SA popular music is in your debt for undertaking this task & sticking with it for so long, during an extended period when nobody noticed what you were doing. Respect!
— Gwen Ansell
Trim size: 295 x 210mm
Page count: tbc
Imagery: Music scores; full colour and black and white photographs and illustrations
Publication Date: March 2021
The uniquely South African style of playing guitar is fast disappearing. The masters are passing on very fast, most of the music schools are not teaching that style, and many young musicians have been swallowed up in the commercial effort to make quick money. Professional musicians, scholars and journalists who want to research South Africa’s musical innovations struggle to find the necessary information. There is a real possibility that important aspects of our heritage and musical legacy will die away.
An Introduction to South African Guitar Styles Vol. 1 is an exploration of the history of the guitar in Black South African popular music over five decades and the most important styles to have evolved around it: marabi, maskanda, African jazz, kwela, mbaqanga and XiTsonga. It presents biographies and the historical background of each of the musical styles as well as stave notations of the most important, most frequently played tunes from old South African classics while celebrating past South African guitar players, sidemen and bandleaders.
To provide an understanding of the geography, culture and era from which each guitar style emerged and evolved, every effort has been made to locate the biographies and discographies and transcriptions of the work of ground-breaking guitarists and innovators in those genres.
This book is for beginner and intermediate guitar players as well as those who are advanced but, in spite of musical experience, may not have a good understanding of or exposure to the range of South African guitar styles. It is an accessible tutorial for those who can formally read music and those who play only by ear, and it contains online visuals for reference purposes.
To add depth and various perspectives, guest artists were invited to address various aspects of the tutorials and include demonstrations and interviews in videos that are available on www.billymonama.co.za. All demonstrations are presented close-up in slow motion for learning purposes and also in their original faster tempos.
This book is a useful resource and reference for teachers, researchers, professionals, journalists, music schools and the general public, all of whom will become custodians of our heritage, even as members of audiences.
South African music is very broad, and when some people think of it, the famous chord progression of I-IV-I/V-V7 comes to mind. However, there is more to it than a just a progression: it involves feeling, and it is spiritual. In this book, I will teach (as much as possible) the phrasing, articulation and technique involved in the various sub-styles. The transcriptions are based on distinctive guitarists who kept the people of South Africa dancing through trying socio-political times.