'Songs for the Deaf' by queens of the Stone Age was a huge record for my musical and drumming taste. I remember listening to it over and over and always being blown away. In particular, No One Knows, the song we're looking at today, had a big impact on me. The aggressive rock shuffle, the deliberate part arrangement, and the raw intensity of Dave Grohl's drumming forever changed the way I thought about playing drums.
The song isn't that technically challenging other than a couple parts, but the precision and intensity can be hard to master. I always like to learn the melody and lyrics before I attempt to play any song. As a drummer, I think about serving the song first and foremost, and without being able to sing the song, there's no way I can honestly support the music. So, once you can sing the song (more or less - anyone who's heard me sing knows I just mean being able to make your way through the arrangement vocally), I would suggest taking a few technically challenging parts and focusing on those first.
The first technical challenge will likely be the chorus. The hardest part here would be the third fill section where Dave plays a fast flurry between the snare and toms. It's the same phrase traded between the snare and tom, but playing it fluidly took a lot of time and patience for me to master. I slowed the rhythm down to around 80bpm and isolated the fill until I felt comfortable.
Then I would trade back and forth between that fill and the main chorus groove - a 4 bar pattern looped. Again, start slow, spend some time at each tempo until comfortable.
Gradually, I would speed that up until I was comfortable. If required, do this with the other fills, and then start playing the chorus front to back, trying to nail the transitions between groove and fill each time.
The other section that initially provided a challenge was the guitar solo. Dave Grohl takes this opportunity to play a great rolling triplet part. It ties in with the solo beautifully and you can tell the musicians are all in sync and listening intently. This section is more a matter of memorization than anything else. Go slow, listen to the melody and how the drums interact with it, and learn how to sing or vocalize the section first (sing the guitar and drum parts!!)
Once you've got those two challenging sections down, you should be well on your way to rocking out to this amazing song! Check out the full transcription below, and a video demonstration of my play along. Keep on rockin!