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West African Music for Fingerstyle Guitar

  • Taught by: Fernando Perez Add to Wish List
    Hard Copy   $29.95  Item Number:  GW1029

    West African Music for Fingerstyle Guitar

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    In this lesson Fernando Perez presents several tunes from West Africa. Directly learnt from African Jalis (Griots) these are traditional as well as original compositions specially arranged for guitar. Imitating the sound of West African instruments such as Kora, Ngoni or Balafon, Fernando demonstrates unique techniques on the guitar in order to perform the grooves and melodies in a faithful way. All the tunes can be played on nylon or acoustic steel string guitars.

    In this lesson you will learn:

    • Understanding the sound and techniques of African instruments in order to apply them to the guitar.
    • Different techniques imitating Kora scale runs, Balafon breaks, etc.
    • Several grooves from Mali, Senegal, Gambia.
    • How to properly keep these grooves counting, tapping, and feeling.
    • Kora picking style with thumb and index.
    • Main scales used in West African music.
    • How West African music connects with Blues styles.
    • Combining West African styles with your own Blues licks.
    • Explanations on how to further develop this music style.
    • A West African repertoire full of variety.

    Each tune is taught phrase by phrase and played slowly on a split-screen. 

    Titles include: The Mandinka Song, Massina Madou, Fatoudiob, Sanu, Mali Blues and Kulanjan

    107 minutes - Level 3 - Detailed tab/music PDF booklet on the DVD

    Review: Two excellent new instructional DVDs, taught by versatile, globe-trotting Spanish musician Fernando Perez.

    World Music For Fingerstyle Guitar introduces a truly diverse selection of styles across its two hours and six compositions - Into The Balkans, Samba Para Ti (Brazil), Ame (Japan) Malawi Dance, Kalani (Hawaii) and Tango/ Habanera (Argentina/Cuba). Each tune is taught one phrase at a time, with split screen enabling close inspection of what both hands are doing. Being a guitar player in the farfrom-advanced category, I found the Malawian lesson with its "sixth string up one-step to F" tuning the most immediately accessible, but a bit of serious practice should reward any player with a whole new guitar vocabulary.

    On West African Music Perez goes much deeper into musical tradition, with tunes directly learned from griots alongside his own compositions. The main scales and grooves used in West African music are explained, along with the application of specific techniques such as thumb and forefinger picking styles, to imitate kora scale runs and balafon breaks. Starting in open D tuning, Perez explores the connections between West African music and the blues, and demonstrates how the styles can be effectively combined, making this an invaluable tool for blues-based singersongwriters as well as dedicated guitarists.

    Both titles include a detailed tablature and musical notation booklet as a PDF file on the DVD. - Steve Hunt/fROOTS

    Review: Right on cue, West African Music for Fingerstyle Guitar arrives just in time to scratch the world's growing obsession with so-called "desert blues," a catchall for any moody hypnosis typically originating from a Saharan address. Fernando Perez knows the regional secrets of how to make six strings emote that distinctively forlorn way. But none of the reliant skills, songs and perspectives were absorbed from, say, a pile of Ali Farka Toure records or a spin of Baaba Maal's Djam Leelii. Instead, Perez trekked his inquisitive guitar across Africa's burning sands, straight into enlightenment with the masters themselves, the resident griots, on their home plots of dirt. That's the source of this tutorial's how-to wisdom. Perez even works in little techniques to inventively simulate the open-string ring of kora and a balafon's percussive rumble, two indigenous mainstays of acoustic West African traditionalism. Rich with tumbling arpeggios, nimble phrases and evocative melodies set adrift upon almighty grooves are six original and traditional spellbinders steeped in the mystique of Mali and Senegal . All are instrumentals; each is more alluring than the last. Perez's own "Mali Blues" provides welcoming sanctuary for Delta licks to blend in amongst the Timbuktu flow. "Kulanjan" is an ancient Manding song, one of the music's proud cornerstones, the root of the roots, if you will. - Dennis Rozanski/Blues Rag

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