Drumming 101: The Purdie Shuffle!

**pulykamell **- where are you?!?

Boy do I hope this NY Times link works and doesn’t require a subscription. Nice article on Bernard Purdie and the Purdie Shuffle - a beat/rhythm he popularized which as been used on thousands of songs.

There is a brief video about half-way down Page 1 to the left - it shows him doing it. But it is featured in Led Zeps’ Fool in the Rain, which has been cited in a bunch of threads I hang out in as a big deal drum-wise (I agree, but would see that bet and raise it with Aretha’s Rock Steady, featuring Mr. P himself doing the funkiest beat with a syncopated high hat that is fithier than a Gaylord Perry spitball…)

Linkto YouTube of Aretha rocking steady on Soul Train back in the day…about 2 minutes in is the break down where the girl singers say “rock…steady” and then Purdie does a fill - ah, drumming perfection.

Too late for the window - you don’t see Purdie in the Aretha video, just hear him.

I must assume you’ve checked out the YouTube clips on Bernard Purdie shuffle pt.1 and others.

As one of the board’s resident Danophiles, you can’t mention Bernard Purdie without referencing his work with Steely Dan.

Purdie worked with the group most notably during the Aja recordings. His signature shuffle back beat serves as the glue that holds the song “Home at Last” together. Great song which features references to Homer’s Odyssey which here was an outgrowth of Becker and Fagen’s genuine longing for their beloved east coast. There are driving piano accents and a strong horn accompaniment --but it’s really Purdie’s drumming that moves the song along its arc.

Youtube link here.


Nice additions of clips - thanks!

You can listen to a drums-only track of Fool in the Rain here. It’s not a terribly complicated beat to learn, but it takes a lot of feel and/or practice to make it effortlessly swing.

Another good example of the Purdie Shuffle is Toto’s Rosanna. This one grooves slightly differently, as the kick drum plays basically the “Bo Diddley beat” underneath. (A 3-2 son clave pattern underneath (dotted quarter, dotted quarter, quarter/quarter rest, quarter, quarter, quarter rest." Here it is up top, notated.)