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Learn Senegalese Bass

Explore A New Realm Of African Rhythm

On the most westerly tip of Africa lies the country of Senegal – responsible for giving the world such superstars as Youssou N’Dour, Baaba Maal, Orchestra Baobab, Toure Kunda, Super Diamono and many, many more – and deep within the downtown streets of its capital city Dakar, the rhythm Mbalax was born. Piercing sabar drums call out with odd measure phrases, synthetic marimba sounds blare over loudspeakers and people dance all night, competing for the best moves. 

The traditional music of Senegal rhythmically defies the rest of the African continent with a powerful pulse, often considered confusing and requiring international pop hits to be toned down in order to be universally understood, felt and danced to. A mini orchestra of tonal sabar percussion with the combination of varying sizes and pitch of drums – chol, mbung bung and tama (the lizard skin talking drum) – makes up the ancestral background of modern Senegalese drum kit rhythms. This in turn defines the unique bass style by the note placement and accents, which at first listen may seem disjointed, out of place, even a little strange.

Study it further to truly understand a new way to play.

Expand Your Repertoire

Learn African Music Online

At age 14, Edd Bateman overheard a touring Zimbabwean band from Harare auditioning at his neighbour’s house, and he’s been hooked on African music since. Following a brief stint as a heavy metal bass payer, Edd began focusing on mastering African music from all corners of the continent. Now, 20 years and several thousand concerts later, Edd specializes in taking the complicated intricacies and nuances of African genres and explaining them in a universally understood manner.

After honing his skills in Africa in his twenties, Edd returned to the UK, where he toured with prominent African bands and served as bandleader for ‘Edd Bateman’s West African Love Affair’ and ‘London Astrobeat Orchestra’. Today, he is focused on sharing this expert knowledge and making it easier for students of all backgrounds to embrace African music.

A Guided Journey

Module 1 - Traditional Griot Music43.11  

Lesson 1 - Welcome To The Course 1.39

Lesson 2 - The Sounds Of The Kora 2.39

Lesson 3 - Accompanying Kora With The Bass 4.57

Lesson 4 - Kaira - Practise Your Own Lines 4.49

Lesson 5 - Allalake - Traditional Griot Song 7.17

Lesson 6 - Try Out Your Own Basslines 6.46

Lesson 7 - Apollo - Traditional Mandinka Music 7.35

Lesson 8 - Join In With The Kora And Drums 7.29

Module 2 - Senegalese Mbalax & Sabar Rhythms 32.54  

Lesson 9 - Learning About The Sabar Drums 1.26

Lesson 10 - Studying Mbalax Music With Pendeux 6.06

Lesson 11 - Play Along With The Band 5.22

Lesson 12 - Learning Mbalax In A Minor Key 5.22

Lesson 13 - Work With The Live Group 5.12

Lesson 14 - 12/8 Style Mbalax 5.21

Lesson 15 - Jam Along With The Band 5.04

Module 3 - African Salsa & Rumba18.15  

Lesson 16 - Salsa Introduction and Tumbao Lesson 5.06

Lesson 17 - Putting The Tumbao To A Chord Progression 4.00

Lesson 18 - Continue On With The Groove 2.44

Lesson 19 - Try Your Own Salsa Lines First 4.28

Lesson 20 - Further Studying The Tumbao 1.57

Module 4 - Congolese Soukous & Technique31.50  

Lesson 21 - Congolese Sept Sept Progression 2.18

Lesson 22 - Slowing Down The Sebene Basslines 10.24

Lesson 23 - Test Out With The Soukous Backing Track 5.20

Lesson 24 - Developing Brain Independence 8.18

Lesson 25 - How To Develop A Clean Tone 3.31

Lesson 26 - Thanks For Learning With Us 1.59

Module 5 - Ear Training & Improvisation35.01  

Lesson 27 - Understanding Intervals 5.04

Lesson 28 - Intervals - Melodic Ascending 3.28

Lesson 29 - Intervals - Melodic Descending 3.25

Lesson 30 - Intervals - Harmonic Ascending And Descending 7.27

Lesson 31 - My Approach To Improvisation 10.19

Lesson 32 - Intervals - Recap 5.18

Learn Essential Musical Styles

Venture into the realms of the Senegalese genres of Mbalax and the kora led Afro-Mandingue, return for more of the Congolese staple bass diet of Soukous then build up tumbao fluency studying African Salsa and Rumba. Accompanied by interactive backing tracks, clear explanations, on-screen notation and tabs, this course is designed to further your understanding of African music and help you on your way to mastering these unique basslines, authentically and with confidence.

Upon arriving in West Africa Edd said “I immediately noticed that Senegalese musicians had a way of slicing up a beat into more semi demi quavers than I’d ever heard in African music and had an effortless ability to all synchronise their accents on any chosen beat, no matter how oddly placed in the bar that seemed to me. That’s completely unlike anything covered in the previous course where we never need to play any note value smaller than a 16th. This all originates from the different Senegalese percussion rhythms that seem to have a way of governing most of the traditional genres.” 

Whether you’re a newcomer of a seasoned pro, Edd leads you through an entire syllabus inspired by five musical West African voyages and lessons learnt on the touring circuit from Southern Senegal’s most famous and influential musicians.

Learn African Bass Guitar

….. authentic mbalax rhythms with full live band examples.

Congolese Bass Lessons

….. the traditional sounds of the kora with griot Jali Fily Cissokho.

Play African Bass Guitar

….. your understanding of advanced Congolese thumb techniques.

African Bass Techniques

….. a solid understanding of Senegalese bass and drumkit connection.

enhance your skills

Build African Bass Fluency

Register today and get immediate lifetime access to the following

The African Bass Masterclass

the african bass masterclass – part 2


interactive on-screen notation


african backing tracks – volume two


thiass mbaye – masterclass


sebene heaven part 2 – ebook


sadio cissokho – sila fando


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African Bass Lessons

the african bass masterclass

This 2.5 hour course simplifies the iconic African bass and makes it easy to create unique, authentic basslines, even without any previous knowledge of the style.

Learn Bass Guitar

interactive on-screen notation

Learning new skills is easier with our innovative, interactive tools. Access on-screen notation, tablature, animate fretboards, variable tempos, and more.

African Backing Tracks

african backing tracks – volume 2

Put your new techniques into practice and get a taste of ensemble playing on mbalax recordings featuring chord charts and interactive features.

African Bass Guitar With Live Masterclass And Q&A

thiass mbaye

Watch the Dakar percussionist Thiass Mbaye explain the history of Senegalese music and how to feel the rhythms of mbalax.

Congolese Rumba - Sebene Heaven

sebene heaven – andy morgan

The bitter-sweet paradox of Congolese Music continues with an in-depth look into the careers of Papa Wemba and Koffi Olomide.

Edd Bateman’s West African Love Affair

sadio cissokho – sila fando

14 tracks of Southern Senegalese grooves featuring Edd Bateman’s basslines. Recorded during a 2010 European tour.

Learn African Bass Guitar

expand your

Musical Vocabulary

You don’t need to travel across the continent. In fact, you don’t even need to leave your house. Build up your African bass literacy risk-free today – with a 30-day money-back guarantee, there’s never been a better time to get started.

Take your African bass skills to the next level with the World Music Method today.

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