"…I love it!…that’s the funkiest stuff ever!” - John Scofield
"GuitAfrica is a wonderful app: it enables you to discover the richness and beauty of Pan-African music. African guitar playing is a real science and GuitAfrica gives you its secrets in a fun way!" - Angélique Kidjo
A collaborative project with world renowned guitarist Lionel Loueke from Benin, West Africa - GuitAfrica offers an informative and enjoyable way to learn African style guitar.
We believe that learning music should not be tedious, nor a chore - it should be fun, inspiring and fulfilling. So we invited Lionel Loueke to compose and perform 22 beautiful songs especially for GuitAfrica. They represent and are inspired by the traditional sounds of African ethnic groups spanning the entire continent.
Each song comes with a full score and individual parts for guitars, bass and drums.
The guitar and bass parts come with both, standard music notation and tablatures so that you can learn Lionel’s exact fingerings.
Each song also comes with a detailed information sheet describing the traditional music background, instruments and ethnic group that inspired it.
We believe in producing the best possible quality products, so we went into the studio with a great band and a great audio engineer to capture Lionel’s music and his playing.
Learning any of the songs is easy. Here is an example of how you could use GuitAfrica:
Start by solo-ing a part so that you can focus on it, and maybe leave the metronome and/or bass tracks turned on to keep you in time. You can even select a few measures to be looped and if that’s not enough you can slow down the tempo. Piece by piece in this manner, you can learn the whole part.
The next step is to mute the part you just learned, un-mute all the other instruments and play along just as if you were one of the members of the band.
If you want to further challenge yourself, you can also change the pitch of the song - perfect for learning a specific phrase in all keys.
It’s important to match not only the notes but also the feel of Lionel’s playing, therefore, close listening and repetition are key here.
African music is deeply rooted in rhythm so the drums and percussion parts will help you better understand the music.
GuitAfrica is perfect not only for guitarists but for all musicians wanting to learn and understand African music.
The iPad is perfect to read the music parts with its large screen but the iPhone can be used as well since you can zoom into each music staff and all the parts can be printed.
We had a hard time labeling or defining GuitAfrica as it’s a great learning tool, but we also constantly find ourselves listening to the music as if it was a recording. Perhaps it’s somewhere at the nexus of art and learning.
Tip: GuitAfrica is compatible with Audiobus (www.audiob.us) so you can record yourself playing with Lionel and his band with Garageband or other ‘guitar amp’ apps.
See a video demo of GuitAfrica on our website www.GuitAfrica.com
- Added support for iPhone 5.5’’ and iPad Pro 12.9’’
Ratings and Reviews
I just got this app today and have been pouring over it. Absolutely fantastic app. Lionel Loueke is one of the greatest guitarists/musicians alive and his bassist, Massimo Bialcati, is a great app designer as well as a great bassist. I was at a club hearing them a few years ago and Lionel said, "Massimo has a new app you should check out." It was IRealBook which is one of the best apps ever and has evolved beautifully.
This app shows the same level of care. The tunes are gorgeous and span a vast range of African countries and styles. The ability to mute and solo whatever parts you want as well as loop and slow down any section makes learning much easier. What a fantastic treasure trove of tunes and styles there are here. I've never seen a better learning tool for African Guitar (though there is a cool book with midi files called African Guitar styles I think that's pretty great, too).
Having audiobus so you can record and rearrange the tunes any way you want is fantastic. So many possibilities. I'm looking forward to many happy hours and much learning with this app.
For advanced music staff-reading players only!
I've often read negative reviews for apps in the app store, and it's just because the person writing the review doesn't understand how the app works. I will admit, that in this case I need be one of those people.
I heard Herbie Hancock rave about this app at one of his concerts when he was introducing his guitarist and the author of this app. The app had stellar reviews (only 12). It was on sale for $2.99 so I tried it out. This app is nothing more than some of the songs of the guitarist written out in sheet music and then the musical score is played along with the sheet music. If you're the kind of person who can read music, and is an advanced player that knows all the different techniques on an acoustic guitar, then this app may be of use to you. Otherwise it offers no tablature or tutorial instruction on the pieces.
I'm giving this app two stars, because it purports to help guitarists learn to play, and it will only help those who are at a very high level.
Props to Loueke and the programmers.
First off, most software companies would charge the app’s price for each of the >20 songs featured in this app; as singular app purchases.
If you’re not familiar with Loueke’s virtuosity, you better start researching, i heard him for the first time playing in hancock’s band and been a fan ever since. ,
ALL songs are immaculately notated for all instruments, sheet can be followed synchronously w/ the music, or browsed/zoomed at user's own leisure.
Each instrument can be turned on and off, and bpm & tonality changed, w/o ever pausing the music, and without slightest lag.
Best of all? Coders involved demonstrate virtuosity on par with Mr. Loueke's , judging by the polished experience; 2 months of heavy testing, NOT a single lag/crash/glitch, ever.
I’ve been an IOS app junkie for 4 years, and this is by far my fav. App so far.
For the breadth of material being offered, 7 dollars is beyond cheap, it’s salvation-army pricing.
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.