What are we learning?
A few of my students have asked me to teach them more about time signatures recently and this groove is a great example of how effective it can be to play outside of 4/4 time. The groove to Horsey - Arms and Legs is in 5/4. When looking at a time signature, the top number tells you what number to count up to and the bottom number tells you what type of note you are counting, so in 5/4 you have 5 quarter notes in a bar.
Break it down.
This groove is a half time shuffle with the back beat on beat ‘4’ of the bar. For me, I think of it as a call and response between the first and second 2 bars; with the ‘call’ remaining the same and the ‘response’ varying slightly. There are the classic shuffle ghost notes in the middle of the triplet, helping to drive the groove forward and a bass drum pattern primarily hitting the upbeats, giving it that swung, shuffle feel.
This is a really original take on a classic shuffle groove, download the sheet music below for free and have a go!