January 14th, 2013

Babylon Sisters

The groove that Bernard Purdie is probably most famous for is the so called "Purdie" shuffle. The basic shuffle, which very much has it's roots in blues and is strongly related to jazz time, is a groove that every drummer must know how to play. After that the "Purdie" shuffle is essential. Basically it's is conceived as a half-time shuffle, especially at the tempo found in Steely Dan's classic tune "Babylon Sisters", so the back beat is played on the third beat of every bar. What makes it particularly challenging is the grace notes that fill in the triplets, so start slow. It is written with a crotchet (1/4 note) pulse of 120bpm.

This groove has been very influential and so you will find in the pdf two further examples of the groove, one being the almost equally famous Jeff Porcaro groove from Toto's "Rosanna". The bass drum is a little more syncopated and the tempo is faster making filling in those grace note triplets more challenging. It has been written out as a half-note shuffle, but as the tempo increases it is worth starting to think of it as a 16th note shuffle. It is most certainly easier to see it as a 16th note shuffle by the time you get to Vinnie Colautia's shuffle on Sting's "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You". What you have to really watch out for at the faster tempos, though, is the shuffle flattening out into straight 16ths. Count all the triplets as you work it up.

Bernard Burdie, Babylon Sisters, The Purdie Suffle, Jeff Porcaro, Vinnie Colautia, Jazz Drumming Blog

Bernard Purdie, Babylon Sisters, Steely Dan, Guacho, Jazz Drumming Blog Buy the CD:
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Filed Under : Jazz Drumming: Grooves | Bernard Purdie
September 25th, 2009

Rock Steady

The drumming legend that is Bernard Purdie laying down a decidedly funky beat for the Aretha Franklin classic "Rock Steady". There are so many great Purdie grooves but this one has been doing the rounds in greatest drum groove lists since the dawn of time, so if you have never heard it, it is worth checking out! The main groove can sound repetitive but in the context of the song it works a dream locking in with the bass groove. Don't rush it; keep it light, tight and funky. The drum break is pure brilliance. Play it on the bell of the ride cymbal.

Bernard Burdie, Rock Steady Drum Groove

Aretha Franklin, The Best of Aretha Franklin, Bernard Purdie Buy the CD:
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Filed Under : Jazz Drumming: Grooves | Bernard Purdie

 

 

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