What are we learning?
In this episode of Learning Licks, we’ll be looking at a super fast 32nd note lick played by Yussef Dayes in his latest youtube upload with Rocco Palladino - Yesterday Princess. Dayes is really driving the UK jazz scene forward with his playing and there is always something to be learnt from watching his performances. This lick really struck out to me so I had to work out what was going on! If you dig his playing, check out some of my other Yussef Dayes notations on the Drum Hub blog!
What is he playing?
The main groove to the song is a 16th note backbeat pattern, 16ths on the hats with your right hand, ‘2’ and ‘4’ cross stick on the snare, with variations throughout. The lick is played between the snare with your right hand and a cross stick with your left, using 32nd notes from ‘2e’ into 2 accents on beats ‘3’ and ‘3e’. The sticking for the most part is RRL RRL RR played as 32nd notes (although this is an even group of 8 notes, I found the sticking easier to think of in 3 sections- RRL- RRL -RR). The final RR is where you’ll play your accents. The first 2 times Dayes plays the lick, he drops out the second left hand, leaving you with the sticking RRL RR RR and then brings in the second left hand cross stick every other time!
Things to watch out for!
I would start off by just learning the sticking pattern between your snare and cross stick, focus on getting this up to speed and sounding super clean. Once you’ve got it down, try to get used to the placement of the lick, it starts on ‘2e’ so straight after your backbeat on beat ‘2’ of the bar. This took me a few tries to get used to so just be ready to bring your right hand straight down to the snare! Once you’re comfortable with the lick, chuck it into your own grooves and see what variations you can come up with!
Download the sheet music here for free:
Learning Licks #14 - Yussef Dayes - Tomorrow Princess Cross Stick