Drum & Percussion Lessons
Drummer Cafe 20th Anniversary
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Bernard Purdie lays down a greasy groove on "Memphis Soul Stew", from the King Curtis Live At The Fillmore West recording. Notice the classic Purdie HiHat in which Bernard opens the Hihat slightly just before the downbeat. If you are not used to this technique, first work on developing your feel and sound of the basic groove, minus the open HiHat.

You may find it easier to go ahead and add all of the Snare strokes that fall between the Hihat notes. Right hand on Hihat, left hand on Snare, you have R L R R R L R R and so on. The only thing missing from the hands is the backbeat (2 and 4) on the Snare. Bernard actually plays this variation too (eg. no backbeat), so it's definitely worth your working this out.

Add your Kick pattern, then some backbeat, as King Curtis says while introducing Purdie on the live recording, "... and now we need a pound of fatback drums!" This is such a great funky groove that once you get it you won't want to stop.

BernardPurdie MemphisSoulStew

Also be sure to check out Gene Chrisman playing drums (different groove) on the studio recording of King Curtis' "Memphis Soul Stew".


Bart Elliott

Bart Elliott is a degreed professional musician currently residing in Nashville, Tennessee. His 37+ years in the music industry, over 100 albums to his credit, as well as his understanding of contemporary and classical music, makes him a complete and skilled master musician. A highly sought after drummer and percussionist, both live and in the studio, Bart is widely known as a top music educator, consultant and gifted teacher, appearing as a guest artist and clinician throughout the USA and abroad.

Bart Elliott is the founder and sole proprietor of DrummerCafe.com (f/k/a Drum Ring International) — established in December 1996.