Drum & Percussion Lessons
Drummer Cafe


Serving drummers and percussionists since 1996.

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 with a Bachelor of Music in Percussion Performance, and Master of Music post-graduate work. His 40+ years in the music and entertainment industry, over 100 album recordings to his credit, as well as an exhaustive understanding of contemporary and classical music makes him a complete and skilled master musician.

Bart continues to work as an active drummer, percussionist, composer, producer, music arranger, director, comedian, MC, educator, writer and visual artist. He is the owner and creator of DrummerCafe.com, which he founded in December of 1996.

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