The Rosanna Shuffle

Easy Drumming That Sounds Hard

In this free video drum lesson, Jared Falk teaches you how to play a half-time shuffle drum beat known as the “Rosanna Shuffle”. This half-time shuffle drum beat is one of the most recognizable and essential shuffle drum beats out there. The “Rosanna Shuffle” is a challenging pattern to perform accurately, but with Jared’s step-by-step approach you’ll be playing it in no time.

This half-time shuffle drum beat was written by the late great Jeff Porcaro for Toto’s song “Rosanna” – hence the name “Rosanna Shuffle”. “Rosanna” is the opening track from Toto’s 1982 album and multi-Grammy award winner Toto IV. The song was named after the actress Rosanna Arquette, who dated Toto’s keyboardist Steve Porcaro. The song was written by Toto’s leader David Paich and it’s actually about three different girls he knew. David rolled them into one girl and christened her Rosanna, since he really liked how it sounded. So the song isn’t about Rosanna Arquette.

The hand pattern on the “Rossana Shuffle” was inspired by Bernard Purdie‘s half-time shuffle grooves on Steely Dan’s “Home At Last” and “Babylon Sisters”, and John Bonham‘s half-time shuffle groove on Led Zeppelin’s “Fool In The Rain”. The bass drum pattern is based on the tom-tom accent pattern played by Clifton James in the 1955 hit song “Bo Diddley”, which was inspired by the Afro-Cuban son-clave.

Once you’re pretty comfortable with the “Rosanna Shuffle”, we encourage you to play-along to Toto’s “Rosanna”. Playing along to the track will help you work on feel and touch, two essential ingredients behind playing the “Rosanna Shuffle” accurately. You can also use the Half-Time Shuffle play-along that we have on this website, to practice the “Rosanna Shuffle” or any of your own variations.




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