Lesson Of The Week: The Purdie Shuffle From The Hands Perspective

This is a breakdown of the famous groove from Bernard Purdie from the hands perspective. I wanted to capture what each hand does in hopes of helping those who haven’t learned this groove yet. If you are not used to the standard shuffle then I would take a moment to get that aspect down first.


Step 1. 

Play a shuffle pattern with the right hand. There is a push/pull technique that I use that’s like the Gladstone technique. It keeps my hand from getting tired and it’s pretty efficient. You can see that at the beginning of the video.

Step 2.

Add a ghost note (tap stroke) in between each 2, such as the “a” in “trip” “a” “let” or… R l RR l RR l RR l R. Keep these tap strokes low as to add texture to the groove. If the height is too high it won’t come across well.

Step 3.

Now we add the accent, or down stroke on beat 3. This step is where our stick heights come in handy. When you place the accent on 3 you also have to keep that stroke low so that you can execute the tap stroke immediately after the down stroke.

Take step 2 and practice until you get the pattern memorized and feeling good. Next add the accent and move it to the kit. Have fun!

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