Bernard Purdie

190 – Bernard “Pretty” Purdie: The most recorded drummer of all time

In this podcast I have the opportunity to chat with Bernard Purdie, who is arguably the most recorded drummer of all time. Purdie’s signature sound can be heard on records from some of the most prolific artists in the world, including: Steely Dan, Aretha Franklin, Miles Davis, Ray Charles, James Brown, B.B. King, totaling over 5,000 records. Yes, you read that correctly – 5,000 records! As if that wasn’t impressive enough, Bernard shaped the landscape of modern music with his “Purdie Shuffle” and now the iconic half-time shuffle can be heard on records across the globe as an homage to the great, Bernard Purdie.

“When you allow your ego to control your thoughts, everything you believe becomes an illusion.” – Rusty Eric (Tweet this)

Bernard Purdie talks about:

  • How he got started playing drums
  • Why he wasn’t allowed to play drums
  • His ego and what he learned from it
  • The inspiration behind the Purdie Shuffle
  • Not “looking back”
  • The infamous Beatles stories
  • The most important part of grooving
  • Much more

Resources and links mentioned:

DW Drums: I’ve been playing DW for years…not only because they make high-quality, handcrafted drums but because they support and foster drumming initiatives all over the wold, much like this podcast. I’m thrilled to announce that DW has signed on to support Drummer’s Reosource for 2016! Be sure to check them out today and Audible is one of my favorite companies in the world! They make audio book so you can listen to your favorite books on the go. You know, but I listen more. I use audible every single day and can’t recommend them enough! The best part, you can download a FREE audio book by going to

Promark Drumsticks: Promark is Is now a sponsor of the podcast once again they were last year and now they are again. they just released the Mike Portnoy signature model that has the active grip 420X at it’s designed to add more power to your arsenal and features the heat activated technology. It’s s an awesome technology that actually adjusts to your body temperature and give you control you need so no matter how hard you play the active grip is going to help you handle it by getting tackier as it warms up. You can learn more about this great technology and the Mike Portnoy stick at

4 replies
  1. Brad Allen
    Brad Allen says:

    I love what Bernard said about not putting age limits on music and drumming. I’m probably going to write a whole blog post on this subject as I have lots of experiences and opinions regarding the topic. I was actually told by a college percussion professor at an all state music camp I attended in high school, that if you aren’t a virtuoso drum set player by the time you’re about 17, you probably won’t be able to make a living playing the drum set.

    That’s really stupid advice! Many great players didn’t even start playing the drum set until much later.

    I find too that a lot of older players feel that no matter how great they play, they simply won’t be accepted by the public or by younger players. However, my experiences have always shown me that this simply isn’t true.

    • Nick
      Nick says:

      Brad…I’m 100% with you! I think every situation is different and sadly limiting beliefs are usually the only thing holding people back from what they want to do.

      Let me know if/when you write that blog post. I’d love to check it out.

  2. Lex Bonner
    Lex Bonner says:

    Don’t forget that older” players are experienced! They have made the mistakes and paid their dues in the process! Look at Charlie Watts! My biggest learning experience has been to play the music not “just” keep time!

Comments are closed.