I managed to get hold of the newly released DVD tutorial of Dally Kimoko produced by Safaritv Production.
I have to say this DVD is a very pleasant surprise. On one hand, because of that it covers the repertoire of an icon from the 80's soukous era, secondly because of the songs explained.
The DVD starts with an interview, during which Dally tells a few facts about his career. He also describes what gears he used during various stages of his musicianship. That part is really informative because you can learn about what string gauges he used for various guitars of his, what differences it made, how he sets EQ levels on the amp, what effect pedals he uses. This way you can have a clue about how he created the distinct sound you can hear on his recordings.
The next part consists of a few arpeggio exercises. This part is not too long, it is just intended to give you a brief insight into the foundations of arpeggios used in soukous, and to improve your playing dynamics.
But the third part includes what really the essence of this DVD is, that most of us, enthusiasts, have been waiting for so long. Dally is showing some songs that he contributed for. The song selection is great, very much accoarding to my preference, and every part of them are described very thoroughly, from the intro until the end, that makes this DVD so valuable. You will realize how great a teacher he is, actually his style of explanation is so easy to follow and detailed, that even less advanced players can understand what's going on.
In this part, first he plays each song through dubbing the playback. Then he plays the song through again without the song playing in the background. Finally he breakes the whole thing down and shows every part of the song slowly, step by step, emphasizing ctitical parts that may require more attention and more detailed comments. He doesn't miss referring to music theory meanwhile, so you will know what chords are fretted, the specific notes played at potentionally problematic parts, and alternatives to fingerring. The gerat thing about all is that you can be accustomed to embellishments that are characteristics of soukous yet you may not be able to figure them out yourself. This latter one is an aspect that puts the crown onto his "masterclass". Once you become familiar with these characteristics, it will be easier for you to learn songs by ear, or compose ones that really sound like soukous should.
Here are the songs actually covered:
Dally Kimoko - We Love You Mandela
Pepe Kalle - Moyibi
Nyboma - Nina
Kanda Bongo Man - Monie
Aurlus Mabele - Embargo
Madilu System - Voisin
As you can see, these are all big hits, full of great lead patterns and interesting guitar licks. What I expect every time when buying a Congolese tutorial DVD is to find as many tunes as possible that really satisfy me instead of ones that may not carry that much ambiance. That's why I was very happy to see Nina in the list, just because it consists of very nice melodies all along. The same applies to Moyibi. Including Kanda Bongo Man's: Monie on the disc was a must, and I am glad the maker of this video realized it. I was trying to figure out so many times how it is played, was never successful. So now this problem of mine is solved.
When I decided to buy this DVD, I expected that it will show solutions that can be found in many songs of that era, and that are essential to understand how you should play certain things properly. So to say, I expected to see those common technical tricks that make this style what it is. That's why I was satisfied to see Embargo by Aurlus Mabele explained for the previous reason: tricks. Though I don't listen to this song too often, this old hit is full of those interesting technical things that are required to become a skilled player. And it really does have a ton of them. The melodic pattern in this song is changed many times, so having this tune is really like a list of exercises that can introduce you the foundations of the style.
The other songs are not very familiar to me, however they were all classics, and you can find things in them that will really add something to your skills. Nelson Mandela, for example have a lick in the seben, that incorporates a complex pattern with hammer ons ad pull offs, it is qutie an advanced pattern that I could hardly figure out by myself.
After this insight of the contents, you can see here a trailer, to make you more enthusiastic provided you wouldn't have become that so far:
All in all, because of the aspects I mentioned above, this tutorial can really fulfil its aim and become a useful aid for anyone who wants to know how Dally actually played things, and reveals the details that have remained hidden up to now about his technique. This way the DVD really pays off its price. This way it is really an item that's worth to buy. I can only recommend it to anyone, even to those who are more into ndombolo than soukous, just because they can also benefit a lot from learning the tricks Dally is showing on this DVD.