Dominelli School of Music - Dominelli Blog - The Rosanna Shuffle, Week One

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The Rosanna Shuffle, Week One


At one of our August Project Vibe practices it was recommended by an instructor to learn the song Rosanna by Toto.  I was excited as I love the song but the other players in the band were not as impressed.  When I arrived home that night I found a Rosanna drum chart online, practiced it a couple of times and thought it was way too hard so I ignored it. 

Six weeks later......   I have drum lessons every Thursday evening and for some reason the chart showed up with the drum practice sheets for the week.  I explained the selection from the summer so we are now taking the time to work on the shuffle.  I asked my drum teacher if the song was hard to play and he told me that it's very difficult.  He sat at the drums and played it for me. OMG!!!  Great, so why am I learning it then?  I am not that great of a drummer!  Well, it's because I remember a conversation in the summer where my brother, Thomas, said that if you want to be a good drummer you should learn Rosanna.  True or not true, doesn't matter, his words stuck so I will give it a go.

My drum instructor gave me the history behind the Rosanna Shuffle and said it 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".  

My Personal Experience with the Rosanna Shuffle

One week in...... One drum lesson under my belt and nightly practices to a metronome at a very slow bpm (beats per minute) has me feeling pretty good so far.  The one suggestion I have is DO NOT listen and try to play to the song at this point in your learning.  Yes, I attempted that last night and all I ended up feeling was confused.  My recommendation is to practice the shuffle slowly and turn up the tempo on the metronome as you get comfortable.  

I MIGHT post video's of my progress.  :-) 

If you have any practice suggestions or videos send them our way and we can all work on this song together.  See you next week.  


Check out for the sheet that lays out the Rosanna Shuffle in 3 steps. Be sure to check out the video lesson that goes over this sheet.

Download Sheet Music here:
Video Lesson here:

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