Drums On: The Double Shuffle
The Double Shuﬄe is also known as the Chicago Shuﬄe, the Full Shuﬄe, the Prima Shuﬄe, and sometimes the Texas Shuﬄe, as well as several other names. It goes by so many aliases it almost makes you wonder if it’s on the lam from the law. This groove has been around for quite some time. Drummer Bobby Morris played it on Louis Prima’s song “Just A Gigolo,” though you’re probably more familiar with David Lee Roth’s 1985 redo of it.
This is an essential shuﬄe groove. If you can’t play any other shuﬄe, you should at least have a handle on the Double Shuﬄe. However, it’s a bit tricky to master. The challenge is getting the left-hand dynamics just right, so practice playing all the unaccented notes very softly. Admittedly, you can also perform this groove with medium level “soft” notes, but by practicing them softly you’ll be ready for any musical situation.
The accented snare note can be played in the middle of the drumhead for a meaty sound, or as a rimshot for a higher pitched ringing timbre. Here’s a tip: To play a quick accent after a soft note, it can help to use a Moeller “whipping” motion or use your ﬁngers to “grab” the stick brieﬂy. Most drummers accent both the snare and ride together, mainly because it’s easier to do it that way. For greater control, work on just accenting the snare hand and keeping the ride or hi-hat even.
ADD-A-NOTE METHOD. One way of teaching this groove is to start with a basic shuﬄe and add notes to the snare and bass drum parts until you’re eventually playing the whole pattern. Keep in mind that patterns C and D are often interchangeably referred to as Texas Shuﬄes.
LIMB PAIR METHOD. Another way I often teach grooves is to isolate the hand pattern (the ﬁrst limb pair) in order to master it ﬁrst. Once that’s solid and the dynamics are consistent, layer it on top of the much simpler foot pattern (the second limb pair). The slower you work on the hand pattern, the sooner you’ll be able to get the dynamics under control. Once you get these down, experiment with other bass drum patterns.
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