This course will acquaint you with the guitar style unique to rebetiko, which rests heavily on the relationship of rhythmic bass to melody and chords. We will focus on rebetiko guitar both as solo and accompaniment instrument.
This course is for students who already play guitar, though not necessarily rebetiko guitar. By playing melodies, we will learn rebetiko scales (dromoi) including Hicaz, Ussak and Karcığar, as well as makam theory. We will investigate ways of harmonizing these scales, as well as the rhythmic patterns used to accompany them. We will devote special attention to the bass line, which has three purposes: melody, harmony and rhythm.
At the end of this course, students will have learned exercises for pick technique, melodic and rhythmic exercises on the fretboard, various style-specific solo and accompaniment techniques, a diverse repertoire, an understanding of alternating solo/accompaniment roles, various guitar tunings based on the scales, and the concept of rebetiko improvisation.
Repertoire includes compositions from the early rebetiko period (pre-WWII), as well as some post-war recordings ('40s and '50s).