right hand. So it's a huge over simplification to define it by the right hand pattern. Chris Layton often played the jazz right hand pattern while playing either the full shuffle pattern with his left on the snare or a partial pattern (like Art Blakey above) to create the full pattern between both hands. But again...it doesn't even have to be the full "shuffle pattern" as one might think of it. It can be implied with fewer notes.
 

Tubwompus

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La Grange is a Texas Shuffle, a variant of blues shuffle. Texas shuffles are typically a tighter swing, more dotted 1/16th than triplet. But it's about the swing, and there's usually a strong backbeat on 2 & 4. You'll often hear its different from a jazz swing beat because of that strong 2 & 4 backbeat, and the right hand is playing "spang a-lang a-lang a-lang a-lang" vs "spang spang a-lang spang a-lang". Jazz guys also played shuffles too, so don't let that throw you either. There's a lot of shared DNA in there. Anyway, the closer you get to rock, the heavier the bass drum and snare are, and the more you'll hear the bass drum start playing shuffled notes too. Not all the notes have to be played either, it can be implied.


That's my terrible explanation that hopefully scratches the surface.
See? Right there, perception is everything. Love it.
In my own personal world, La Grange is a Chicago shuffle, I.e., the shuffle rhythm is played on the snare, regardless of what the other hand is playing.

A Texas shuffle in my world, is something such as these…
(That’s Stevie on drums btw)

 

Tornado

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See? Right there, perception is everything. Love it.
In my own personal world, La Grange is a Chicago shuffle, I.e., the shuffle rhythm is played on the snare, regardless of what the other hand is playing.

A Texas shuffle in my world, is something such as these…
(That’s Stevie on drums btw)


But they are both unequivocally shuffles. The particular style of shuffle can get into the realm of opinion. :). I think there's a ton of overlap between Chicago and Texas shuffles, and I think in a lot of cases you can use the term interchangeably. My opinion is that the swing is a little straighter in the Texas shuffle. But clearly artists from both regions have done it different ways.
 

Tubwompus

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But they are both unequivocally shuffles. The particular style of shuffle can get into the realm of opinion. :). I think there's a ton of overlap between Chicago and Texas shuffles, and I think in a lot of cases you can use the term interchangeably. My opinion is that the swing is a little straighter in the Texas shuffle. But clearly artists from both regions have done it different ways.
Exactly, that’s why I’m of the opinion that nobody’s take is what I’d call “wrong”, like I mentioned earlier. Too many variables.
For example, even within the bounds of what I’ve always known as the Chicago shuffle, this fella’s swing 8ths are ALMOST pairs of straight 16th’s…BUT…tell me it doesn’t swing.
So there ya go.

I’m shuttin’ up now. I’m hogging my own doggone thread ova heeya.
 
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Tornado

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Man, I love shuffles, lol.

Here's what I mean by an implied shuffle in a rock context. JP Gaster, the swinging-est rock drummer since John Bonham, shuffling along with those subtle ghost notes between what's mostly just a standard money beat:


You can really hear him clearly at about 30 seconds. That's a shuffle, I don't care what anyone says.
 

Ian S

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Hmm, man I'm trying so hard here, and have edited this post more than I'll admit.

Not sure if there IS a “wrong“ here, it’s more about individual perception.

Well I'm no Berklee graduate but, my perception (felt in the bones) is that if that (Rack em Up) isn't a shuffle.. then there is no such thing as a "shuffle".


For some reason I have trouble settling that this is up to individual perception :wacko:, and I wanna try to find the science to explain exactly what makes a shuffle (that nobody could deny) (!?)

What makes a beat a shuffle beat, to me seems it's a combination of both the swing feel, along with the nearly equivalent accents on the "ah" before each accented downbeat (or upbeat)

And yes, in some cases it's enough that it's implied and doesn't have to be accented all the time.

BUT! Wow Tornado I'm not (well almost.. sort of..) hearing very much of a shuffle on Clutch. It's like maybe the drummer is thinking about a shuffle while not playing one. Almost. LOL (ok, the shaker is sort of shuffling!)
 

Tornado

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BUT! Wow Tornado I'm not (well almost.. sort of..) hearing very much of a shuffle on Clutch. It's like maybe the drummer is thinking about a shuffle while not playing one. Almost. LOL (ok, the shaker is sort of shuffling!)

Yeah, it's implied! But I say it's there and that's the hill I die on. :)
 

Tubwompus

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Hmm, man I'm trying so hard here, and have edited this post more than I'll admit.



Well I'm no Berklee graduate but, my perception (felt in the bones) is that if that (Rack em Up) isn't a shuffle.. then there is no such thing as a "shuffle".


For some reason I have trouble settling that this is up to individual perception :wacko:, and I wanna try to find the science to explain exactly what makes a shuffle (that nobody could deny) (!?)

What makes a beat a shuffle beat, to me seems it's a combination of both the swing feel, along with the nearly equivalent accents on the "ah" before each accented downbeat (or upbeat)

And yes, in some cases it's enough that it's implied and doesn't have to be accented all the time.

BUT! Wow Tornado I'm not (well almost.. sort of..) hearing very much of a shuffle on Clutch. It's like maybe the drummer is thinking about a shuffle while not playing one. Almost. LOL (ok, the shaker is sort of shuffling!)
Doggonit, I said I was shutting up.
In my own world, any pattern where either one part of the kit, or more than one in combination, is playing the “shuffle rhythm”, aka “swing 8th notes”, qualifies that groove as a shuffle.

-As always, just my own take.-
 

Tornado

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Doggonit, I said I was shutting up.
In my own world, any pattern either one, or more than one in combination, is playing the “shuffle rhythm”, aka “swing 8th notes”, qualifies that groove as a shuffle.

-As always, just my own take.-
I think I more or less agree with you. And those swung eighths can come in any combination. As long as the strong backbeat is there. :)
 

Tornado

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I think I more or less agree with you. And those swung eighths can come in any combination. As long as the strong backbeat is there. :)

I have to correct myself... Sometimes it's just a strong quarter note pulse, as in the SRV song above. No easy definition, but I know it when I hear it.
 


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