The half time shuffle is a legendary drum groove. Both the Drumming System (affiliate link) and Learn & Master Drums (affiliate link) have entire sections devoted to this groove. After a thorough analysis, the Drumming System (affiliate link) gives you more examples of how to execute this amazing pattern.
This is a really fun beat to learn and to teach. The term “half time” refers to the fact that you’re accenting the snare drum on beat 3. In most shuffles, the snare is accented on beats 2 and 4. By shifting the accent to beat 3, it changes the feel entirely. It sounds more relaxed and laid back. It’s groovy and fun to play. Remember that while playing in half time, its only the feel of notes that are cut in half. The actual time value remains the same.
What makes this fun is when you begin to combine ghost notes on the snare drum with accented snare backbeats. It’s important to remember to be sharply aware of the volume of the snare notes.
You can create some real funky patterns!
The half time is used a lot in hip hop and some blues music. Learn & Master Drums (affiliate link) actually categorizes the groove as R&B. In my opinion, regardless of the style of music, if you play a half time shuffle, it feels like there is a hint of reggae.
Examples of this groove include John Bonham (Led Zeppelin) on Fool in the Rain and Jeff Porcaro (Toto) on Rosanna. Learn & Master Drums (affiliate link) shows you how to do the actual beat to Rosanna.
This groove can be extremely difficult to learn…it might even by a life long challenge for many drummers. In my opinion, if you are looking to master this pattern, I would check out the Drumming System (affiliate link).