Soukous Bass Techniques For Beginners by Kibisi Douglas – An Instructional Video for Beginners…
Soukous is a style of popular dance music that originated in Africa. It’s roots are apparently from Cuban Rhumba music as it was played in the Belgian and French Congo in the 1940’s. It is also sometimes referred to as “Congo”, “Congolese” or “Lingala”. No matter the name, it is a music with an infectious groove of percolating bass, syncopated rhythms and cascading and contrasting guitar melodies. The author, Kibisi Douglas, started performing music in his hometown of Kinshasa at the tender age of eight years old and has been playing music ever since. He has toured the world playing music with many bands and now lives in Great Britain as a free lance bassist and musical director for several bands.
The DVD cover states: “For Beginners” in bold print. This statement must be taken quite literally, as the first thirty or so minutes of the DVD reviews rudimentary aspects of bass playing and the basic music structure and progressions of Soukous music. At around lesson ten, the action starts to pick up and Kibisi begins to explain the particulars of Soukous bass playing in earnest. The video does a good job presenting the importance of right and left hand techniques that are necessary to play Soukous. The right hand technique is centered around using the thumb and index finger for alternate plucking of the strings. The left hand fingers and thumb, when not sounding notes, are often arranged to cover and mute strings. The information is delivered at a relaxed pace and is somewhat repetitious, but it is thorough. There are several examples of basic song progressions and bass lines to drive home the fundamental technique and feel for the rhythm and style of Soukous. The video has been filmed with a single camera, and as a result, there are numerous panning and zooming sequences.
This instructional video would be most useful for a beginning player who is interested in learning the fundamentals of Soukous. More experienced players may want to pick up a copy of “Kibisi Douglas Presents Advanced Soukous Bass Techniques”. Price: $19.95
For more information: Watermelon Music