Great "African" style bassline tutorial

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by David Sutkin, Apr 9, 2018.

  1. David Sutkin

    David Sutkin Schroeder Cabs and Maruszczyk bass artist Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2017
    Brooklyn, NY
    Hey all,

    I've always been impressed with the cool grooves that come from African genres of music. I think that all started after completely being blown away by listening to Bakithi Kumalo (Graceland)

    I stumbled across this great tutorial recently and found it to be very helpful ... so I'm sharing :thumbsup:

  2. Herbal


    Jul 10, 2016
    Cool I'm gonna watch this now.
  3. eJake


    May 22, 2011
    New Orleans
    Only got to catch the first 5m but saved for later. That is awesome stuff, thx for the post
  4. MixBass


    Feb 23, 2006
    L.A. Harbor
    Co-founder. GrabAxe
    Good stuff, dig the 12/8 chimurenga groove!
  5. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Looks good. Something about a guy with a British accent explaining Africa is... well.....
  6. Brits have been in Africa for a very long time now... That whole colonialism thing ya know...
  7. MixBass


    Feb 23, 2006
    L.A. Harbor
    Co-founder. GrabAxe
    So your ear is so good you can determine his accent is British and not Saffa or a number of other accents...
    The fact the guy is playing a groove (chimurenga 6/8 or 12/8)most guys stateside can't count let alone play and.....talking at the same time is crazy!
    I don't have any affiliation with these guys but can tell you this:
    that dude is 100% legit. He knows and lives that music. I've played it for 30 years and expected to see a watered down version. Not the case.
    Something about your comment about his accent is ....uninformed at best.

    bass12 likes this.
  8. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones?

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    A lot of people have a suspicion of "outsiders" explaining a style of music. I get it, it can seem a bit weird, but that shouldn't detract from the legitimacy of the analysis itself. The thing is, it often takes someone from the "outside" to get around to any kind of formal analysis - especially when the music is coming from a society which does not have any kind of formal/academic training where the music in question is concerned. Makes me think of a West African singer/guitarist I played with once. He came from a long line of musicians but he could not explain what he was doing in any kind of formal way. For him it was all about feel. He even had a difficult time explaining where the downbeat was in some of the music we were playing.
    Jhengsman and MixBass like this.
  9. MixBass


    Feb 23, 2006
    L.A. Harbor
    Co-founder. GrabAxe
    Yeah I totally get that although I think when we speak of suspicion of "outsiders" we mean white right? For all we know the guy in the video has grandfathers born in Africa.
    Your comment about sometimes it takes an "outsider" for analysis is spot on. For many of us not born or raised in Africa, much of the 12/8 stuff is confusing. Most of our musical lives are planted firmly on the 1. The 1 really isn't nearly as dominant in those grooves. I was playing with a great guitarist/singer from Cameroon and I had full control of the groove, could improvise etc. On a break I asked him where his one was and he looked at me with the funniest puzzled look… " you know what the groove is, what difference does it make".!
    Jhengsman and bass12 like this.
  10. bass12

    bass12 Have You Met Grace Jones?

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Unfortunately I do think you're right about the "white" part. I also think there's often suspicion associated with any kind of formal analysis of music. I was surprised at some of the attitudes I encountered from fellow musicians regarding my pursuits when I was doing my master's in musicology degree a number of years back. Also, my research topic was Washington, D.C. go-go. Pretty much all of the available analytical literature on the subject (and there wasn't much) was written by white "outsiders". The guys actually playing the music seemed to be too busy playing it to be bothered with any kind of formal analysis! I've found the same thing to be true with reggae. The Jamaican musicians I've talked to (and played with) knew the music by feel but they weren't able to delve into any analysis of the music itself. I once asked one of the members of the Jolly Boys (a mento group from Jamaica) about the differences between mento and calypso. His response was simply "It's a feeling". :)
    MixBass likes this.
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