What are we learning?
I have posted a lot of Yussef Dayes notations so far on this blog, but his drumming really is changing the game and pushing the envelope of the typical role of the drummer in a band. In my opinion, he’s the most exciting drummer to have broken through for the last few years. I first heard of Yussef Kamaal (the now split band, headed up by Yussef Dayes and Kamaal Williams) when the live video for Calligraphy was dropped by Brownswood in 2016, so it was super fun to go back to learn and notate it!
What is he playing?
This one is pretty wild! I personally preferred to learn this in 2 sections, as an A and a B, and then piece them together once I felt confident. I also learned it by ear first and notated after, so admittedly, I did miss out a couple of notes on my play through. The dots are accurate though so have a little read through before playing! I’ve put a rough estimate of 140 bpm to help as a goal tempo, although they are not playing to a click!
The A section is all about a straight 4’s rim click pushing the groove forward and then fast 8th and 16th note patterns on the hi-hat! There are a few little variations throughout, such as adding an extra rim click to the ‘e of beat 3’ and open hi-hats on the ‘4+’ but overall it stays pretty consistent. There is a wicked little fill leading into the B section with a syncopated rhythm played between the snare and rim click, leading into a classic 16th note fill around the toms!
The B section is played between the ride and hats, with a lot of fast 16th notes throughout. The phrasing of this groove is super unique and has a pattern that resolves on the ‘1’ with an open hi-hat, ride and bass drum all played at the same time. It took me a little bit of time to get the muscle memory to be able to play the bass drum pattern underneath, so go really slowly and feel where each limb either plays together or separately to create this complex rhythm! Watch out for the little variations throughout, such as extra ghost notes played after the downbeat or the buzz stroke (notated with a z on the stem) followed by an accent!
This one was a lot of fun to learn, download the sheet music for free below!