Learning Soukous Guitar

Learning Soukous Guitar

I receive more requests for lessons or advices than I would have ever imagined so I might...

Chord-based soukous guitar lines - position playing

Chord-based soukous guitar lines - position playing

In a post some time ago I outlined a possible overview of soukous guitar playing in...

Soukous Guitar Gear

Soukous Guitar Gear

Another post in response to several requests I received regarding what to use in order to get...

Scales and dyads (double stops) - Demo 1

Scales and dyads (double stops) - Demo 1

Trying to dig into the use of scales and intervals in soukous guitar I took a short line...



After receiving many messages on this topic I have been thinking about two or three...

Welcome! (and short instructions for use)

Welcome to Guitare Soukous!
The goal of this website is to share my efforts to learn how to play and better understand what we call here soukous guitar, so what you can do here is primarily watch videos and read articles that hopefully will help you learning a little more about that.

Welcome! (and short instructions for use)

Latest Video

A few lines from one of last year's generiques from Werrason.

I didn't practice them enough but the video should be understandable.

These lines have a great classic sound, something that could have been played by Alain Makaba, or by Dally Kimoko, but the guitarist should actually be Makaba Bikorina.

I used the studio recording from youtube here, but I found out just today about this video here where Werrason's soloist plays this exact line, very nice.

You can use the contact form to drop me a line.

Instructions For Beginners

I receive more requests for lessons or advices than I would have ever imagined so I might as well answer here and summarize the various answers I have been giving so far.

First, I am flattered by those requests.
Second, I am not exactly a music teacher, I am not giving guitar lessons in person or online and never did.
That's the short answer, if you don't need advices for beginners from an amateur guitarist you can stop reading here.

If you are interested, then click here.


Soukous Guitar Demo 4 - C diatonic major scale harmonization

I uploaded a video dedicated to the harmonization of the C diatonic major scale.

There are two main reason for that choice:

1. it was used by Michelino Mavatiku Visi in the Kaful Mayay solo that I already posted, so this explains how to play lines like that one

2. it is one of the most basic and powerful things one can learn on any instrument.

Read more: Soukous Guitar Demo 4 - C diatonic major scale harmonization

Soukous Chord Progressions

The typical soukous chord progression is a variation on a basic I-IV-V progression, where the roman numerals refer to the chords built on the corresponding degree of the diatonic major scale.

It is much simpler than it sounds. For instance, if we are playing a song in C, where C is the tonal center of the song, it means that the harmony of the song is built in the key of C, hence the main scale we can use is C diatonic major and the typical chord progression will be a variation of I-IV-V chords which in this case are C major, F major and G7. In the key of G the I-IV-V chords are G - C - D. Typical soukous/sebene progressions are I-IV-V-IV or I-V-IV-V or I-IV-I-IV etc.

If you have to learn how to play this kind of chord progressions a good starting point could be Justin Sandercoe's lessons.

Read more: Soukous Chord Progressions

Kaful Mayay

I made this video as a modest homage to the late Tabu Ley, recently passed away.

The song is "Kaful Mayay", with a nice ternary rhythm like those typical of West Africa or Ethiopia, but the sound is 100% congolese.

It should be Michelino Mavatiku Visi on guitar.

The progression is a I-IV-V in C.

The C major scale is used in 6ths in the intro and in its harmonized form in the solo.

Read more: Kaful Mayay

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