1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

African bass book interest?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by MixBass, Jul 3, 2016.

  1. MixBass


    Feb 23, 2006
    L.A. Harbor
    Co-founder. GrabAxe
    I have been thinking about putting together an African bass book. I spent many years playing in African bands and as a southern California surfer it was quite an undertaking to get a handle on it. I was very fortunate to have some good mentors and opportunities to play in African bands. I absolutely fell in love with the music and dug into it for many years. I'm well aware of the fact that there are many many different styles of African music and would be skimming the surface of about a half dozen of them.
    I have come up with a few exercises that gave me a better handle on "feeling and swinging" the stuff in 3 or its relatives . Anyhow, I'm curious how much interest there would be in such a book. Thanks for looking!
  2. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I have bought my share of Afro-Cuban bass & percussion/drum books.

    I think I also have an African drum/percussion book around somewhere. When I was into practicing & playing more, I would try to play drum/percussion rhythms from these books & apply them to the bass.
    Helped with my Slap/Pop technique, for sure.

    Anyone in a rut...I would suggest something different like what you're thinking about.
  3. Jhengsman


    Oct 17, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I played in a church with a large Nigerian immigrant population and would have bought a reasonably priced book to supplement the, Urban Gospel Reggae, Blues and Afro-Cuban in my library.
    MixBass likes this.
  4. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    Are these examples of "African" music that you're referring to? (Bassist John Pattitucci mentioned this artist/recording in an interview in (maybe) the 90's.)
    Could you recommend some artist/recording/examples?

    Last edited: Jul 3, 2016
    Groove Master and MixBass like this.
  5. Rev J

    Rev J

    Jun 14, 2012
    Berkeley, Ca.
    I'd be into that.

    Rev J
    MixBass likes this.
  6. MixBass


    Feb 23, 2006
    L.A. Harbor
    Co-founder. GrabAxe
    Absolutely! Salif is one of the earlier artists that hooked me. The first record I heard of his was Soro and was able to see that tour. His music is a great blend of traditional meets modern. A few other artists who do that, trad meets modern, would be:
    Ray Lema
    Youssou N'Dour
    Sekouba Bambino
    Aster Aweke
    Kine Lam
    I would also touch on some more trad dance music like Soukous, Bikutsi, Makossa and others. It's such a huuuuge field but there are some common elements to be sure.
    Gnawa is another style that is quite different from those mentioned but is great music to
    "interpret" on bass.
  7. MixBass


    Feb 23, 2006
    L.A. Harbor
    Co-founder. GrabAxe
    Glad to see some replies and a few responses:
    I agree there are some fantastic books about Afro Cuban bass. I really liked the "True Cuban Bass" book.
    I've seen a few of The drum books as well and the Mokhtar Samba book is probably my favorite.
    BillMason likes this.
  8. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    Thanks, MixBass.
    I now have listening homework, as I have had very limited exposure to this style and artists.
    Let me know of any specific tunes or recordings, or bassists, that you would recommend.
  9. Fun Size Nick

    Fun Size Nick

    Feb 21, 2006
    Hong Kong
    I think it's a great idea. I played in an afrobeat band (Fela/Femi Kuti covers & originals) in Beijing and it just about did my head in (in a good way) to wrap my head around some of the rhythms we would play. I consider myself very privileged to have had the opportunity to be stretched in my understanding of music through that experience.
    Rock Salad and MixBass like this.
  10. Brother Goose

    Brother Goose The Process IS the Reward! Supporting Member

    Dec 4, 2013
    Syracuse NY
    God Is Love
    A good friend of mine recently wrote this and is working on volume II- I'd love to put ya'll in touch to share contacts related to music publication and the world music scene.

    John Benítez Releases Volume 1 of Bass Method Series

    Shoot a Goose a PM or add me on FB

    www.facebook.com/thenastytruth (gustav hoffmann)
    Ian Stewart and MixBass like this.
  11. uelliv


    Nov 27, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    Aguilar Amps, DR strings
    That's a great idea! Check out the bass lines from Diblo Dibala(singer & guitar player), he plays soukous/ congolese music.

  12. As you mentioned it, there are many different styles of music and rythms throughout Africa. Between North African, West African, East African and South African styles themselves with hundred of variations I actually see no real common denominator. Depending on the regions those different music are not one bit connected besides that they are all made to make people dance. It would be similar to write a book about "European music" or "American music". When living in France I played with some West African musicians and got to play with a few North African bands too - A book about "African music" sounds just too generic and unspecific to be credible and not to be a cliche.
  13. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    I'm very interested in what you are proposing. Please do it!
    MixBass likes this.
  14. RedVee


    Dec 24, 2014
    I could be interested in that.

    I have recently been informed of some African forebears in my family line in the early 1800s; and am very interested in finding out more. Music could be a good way to connect a little.

    The only African music I have heard was Osi Bisae and of course Paul Simon. That is to say - I have very little idea.
    MixBass likes this.
  15. gsquare

    gsquare Pedal Breeders' BIGBoardClub#104;CabronitaClub#8 Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2012
    Peoria, AZ
    Yes, I would be very interested, especially with some audio examples, that always helps
    MixBass and NigelD like this.
  16. davidprice


    Jan 1, 2005
    I think it would be a welcome addition. As you and others have mentioned, African music is so varied, it would be a challenge. I also think it is quite distinct from the Afro-Cuban stuff so there would be room for a dedicated book(s)

    BTW I spent 13 years in the band of Babatunde Olatunji which also included alumni of Fela's and King Sunny Ade's bands.
  17. DrayMiles


    Feb 24, 2007
    East Coast
    Great idea...
    MixBass likes this.
  18. MixBass


    Feb 23, 2006
    L.A. Harbor
    Co-founder. GrabAxe
    Good to see some interest. To do what has been festering in my head for some years now would be a pretty large project (for me)as I've never done anything like it. It would take tons of time, effort and probably cash. I don't think of it as a money making adventure. The sole purpose would be to lend some insight to others that I came upon the hard way, time.
    Brother Goose: if I choose to take it on I will absolutely look into making contact with your friend, thanks!
    Frenchy Lefty: I'm keenly aware of the vastness of "African bass". I would and could never propose a Bible of such. That said, when I was studying and transcribing initially west African music, there was zero info to be found. So I had to figure things out on my own through trial and error. In doing so I found some ways to put my head around some stuff that is very challenging if you grew up in a California beach town! If you lived near Paris you were much closer to these cats than I and if you know of any publications about this please point them out, I'll order it today.
    I do feel there are some common denominators running through some of the styles though. For example if you can get a grasp of feeling 4 in 3 or 3 in 2 for starters. That info will crossover from Bikutsi to Mbalax to Gnawa etc, albeit in different ways. The straight 4 stuff is easier to get a handle on rhythmically yet has its own characteristics that are beautiful. This isn't even discussing harmony which is very different let's say between Cameroon and Ethiopia for starters.
    Wow, long winded here...anyhow the hope would be to give a "glimpse" into the field as I haven't yet seen it on paper.
  19. jamro217

    jamro217 Supporting Member

    DrayMiles and MixBass like this.
  20. FantasticFour


    Dec 14, 2013
    I'd definitely be interested as well.
    MixBass likes this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.