The Legendary “Purdie Shuffle”

Continuing on a bit about John Bonham’s drumming from yesterday… This gets back to what I was talking about regarding the drum shuffle on Led Zeppelin’s “Fool in the Rain” (in my opinion, JB’s most complex drumming on any song). Contrary to popular belief, Bonham didn’t invent it. He had noted Bernard “Pretty” Purdie as one of his biggest influences, and uses a slight variation of what’s known to most drummers as the “Purdie Shuffle” on that song. It’s a classic.

You have to love Purdie. The guy’s infectious demeanor is hilarious, even as he makes such a difficult style look so easy while simultaneously playing it. I guess it is for him, since he’s the one who came up with it. Believe me, it’s anything but.

My favorite line from him:
“Don’t worry about those ghost notes, ain’t nothin’ but rebound!”

Yeah, my ass. ;^)

A small intro to a couple of videos below… Check out Purdie’s playing starting at around 04:25 into his video, then JB’s isolated drums on “Fool in the Rain”. Except for the song’s time signature, they’re nearly identical.

Actually, check out the entire Purdie video, it’s fantastic.

Bernard “Pretty” Purdie – The Legendary Purdie Shuffle:

Bonzo, isolated drums on “Fool in the Rain”:

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