Here we are continuing to examine some basic drum beats. Last time it was the basic rock beat  that nearly every drummer starts learning in the early days of their drumming life.

Next in line is the blues shuffle drum beat. This is not wildly dissimilar from the rock beat as it still uses the snare backbeat on beats 2 and 4, as well as a bass drum on beats 1 and 3. However, to play this pattern, you will have to understand one fundamental difference from the straight 8th note rock hi-hat pattern.

In the shuffle we are using a swung subdivision by playing triplets. This results in hi-hats which are not evenly spaced as they were in the rock beat. Watch the video below, and then listen to as much blues as possible to really get inside the style.

Of course shuffles are not restricted to just blues music so even if you hate blues, this is still an essential groove to master as it appears in all styles be it metal, rock, pop, or whatever you’re in to. See the ROSANNA blog I wrote on the classic Jeff Porcaro groove for the Toto song for just one example of a shuffle outside of the blues genre.

Have fun, take it slow, and let me know if this was any help to you,