There a certain songs where the chord changes, or the drum beat, or the guitar part become more famous than the song itself. These parts often go on to spawn many songs of their own.

One example of this would be the twelve-bar blues. I’m sure we covered the origin of this set of chord changes in college but I was probably asleep that day.

Another ubiquitous set of chord changes would be the “rhythm changes.” These are the chord changes to “I Got Rhythm.” There are countless Jazz tunes written over these chords and it is quite a milestone in a young Jazz musician’s life when they learn to tackle rhythm changes. One of the tunes I did in my junior recital in college was written over rhythm changes and I distinctly remember getting lost early in my solo and attempted to fake it by playing modal over the thing which never, ever works.

Another set of famous changes are the changes to Coltrane’s “Giant Steps”. Learning to solo over this tune is considered by many to be the holy grail of improvisational accomplishment. Check out this video I found of the album version of “Giant Steps.” This is way cool and shows the brilliance of Trane. Make sure you watch it at least until he starts the solo.

The reason I’m bringing this up is because I just recorded a demo of a new tune and I think it should have the “Purdie Shuffle” (or something like it) as its beat.

Bernard Purdie was one of Steely Dan’s drummers and the wicked beat he played on the tune “Home At Last” has become more famous than the tune itself.

There are a bunch of videos on You Tube with guys demonstrating this beat in its various forms and I think it is totally fascinating.

Here’s Purdie playing a kind of 6/8 version of this shuffle.

Here is a guy playing it in probably the closest way to the way I want to use it. This is a little fast but close.

Here is Jeff Porcaro showing how he used the “Purdie Suffle” as the basis for his drum part in Toto’s “Rosanna.”

At lastly, here’s a ten year old kid playing this beat. This is just plain impressive. This beat is a lot harder to play than it looks.