The Fingerstyle Guitar God's Name is Alip Ba Ta

aroengBinang.org - It's been a while since I started following Alip Ba Ta's channel in Youtube, just a few seconds after reading a retweet in my Twitter's timeline that mentioned his name. Curious, I searched and opened his channel and watched a number of his finger styles guitar cover videos. It was a bit late knowing him, as Alip's subscribers were around 500-600 thousands already.

Ini!: Dewa Gitar Finger Style Itu Bernama Alip Ba Ta

The retweet, as I recall, was to a tweet wrote by a famous musician named Addie MS, who was so impressed by Alip Ba Ta's exceptional guitar skills, as well as appreciative with his modest appearance. Since then I rather routinely watching almost all finger style guitar videos uploaded on Alip Ba Ta's channel.

Most of the videos he made are covers of popular songs, either originally played by famous foreign or locals group bands and singers, with various music genres. Occasionally he uploaded guitar style covers which were not entirely finger picking, he also sang albeit only in one song, gave tutorials and also tips. There were original works of his own finger style guitar compositions as well.

The Fingerstyle Guitar God's Name is Alip Ba Ta

The distinct videos characteristics of the finger style guitar's God, whose real name is Alif Gustakhiyat, are that the musics were all exquisitely arranged and almost 100% smoothly played, in ways that are sometimes unthinkable even by seasoned guitar players. He made his own arrangements, took full videos with static cellphone camera, choices of tones that made his guitar alive with soul, and played in a simple room set up with a pack of local cigarettes, ashtray from used can, and a glass of black coffee.

One that is not easily imitated is that he uses pinky finger to tap on guitar's body as a kind of percussion and keeps tempo, while the other fingers keep playing, as in Bohemian Rhapsody. The pinkie is almost completely independent of the movements to the rest, as if it has separate hinge. This is one of the most phenomenal finger style guitar covers and praised by the original guitarist, Brian May.


Thanks to my short and unreliable memory, it was Arijit Singh - Tum Hi Ho (fingerstyle cover) Alip Ba Ta in the above video that seemingly the first video I watched in September 2019, around the date when I read the twit about the finger style guitar's God. He was born in Ponorogo, a city in East Java well known with its magnificent Reog dance.

Anyone who watches Alip's video playing the Tum Hi Ho's finger style guitar cover will certainly be impressed and will play it repeatedly while reading comments that will never all be read. From the video I was introduced with false harmonics technique, where the index finger on a string without pressing it and the thumb picks it, both with his right hand, producing a pleasant vibrating sound of string.

Alif also uses fast sliding technique, tapping on small and bass strings with the right index finger, and slapping half death on the bass strings with his thumb that produces a magical percussion sound. Other than the song's beauty and his technique, it's the way that Alip Ba Ta performed Tum Hi Ho that made the sound like they came from Heaven. Exquisite.

Another mind blowing technique was the way Alip Ba Ta pressed strings above and outside guitar's fret, such as in "Lingsir Wengi", which produces a heavenly bending sound. The speed at which his fingers move in to press the string above the fret and then back to play on the fret is just smooth and perfect. Unfortunately, this guitar's cover could no longer be seen on Alip Ba Ta's Channel.

At least 12 finger style guitar covers from Alip Ba Ta's channel with millions of views were removed due to copyright claims, namely Bengawan Solo, Black Or White, Canon Rock, Dear God, Hotel California, Mother, Kiss The Rain, Kidung Wahyu Kolosebo, Lingsir Wengi, All About Us, Still Got The Blues, and Wind of Change. Dear God's cover was over 8 million viewers already.

This certainly was not only a big blow to Alif, although he himself seemed trying not to be too affected and was reluctant to talk about it, but his fans felt and still feel great losses with the disappearance of Alip's masterpieces from his channel.

Alip Ba Ta's fans have created Facebook group and call themselves Alipers Indonesia. You could say these Alipers are fanatics and quite aggressive in supporting and promoting Ali Ba Ta's channel, among others by asking YouTubers, especially foreign ones, to make reaction on Alip's videos. Alif's exceptional talent and the aggressive supports of Alipers, have made his subscribers grew steadily in a rather fast pace, which as of this writing was more than 1.8 million.

Not only giving support by never skipping ads when watching his videos and actively promoting Ali's channel, the Alipers also helped Alif when someone illegally claimed his works, and helped to clarify misperceptions in a number of things about Alip Ba Ta.

The video reaction's channel to the deleted songs of Alip are certainly blessed with strays of viewers with the loss of the original video. However, the success of Alip Ba Ta's finger style guitar channel could not be separated from the role of those video reactors, although not many of them truly understand guitar techniques and are able to enlighten their audience.

The fact that Alif is self-taught guitar player, that he is just a fork lift operator, with simple guitar and recording equipments, as well as with his reluctancy to be a celebrity in TV shows, have made Alip Ba Ta to have a special place among the world's finger style guitar gods. It is an example of a person who is reaping success in cultivating talent by persevering in practicing creatively, and keeping himself as a simple person.

Where is Alif Gustakhiyat's musical journey going to go with his channel? Only he himself and God know. The unpleasant experience because he had to take down some of his best videos certainly made Alif's space to be rather limited in creating finger style guitar's covers. If the situation continues, the world would lose opportunities to watch his great finger style arrangements and plays.

Although Alif has the required skills to arrange music to make his own, but of course it is not that easy to create original compositions every week to be published in his channel. Whether Alif will keep playing guitar as a hobby, or will pursue to the path of a pro also he himself decides. One thing is for sure, the world is ready to embrace him.

I myself hope Alif gets a scholarship to explore and refine his guitar techniques in a prestigious music academy abroad, for a year or two. Whether in Australia, Europe, or America, so that his talent can be sharpened until its maximum potential.

The government and the people of Indonesia actually have already in a debt to Alif, who without being paid a penny has succeeded in making the name of Indonesia circling in many countries in the world, through his phenomenal finger style guitar videos which were reacted by many foreign YouTubers.

Giving a scholarship to Alif to hone his talent at a best music school in the world is one of the ways to return his contributions. The scholarship should certainly include benefits to support his family, whether they stay with him or remain in Indonesia.

In the end, it all depends to Alif's personal goals in life, and what guitar paths he wants to take to accompany him to achieve that goals. Whatever they are, we hope for the best for him and the best for the development of the world's finger guitar style.
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