Song of the Month : Jarabi Variations ・ November 2015

This month, we take a song example from the book Unlocking Mbira and introduce an additional funky bassline variation. 'Jarabi' is a love song from West Africa, often played on Kora. This lesson includes video of Toumani Diabate explaining and layering different parts of the song (bassline, melody and improvisation). Phenomenal musician, Derek Gripper performs this and a variety of other kora (21 string) pieces on guitar (6 string!) - video also included. 

Skip to 1.13 to watch Toumani Diabate explain how four fingers play three separate parts (bassline, melody and improvisation) within this song, Jarabi. 

Andy Fowler shows an adaption of the Jarabi bassline and melody for our left hand while improvising with his right hand. At 1.45 he introduces a new, funky, left hand variation. 'Nzou' (elephant) artwork also by Andy. 

Derek Gripper's arrangement of Toumani Diabaté's "Jarabi". This performance sees a 21-string kora composition from Mali finding its expression on a six-string classical guitar at the same venue in which Diabaté performed in 2009.

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Let us know how you get on in the comments box below. Also, if you like these variations, please take a moment to share this page with your mbira friends.

For more sample pages, reviews, further details and to buy Unlocking Mbira, please click here.