A good shuffle

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Sbassman Scratch, Aug 12, 2009.

  1. I've been surprised at how difficult a good, solid shuffle rhythm is to maintain.
    No just a da-dum da-dum on 1 and 5 but one that has some movement, maybe 1-octive-5-3 and a walk up on the changes.

    I have trouble keeping the dynamic consistent and for some reason coming back to the 1 I always hit a single note, then hit the doulble on beats 2-4.

    Iknow Iknow: practice practice [hey, that's a shuffle!]
    And I slow it down and aim for consistency. But over time I can't say I've improved much.

    Any commiseration or advice?
  2. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    Practice, practice. ;)
    I would recommend playing along with some good blues recordings and trying to synch yourself with the bassist. Do it until you feel like you ARE that bassist!
    Good luck!
  3. Billnc


    Aug 6, 2009
    Charlotte NC
    Is it a fingering problem with the plucking hand? If you are only hitting one note on beat one the problem may come from an octave jump.
  4. Les Izmor

    Les Izmor

    Mar 10, 2008
    Western Mass
    +1 to dougjwray's suggestion of playing along with recordings, and though I usually advocate individualism, in this case I would suggest you watch videos of great blues bassists (thanks youtube!) and cop their fingering, on both right and left hand. Search until you find a video that you feel you can copy, or that suits your technique. The visual reinforcement makes it sink in that much deeper, IME.

    Good luck and keep practicing. You may also want to put the bass down and just sing along to a great recording, internalizing the feel.
  5. TFunkadelic


    Apr 9, 2006
    Practice playing a shuffle rhythm on just one note. Don't worry about playing moving lines until you can lock in a single note heavy shuffle groove to a metronome no problem.

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