African Guitar Styles
Catalog Number: ADG049
Author: Folo Graff
Publisher: ADG Productions
This is the first practical guide to some of the most beautiful guitar music on earth. For this pioneering tour of some of the great musical styles, Sierra Leonean bandleader and composer Folo Graff draws on nearly twenty years' experience of teaching African guitar all over the world. In one volume, he brings together a huge selection of classic styles old and new from all over the continent, ranging from the desert blues of Mali through West African highlife and Afrobeat to Congolese rumba and soukous and South African township jive.
- 32 multi-part arrangements
- almost 120 authentic riffs
- 30 regional and pan-African styles
- fully notated in staff and tablature
- complete left and right hand fingering
- unique beat-count line to boost mastery of African rhythms
- full playing instructions
- optional basslines
- complete percussion arrangements
- play solo, in ensemble, or with CD or sequencer
- combine parts within pieces for dozens of different musical arrangements
- for all levels from novice to advanced
- supporting scale exercises
- introduction explains
- fundamental principles of African rhythm and harmony
- essentials of African guitar technique
- key secrets of African musicianship
- all music available as audio and/or MIDI files.
I've also picked up your guitar montunos book, and the african styles book...what you and Sher are doing is miles ahead of anything else on the market that I've seen.
"This is a very thorough introduction to various African musical approaches including Soukous, Maringa, Palm Wine, and Afro-beat. The book presents mostly original pieces that Mr. Graf has developed during his many years of teaching around the world. These pieces illustrate various rhythms and technique and provide a musical structure for practicing them. He gives you some history about each style and fairly detailed piece-specifc technique pointers. There is also detailed bass and percussion notation for each piece for ensemble playing. I've found this book to be helpful to both my ear training and my playing. The CD is great to just listen to and absorb the syncopation of all the different rhythms. Since the arrangements have been stripped down, you can hear each element easily and clearly. The subltely of seemingly simple things like playing a pentatonic minor scale with different accents and timing become tangible." Montclair N.J.
The book is fantastic. I am a professional Jazz/Latin guitar player and I have found the book of great interest, I've started to incorporate some of the styles into my playing already. Love the inclusion of percussion and bass at the back of the book. Could you please pass on my congradulations to Folo Graff for his book. Great effort guy's.S.M.
Review of the book from Brian Heywood U.K. Musicians Union.
There are more guitarists out there than all other instruments combined so its not surprising that the average music shop is awash with books that cater for this sector. Every now and then deep within this forest of plucky publications, you will find a book that goes beyond the lowest common denominator. And opens up new musical vistas, all from the comfort of your armchair. African Guitar Styles by the respected Sierra Leonean bandleader and composer Folo Graff is such a book. Drawing on almost two decades of experience both performing and teaching all over the world, Folo has put together both a travelogue and a roadmap to 32 classic guitar sounds ranging from Sokka, Highlife, Calypso, from simple to more challenging arrangements. The music is mainly original but based on traditional styles, developed as a classroom exercises for intermediate students and laid outs as ensembled pieces, though it is easy enough to take them apart for individual practise. Each piece has all the parts written out with short commentary by the author to give you an inside into the arrangement and the origin of the style. Apart from the notation, there are brief notes about how the book should be used and tips and techniques as to the playing mechanics of the music as well as apendices containing the bass lines, percussion parts, song structures and scale exercises. Although the playing style is based around a thumb first finger plucking style (slammer-bouster) most of the techniques are also applicable to plectrum-playing. The version reviewed has a CD included, which gives a clear and immediate inside into each peace - there is also a midi disque available, so you can alter the tempo key etc. The midi files can be ordered seperatly from the adg-website and sent by e-mail as a zip-archive (cost 10,-- $). This book is more a style reference than a comprehensive academic enumeration of specific ethnique styles, but it gives me a very viscerel inside into the genre, which I found I could apply almost immediatly to my performances. Highly recommended.
One of my students showed me the book during his lesson and I must say that it is a superb book, which can be used at many different levels including several performers at the same time. Also it can be used to develop left and right hand co-ordination, and understanding of complex rhythm patterns, which in return may inspire the student to compose similar music. A truly creative book! Well done! P.S. Surrey UK.
I have been playing professionally for over twenty years - the Scots and Irish trad I grew up with, also classical, country, swing, klezmer, and transylvanian styles. It's never hard to copy some of the features of an unfamiliar musical tradition but it is a huge challenge to understand its inner dynamic, so that you are actually playing in the style rather than just mimicking its effects. Folo Graff's African Guitar Styles is the only book I know - in any style, for any instrument - which succeeds in communicating this 'internal' knowledge. The detailed but concise playing instructions are based on a deep understanding of his own traditions and a keen sense of where a beginner is likely to trip up. With this book you don't just learn a few tunes, you learn to create this beautifully subtle music confidently and independently. A fantastic achievement!O.M. Germany