What are we learning?
Yussef Kamaal changed the game when they brought out their album Black Focus in 2016. Although the band have now split to pursue their own projects, this album still kills it in every way! Yussef Dayes is one of my favourite drummers and it’s always fun to notate some of his grooves- Joint 17 goes in!
Break it down.
This one is a development of a rhythmic motif, with snares on ‘2’ and ‘4’ and an implied dotted 8th note hi-hat feel giving it an almost staggered, shuffle like groove. Yussef Dayes is improvising around this theme throughout so I have notate 16 bars of the groove for you to learn! A lot of the licks are repeated and reused in different ways, so once you get this down, you can either improvise around the ideas or follow the track as you continue to play through! Some features that make a big impact on the groove are the varying hi-hat patterns, the 16th note ghost notes leading into the back beat on ‘2’ and the buzz strokes that occasionally replace ghost notes. All of these things played together create a beat with a pallet of textural options and a deep groove!
Download the sheet music for free below and have a go!