Arc en Ciel solo

After a long break, a line from a youtube video of guitarist Arc en Ciel (I don't know his real name or his bio, if you know anything about him please drop me a message).

The progression is I-V-IV-V in B, so B - F# - E - F#.

He works in a very simple and effective way around the basic B major chord shape playing a line using intervals of thirds and fourths, anything that fits the chord shape easily.

After going through some of Flamme Kapaya's solo this one is not impressive but it captures that style in a very useful way, showing how much you can do with a very simple approach, a little melody and a good sense of rhythm.

PS In the meantime I added a new transcription from the great rehearsal video of Flamme Kapaya. It is a typical unison line followed by a rhythmic part, with the energy and speed typical of Kapaya. Here.

Also, I found out that Arc en Ciel is known as Steve Bikorino and as Petit Makaba, but nothing yet about the song.

If you want you can send me a message using the contact form.

Soukous Guitar Gear


Another post in response to several requests I received regarding what to use in order to get the "soukous guitar sound".

Again I have to say first that I don't have any special authority to give advices regarding soukous guitar other than my love for this music.

The first assumption that I would like to challenge is that there is one "soukous guitar sound".

There are in fact many, as the sound of the guitar in Congolese music evolved from the acoustic guitars of the very early rumba, to the fender guitar sound of the first music superstars all the way to the chime sound of the 80s and 90s and the bright ringing sound of these recent years.


I am not going to make a "learn how to play guitar" video but I will try to highlight a few concepts that I believe will help some of those who want to learn to play the soukous guitar solos that I am transcribing and putting in my videos.
This Flamme Kapaya's rhythmic part provides a good opportunity to talk about one of the simplest and  most effective tools you can use when you try to learn how to play: the metronome.

Instead of repeating concepts that you can easily find by searching "practice guitar metronome" I will just explain how I am using the metronome to bring up to speed this Kapaya's part after having all the notes and positions down and being able to sing it. The same method can be applied to all of the solos in my videos and if you go back and look at all my videos you can easily tell apart the ones that I prepared with a metronome from the ones where I didn't.

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 (from Diblo Dibala) and went all the way from there to the scales and intervals used. Here.

That particular line works for this example because it has a clear and simple melody hidden in the lower voice.

What I did was highlighting that simple melody and then use it as basis to practice the diatonic major scale of C in intervals of 3ds, 4ths, 6ths and 8ths. While Diblo's line uses all those intervals at once and some more, I tried to use them only one at a time.

Learning Soukous Guitar



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.