Counting a Sixteenth Shuffle

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by bluesun, Apr 4, 2008.

  1. bluesun

    bluesun Member

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    I'm working through a lesson in Total Rock Guitar, which uses a sixteenth shuffle. I know how to count an eighth shuffle.

    Straight eighths: 1 - and - 2 - and - 3 - and - 4 - and
    Shuffle Eighths: 1 and - a, 2 and - a, 3 and - a, 4 and - a
    Straight 16ths: 1 e and a 2 e and a...

    So how should I count the 16th shuffle?

    Thanks!
     
  2. yZe

    yZe Senior Member

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    COunt

    doo ba doo ba
     
  3. JonR

    JonR Member

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    Why count it? Can't you feel it?

    I would listen to a few tunes that have this rhythm and remember how it feels. (Stevie Wonder has a few: "Supersitition", "Sir Duke", "I Wish" - and it's a common feel in hip-hop and rap.)

    But if you want to verbalise it (and memorise it, which nonsense syllables don't help with), you need a word with 3 syllables, short-long-short, to follow each beat number. Like "banana" or "potato" (if you feel stupid saying them, think of another word with that formula, stress on middle syllable).

    "ONE-ba-naa-na-TWO-ba-naa-na-THREE-ba-naa-na..." etc

    NB: this is ignoring one of the 16th triplets. But in practice this feel is taken at too fast a tempo to be able to verbalise all 3 16th triplets. In shuffle 16ths, basically, you only need to feel one long 16th and one short one. No need to count or feel that implied middle triplet.
    Essentially, it's 16ths ("1-e-and-a") with the "e" and "a" delayed, or "lazy".
    Hence the use of a word with a long middle syllable:
    Code:
     
    16th triplets (complete) 
    |1  .  .  x  .  .  2  .  .  x  .  .  3 etc
    16th shuffle
    |1     .  x     .  2     .  x     .  3 
    "1    ba-naaa - na 2     ba-naa - na 3..."
    
     
  4. bluesun

    bluesun Member

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    I like to count it very slowly so that I can get the feeling of it at a slow tempo before I play it at a faster tempo. I find that once I can verbalize it, I can speed it up quite a bit.

    Thanks for the suggestion for the various tunes - I'll try listening to them so that I can get the feel at a more realistic tempo. As for the middle triplet, I stared a little bit closer at the notation after I posted, and what you said is right: 1 - e - and - a, where the 'e' and the 'a' are delayed. Another way I've thought about it is to treat it as a twice-as-fast eighth shuffle. (1-and-e) and (and-and-a)
     
  5. triple_vee

    triple_vee Senior Member

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    i just count
    1 ee and uh
    2 ee and uh
    ...
    with the swing thrown in.
     
  6. JonR

    JonR Member

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    That's right.
    If you listen to Stevie Wonder's "Sir Duke" - esp the horn break - and imagine the drums twice as fast (with the notes all the same speed and value), it sounds like comic Dixieland swing!
    So it works the other way too. Imagine a fast shuffle or swing feel, then halve the drum pulse = immediate slow-cool funk/hip-hop! (or maybe reggae on the other hand).
     

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