Drum Chart: “Chainlink Charge” by Mahito Yokota, Toru Minegishi, Yasuaki Iwata, & Koji Kondo + Practice Loop

Posted on February 21, 2021

Let me explain what the hell is going on here.

Todd Bishop over at Cruise Ship Drummer is a big fan of practice loops, which he usually makes himself and shares on YouTube. See what they’re all about on his website.

Meanwhile, about seven(!) years ago I was playing Super Mario 3D World for the first time, and I remember really digging the soundtrack, especially for levels like “Chainlink Charge”. Around that time, Nintendo got a bit obsessed with using jazz in their games.

Jump ahead to 2019 when I was playing Super Mario Odyssey, which again had a lot of jazz tunes in its OST. And whenever I looked up these songs online, I would find videos that were all upwards of 30 minutes in length. At this point I sort of had an “ah–ha” moment: since the actual songs are only a minute or two long, these videos are basically practice loops. Check out the theme for “Chainlink Charge” (also known as “Athletic Theme”) and tell me that this doesn’t sound like fun:

It’s a pretty neat track for practicing some upbeat swing. I cooked up a playalong drum chart for the tune, and I got kind of cutesy with it, designing it like a lead sheet/fake book. Not as fancy looking as what I did for “The Incredits”, but stuff like this is a cool opportunity to try out some different approaches. The engraving is a little bit lazy, the way handwritten charts tend to be.

You may have noticed that I used new MuseScore font called Petaluma, which was created a couple of years ago by Steinberg, the folks behind Dorico, and another font called Bravura. Petaluma had a few issues when it was added with the 3.6 update, but these were recently patched up. I considered engraving it by hand, but… there wasn’t a chance that was going to work out. I have some other Nintendo practice loops I’ve charted, and I think I’ll be using this style for them. I’ll save MuseJazz for the big–time charts.

I can hear the drummer using brushes on the original recording, but I can’t say for sure that the tune calls for them. Whatever, just play what feels right, and see if you can make it through all 30 minutes.

By the way, if you’re reading this sometime in the future and the video I linked is long gone, just check out the audio here.

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