Monday, August 08, 2016

Page o' coordination: Afro shuffle bell pattern

This is something that came up in playing Back At The Chicken Shack, a shuffle by organist Jimmy Smith . We play a pretty open interpretation of the style on that tune, not a strict Blue Note shuffle, and I found myself playing this cymbal rhythm repetitively quite a bit. It's quite similar to the Afro 6 bell patterns we've been working with extensively over the last couple of years:

Here's the same rhythm written as 8th notes in 12/8:

I've written up a page of left hand independence patterns based on that, with a couple of standard bass drum and hihat rhythms. “Afro shuffle” is not a real style or type of groove that I am aware of; the name just sounded good because of the similarity to that Afro 6. We could've called it “Afro Blues.” Just know the name is made up, and no one else is going to know it or use it.

You could do our standard left hand moves (do you have them memorized yet?) with this page, but I don't feel it's strictly necessary; my goal is to get a more open texture within a standard shuffle feel. It wouldn't be a terrible idea to practice beats 1-2 and 3-4 of each exercise separately— looping those two beats for each pattern before doing the whole measure.

Get the pdf

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