Imagine traveling back in time to the 1940s, when the African Rumba – a unique style influenced by Cuban Son music – was born. Wendo Kolosoy’s ‘Marie-Louise’, the first song recorded on African soil, was captivating listeners. ‘Congolia’, the continent’s first radio station, was broadcasting music created on the Ngoma and Opika labels.
Or maybe to the 60s, when Le Grande Kalle released ‘Independence Cha Cha’ and ushered in a new era of music as colonial power began to wane. Electric guitars became readily accessible, the amps got louder, and the drum kit arrived. Franco Luambo Makiadi and Tabu Ley battled it out ferociously for chart dominance. Meri Djo energised audiences with the original Cavacha rhythm. Dr Nico laid down the Sebene guitar lines that would shape Central African music for the next 50 years.
Now Imagine All Of That Was Right At Your Fingertips.
Kinshasa-born guitarist Jeannot Bel embraces the sounds that shaped his homeland and influenced the music of an entire continent with a style that bridges the gap between the pioneering megastars of mid-century Congolese guitar to keen musicians from the modern era. Bel has come a long way since building his first two-string guitar from a piece of wood, a tin of milk, and a bicycle cable.
Through his rhythm guitarist cousin Dawa Lusamba he was able to connect with legendary Congolese guitar pioneers like Roxy Thsimpaka, Franco and Pepe Felly Manuaku as a youth, transitioning from a determined kid playing on a shared acoustic guitar to a respected pro who tours the world with Kanda Bongo Man’s band and other big names in African guitar music.
Many of the top African Rumba guitarists learned their craft the old-fashioned way – playing directly under the wing of a more established player. With this course, I want to give students across the globe access to this type of authentic Congolese training.
We start by covering the fundamentals of Central African guitar, then dive into the classic Rumba Odemba and Rumba Fiesta guitar styles played by Franco and Dr Nico. These styles will help you transition from the early Cuban music heard on African radio stations in the 40s into the new African genres of the 60s. From there, we look at Sebene, Congo’s intensely danceable genre of world-famous guitar playing.
You’ll learn how to create a lead guitar part over all of the common Congolese chord progressions as well as how to underpin a rhythm guitar part to give the soloist the platform upon which to fly. Before long, you’ll be a Central African guitar expert.
As a bonus, due to Congolese music’s pioneering status, influence over the music of other African nations, and relatively simple, repetitive chord progressions, the lessons from this course are transferable to many different regional guitar styles.
….. the original techniques of Franco through easy to follow close ups.
….. the rich ancestry traditional musical approaches from Central Africa.
….. how to confidently integrate the rhythm, misolo and lead guitar parts.
….. essential live skills for interacting with an African rhythm section.
Register today and get immediate lifetime access to the following
Gain a competent understanding of Central African guitar styles and expand your knowledge of rhythm, lead and the way the instruments integrate in a live context.
Learning new skills is easier with our innovative, interactive tools. Access on-screen notation, tablature, animated fretboards, variable tempos, and more today.
Put your new techniques into practice and Jam on recordings by the World Music Method tutors over different African grooves including Soukous, Zouk and Afrobeat.
Take part in the next session live and receive immediate feedback and answers about anything Rumba music related from Jeannot Bel.
The bitter-sweet paradox of Congolese Rumba. Andy Morgan’s eBook details the gripping history of the countries main musical export.
Download Syran Mbenza’s tribute album to Franco Luambo Makiadi, one of Africa’s all time most influential musicians.
If you aren’t happy with your Central African Guitar course, we’ll refund you within 30 days. There’s nothing to lose, and a lifetime of beautiful new music to gain.
Just pick up your guitar, sit down with Jeannot, and start right now!