Shuffle Archives - Riff Ninja Academy

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Rhythms: Triplet and Dotted 8th

When you’re playing bass, especially in the blues, you’ll run across triples and dotted 8th rhythms quite a lot.

In a 4/4 beat, if you’re playing triplets, you need three equal pulses to make up the space of a quarter note. We count this as “one trip-let” “two-trip-let” “three-trip-let” “four-trip-let” and then you’ve completed one bar.

The dotted 8th is also referred to as a shuffle. Basically what you’re doing here is playing the first note and the last note from a triplet group, skipping the middle one. When you’re counting the dotted eighth, you can count it like this “one-ah” two-ah” “three-ah” four-ah” where the “ah” is the short note, the last note before you start the next beat.

So it is quite a similar feel, but produces a different effect. The both line up together though.

Strumming Patterns for Triplet and Shuffle

Adding some triplet and shuffle patterns to your rhythm is a great way to spice up your guitar playing and break away from more regular and even strumming patterns. It will be important to starting counting these rhythms correctly from the start.

Bass & Guitar: The Shuffle

So you want to learn how to shuffle on the bass? We’ve touched on this in other lessons, though this one gets specifically at the heart of the matter.

Playing a shuffle on the bass tends to go hand in hand with a walking bass line, one of the most fun things to play on the bass. In this lesson we also cover playing a shuffle on the guitar, because understanding how the guitar and the bass parts interact is quite important.