How to drum a shuffle beat on a pad controller

In this finger drumming tutorial I’ll explain the easiest way to play a shuffle beat on a pad controller.

A shuffle beat is a triplet based groove, which means you subdivide each count in 3 parts instead of the normal 2 (8th notes) or 4 (16th notes). The way to count this is by first just counting 1, 2, 3, 4 and then turning that into: 1-trip-let-2-trip-let-3-trip-let-four-trip-let.
If you give each word the same exact amount of length you’re counting the underlying grid of a shuffle beat.

Some examples of famous shuffle beats

  • ZZ Top – La Grange
  • Stevie Wonder – Higher Ground
  • Steely Dan – Black Friday
  • Booker T. & The MG’s – Green Onions

I’ve written down the basic shuffle pattern for this lesson below. For information on pad layout, basic techniques, equipment and more you can sign up for one of the free courses on this website, or at least read this article about the basic finger drumming techniques and the pad layout that I use.


Shuffle Beat ▼

One
trip
let
Two
trip
let
Three
trip
let
Four
trip
let