# Rewrite binary to shuffle

some years ago I made a pimped version of the christmas song "Tommorrow, Children, We´ll Rejoice" for my daughter (Cello). Now both of us made some progress in learning our instruments (I´m learning drumset) and I would like to rewrite the old version to a shuffled version, formally notated in triplets.

For the most part thats easily done, but one measure puzzles me (of course I can do it however I want, since this is not a school exam, but I would love to know the formally correct answer):

Current version:

Should this change to:

Or to:

It seems to me, that this is a general question about syncopation in shuffled rythms?

• According to my understanding the conventions seems to simply state Swing textually and not bother with triplets, but represent quarters and eigths by the same note value. Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 8:39
• But simply writing swing does not help neither me nor my daughter because then we still do not know how this part would correctly be "swinged". Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 10:07

I think you want to treat every beat as a triplet, and within the beat, the first eighth note is two sub-beats and the second eighth note is the third sub-beat.
Where you have an eighth rest followed by an eighth note, the rest takes two sub-beats just the same.

As you get more familiar with playing styles, you may allow the last eighth note to "lag" a little, almost falling into the next downbeat. But always be aware that there will be spots in the music where you do not want to swing but rather do a couple straight eighths for emphasis or the end of a phrase.

• Carl, if I understand you right (treat every beat as a triplet) that would lead to a notation like in my last image, right? Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 17:27
• @DrSvanHay yep! Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 18:34

Your second example is probably the better option. An even better option would be to write out the music in a 12/8 time signature, so that each measure has 4 dotted quarter note beats and each of those beats has 3 eighth notes. It will look a lot like your second example, but you won't need all those triplet brackets.

This is a pretty common technique for notating shuffles.

• Ooops :-) we had a lot of 12/8 in my drum lessons I think your suggestion is a really good idea. I should´ve tried that first :-) Commented Nov 21, 2018 at 17:29