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.
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.
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.
….. authentic mbalax rhythms with full live band examples.
….. the traditional sounds of the kora with griot Jali Fily Cissokho.
….. your understanding of advanced Congolese thumb techniques.
….. a solid understanding of Senegalese bass and drumkit connection.
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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.
Learning new skills is easier with our innovative, interactive tools. Access on-screen notation, tablature, animate fretboards, variable tempos, and more.
Put your new techniques into practice and get a taste of ensemble playing on mbalax recordings featuring chord charts and interactive features.
Watch the Dakar percussionist Thiass Mbaye explain the history of Senegalese music and how to feel the rhythms of mbalax.
The bitter-sweet paradox of Congolese Music continues with an in-depth look into the careers of Papa Wemba and Koffi Olomide.
14 tracks of Southern Senegalese grooves featuring Edd Bateman’s basslines. Recorded during a 2010 European tour.
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.