Solo Acoustic Guitarist | African and Contemporary | Composer and Performer

African Guitar

I now offer online lessons in the unique style of African guitar that you can hear on One Night on Earth and Libraries on Fire.

I will guide you through the pieces step by step and share the sounds, videos and scores I have created for each piece. The idea is to find a middle point between oral and written cultures of learning music. To find the best of both.

I think this music is perfect for any level of player, so even if you have never played, this is a great way to start.

Mail to book a slot: derek@derekgripper.com or see here for fees.

 

These are some of the musicians I have transcribed and whose music I have learned from:


Toumani Diabate
I have been transcribing Malian kora master Toumani Diabate’s complete solo works for some years now. The collection of completed scores is now about sixty pages of guitar tablatures. I have also made versions for harp which could be adapted for piano. These can be purchased as PDFs from the Toumani Diabate scores page.
Or start learning with the introductory books here


Ali Farka Touré
Ali Farka Toure’s guitar music is a classic of West African guitar. Rich, original, and direct. My project to transcribe his music for solo guitar has resulted in a few recordings of his works (One Night on Earth) as well as a few scores. I need to dive in there again soon.


Ballaké Sissoko and Vincent Segal
My transcriptions of Ballaké Sissoko began with his collaboration with the French cellist Vincent Segal. Two of the pieces from this wonderful collaboration have been transcribed for solo guitar and will be available soon in PDF guitar tablature. I also made a duet based on one of their pieces, which I composed with Reza Khota and performed with John Williams. In a strange twist of fate Ballake will soon record with French classical guitarist Thibault Cauvin and they’re going to use this score to play together!

 

I have also worked on the music of Boubacar Traore, Sekou Batourou Kouyate, Sidiki Diabate, and others.