Shuffle Grooves & Strumming

Learn all about shuffle grooves & strumming. Explore how you can get that bluesy sound to your guitar playing!

View the full lesson at Shuffle Grooves & Strumming | JustinGuitar

Are dotted eighth notes a similar concept to the shuffle grooves?


Hi @hechtdds welcome to the community.

Take a bar and think of it divided into four beats - 1/4 beats.
For any one of these 1/4 beats you can subdivide into two 1/8ths or four 1/16ths etc.
You asked about dotted 1/8ths.
A dot against any note extends its duration by half of its original value.
A dotted 1/8 therefore becomes 1/8 + 1/16 = 2/16 + 1/16 = 3/16.
If you took the first ‘hit’ as a dotted 1/8 the second ‘hit’ would necessarily have to come within the remaining 1/16th.

Here is a bar split into four 1/16ths.

1 e & a 2 e & a 3 e & a 4 e & a

I have emboldened the first quarter beat and its four 1/16ths.

Separately they would be:

1 e & a

The dotted 1/8 would take up the first three parts.

1 e & a

This equates to exactly what Justin demonstrates in the video lesson from about 3min15s. It kind of is a shuffle but has that clunkiness Justin describes. But the better way to describe this is through use of 1/16 beats from the start, not the use of dotted 1/8ths.
Does that make sense?

Cheers :blush:
| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide & Moderator

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Thanks for such a detailed response. Also thanks for everything you guys do on this site.

This makes some sense I will let this soak in and practice before asking for more clarification.

Hand a happy harmonious day!

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Boy is this going to take while.

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Take your time, no hurry, no race.
Cheers :smiley:
| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide

It’s interesting coming across the rhythm lessons, having played drums for over 30 years this stuff seems effortless, nice to experience something that translates. I struggle a lot with my fretting muscle memory and aiming for individual strings. It’s nice to feel ahead in something.

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Hello @erocka77 and welcome to the Community.

Your drumming background will certainly help with the rhythm side of guitar.

Cheers :smiley:
| Richard_close2u | Community Moderator, Official Guide, JustinGuitar Approved Teacher

This really getting to be fun.

I was told a good tip about this: instead of having the up/down swing of your pick centered on the 6 strings, lower the whole motion (i.e. the pick never goes higher than the low E string but goes much lower than high E). That automatically gives a longer time between down->up stroke and shorter time between up->down . Your up/down stroke remains constant but you get the shuffle/swing rhythm