Djembe,guitar mixed with bala or gyile?

Other west African instruments, like balafon, ngoni etc.
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Re: Djembe,guitar mixed with bala or gyile?

Postby BobF » Fri Dec 11, 2009 4:43 pm

Gordon, my bala teacher is coming to visit me in a few days and will be building a bala while he's here. I can ask him he's got another for sale if you're intersted.
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Re: Djembe,guitar mixed with bala or gyile?

Postby Nodrog » Fri Dec 11, 2009 5:29 pm

Hi there, Thanks Bob, that would be great. I was hoping to have had one by now, but with Christmas coming up and grand kids to think of, well I'm in no rush, It will be sometime in the New Year probably so if you could ask I would be grateful.

All the best, Gordon. :)
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Re: Djembe,guitar mixed with bala or gyile?

Postby Nodrog » Thu Dec 17, 2009 8:12 pm

Hi there,

Just an up-date on my upcoming purchase of some kind of African xylophone.Thing is, the more I delved into it, the more I realized just how many variations there are in these instruments. Different sizes, tunings, the shapes and also the sounds. So, I decided to take my time in the hope that I would eventually end up with the right instrument for what I had in mind. This is to fit in with my guitar, acoustic bass, djembe and a few other percussiony shaky things for some recording projects.

I was torn at one point because I preferred the sound of the gyil and some of the big balas that are curved with the huge calabash underneath. Problem is, these are all tuned to a pentatonic scale. This meant as far as guitar goes, I would be stuck really to one chord and the relative minor chord. Because of this, I decided to rule out the pentatonic ones and decided to go with a diatonic in the key of Gmaj. (G,C,D,Em,Am chords possible). That's enough for a lot of African music I think.

I have decided to go with a Guinean bala from Bara Gnouma on the reommendation of Paul. I have been dealing with a guy called Fabrice and he was extremely helpful and came up with a very good price considering it will ship directly from Africa to here in Georgia.

Bob, thanks for your offer of asking your teacher. I think if if I had not been so impressed by the guy at Bara Gnouma I would have taken advantage of your kind offer.

I'm relieved now that I have made the decision and now excited waiting for it to arrive. Just need to learn how to play it now, HA, HA.... :D

All the best, Gordon.
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Re: Djembe,guitar mixed with bala or gyile?

Postby Carl » Thu Dec 17, 2009 8:24 pm

Gordon,

Do you read western notation? If so, I have a few things I could send to you. Also, I found some cool resources online. Depending on how deep you want to get into it.

C
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Re: Djembe,guitar mixed with bala or gyile?

Postby Nodrog » Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:14 pm

Hi there,

Thanks for that offer Carl but to be honest, I don't have the patience to sit down and learn it from music. I can read very slowly from my time when I took classical guitar lessons. I stuck with that for about 6 months and never really enjoyed it.(Too much like back at school and homework...).

I have spent tons of time on youtube watching these guys play balas and gyile and there are quite a few lessons posted on there that should get me started. If you listen to the guy playing on the attached link: Well that is what I'm aiming for. If I can do that, I'll be happy, ha,ha...

I have played guitar since I was 10 years old, just about 40 years now and I also played bass for 20 years in my dad's jazz band so I'm hoping I can pick it up mainly from observation and from ear.

Here's hoping. :shock:

All the best, Gordon. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-ADiYUm2pY
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Re: Djembe,guitar mixed with bala or gyile?

Postby Nodrog » Thu Dec 17, 2009 9:30 pm

Hi again,

Carl, as an afterthought, don't know if you've come across these before but if not, here are two short clips which will give you some idea of the type of sound I'm playing around with. Influenced a lot by Soukous and also Oliver 'tuku' Mtukudzi from Zimbabwe. Not traditional djembe country but I just love that style of guitarin'.

Gordon.
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AFRICA2 mp3.mp3
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AFRICA1 mp3.mp3
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Re: Djembe,guitar mixed with bala or gyile?

Postby Carl » Fri Dec 18, 2009 3:43 pm

Nodrog wrote:Well that is what I'm aiming for. If I can do that, I'll be happy, ha,ha...

:shock:

Cool stuff. Those mp3s sound like they come from an instructional cd or something... where did you get them?

C
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Re: Djembe,guitar mixed with bala or gyile?

Postby Nodrog » Fri Dec 18, 2009 4:14 pm

A good Friday morning to all,

The two mp3's are me messing around with my Boss BR600 recorder. I'm real slow when it comes to techy things but because I have a lot of friends and family still over in Britain, I decided to start recording some of my music. My dad especially,(he is still playing sax and gigging on a regular basis at age 74, pretty good I guess), is always asking me about my music projects and this is a way of keeping them in touch.

I started by playing on my djembe then I played along with guitar and later added some bass and some cabassa. Just short sketches really as part of the learning curve for the recording side.

Usually, when I play out, it's just me with my Godin Solidac guitar, a Boss looper and a vocal harmoniser all played through a Bose L1 pa tower. I do kind of one-man reggae mainly.

Now I'm waiting to get the bala so I can add some of that stuff into the mix.

Thanks for giving it a listen.

All the best, Gordon. :dance:
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Re: Djembe,guitar mixed with bala or gyile?

Postby Carl » Fri Dec 18, 2009 4:22 pm

My compliments Gordon, nice stuff.

C
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