There are dozens of shuﬄe variations and, just too slightly confuse you after the last shuffle blog we made, their names sometimes change by geographical region. Here are a few of the best ones.
KICK DRUM SHUFFLE. The bass drum plays a shuﬄe rhythm beneath the hands. This is a tiring and loud groove that doesn’t work everywhere, but it’s well worth the time to develop it for situations where it ﬁts. Once mastered, the hands are free to play ﬁlls over it.
SAMBA SHUFFLE. You can think of this as the strange progeny of a samba and a kick drum shuﬄe hookup. The hi-hat pedals the second triplet partial (the &s) for a constant rolling feel.
PURDIE SHUFFLE. Here’s a simple version of a this celebrated shuﬄe (we dig deeper into it below). Note how the snare ghost notes maintain the momentum of the groove. Many other bass drum patterns are possible. Try to come up with some of your own.
CHEATER SHUFFLE. Okay, this isn’t really a shuﬄe, but it’s something I’ve seen hard rock drummers and beginners play from time to time, and it can be useful as a ﬁll pattern too.
FLAT TIRE SHUFFLE. Also called an Inside or Backward Shuﬄe, it sounds like a ﬂat tire turning. This is a key blues groove.
DOUBLE BASS SHUFFLE. An indispensable tool for rock and metal drummers, here we shift the shuﬄe pattern to the feet. Lots of drummers lead these left-footed, since their left foot is already used to keeping four-on-the-ﬂoor time on the hi-hat.
LAZY MAN SHUFFLE. Here’s a useful variation to use when you want to let the rest of the band play the shuﬄe feel while you drive right down the middle of it. This can groove really hard.
JAZZ/SWING SHUFFLE. In this permutation a jazz ride or hi-hat pattern takes the place of the shuﬄe pattern. Drummers often place a quiet snare on (1) ah to complete the feel.
HAND TO HAND SHUFFLE. If you’re ever asked to play a shuﬄe at a ridiculous speed, this version may become your best friend.
TRAIN BEAT SHUFFLE. Basically a triplet version of the country classic.
LA GRANGE SHUFFLE. On the ZZ Top classic “La Grange,” drummer Frank Beard plays this variation of a Hand To Hand shuﬄe on the rim of his snare, and embellishes the pattern with ﬂams and drags.
SNARE SHUFFLE. This is a great country or blues groove, and sounds fantastic when using a brush in your right hand while playing a rim-click with your left.
ROCK SHUFFLE. Played heavier than many other variations, the kick and snare suggest the shuﬄe as much as the hi-hat pattern does. Lots of rock drummers begin learning to shuﬄe with this kind of beat.
HALFTIME SHUFFLE. Here the snare accents count 3 and the groove feels more laid back and often funkier than a regular shuﬄe.
GLAM ROCK SHUFFLE. This variation transfers the hi-hat part to the ﬂoor tom for a powerful jungle feel.
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