Boomshakalak – soloing resources

We originally shared this as an exercise on June 30th 2020. Boom-Shak-A-Lack is a song from the 90’s by Apache Indian with a simple blues structure (12 bar) for the choruses and either 8 or 16 bar solos which all stay on the tonic chord (F).

There is no written music for this, as we’ll be learning it by ear, but you can find audio recordings for the A section, the B section, the rhythm, bari/trombone section and the Bassline on SoundCloud (below).

There are also backing tracks of the head section, the solo section, and the full track for you to play along with:


There’s an A section, which is an instrumental brass section, and B section which is a basic vocal melody. Both can be played at once.

So the head will go:

  • A – brass and percussion
  • A and B – everyone
  • A and B – everyone again.

If everyone could learn A and B that will give us more flexibility when we perform it. I see it working well as both a street and a gig tune. Just learning one of either A or B is ok though, if you can’t manage both.

On the audio files (embedded above) I talk you through the sections.

The A uses these notes (passing notes in brackets):

F (Gb) G Ab C Eb F 

The B section uses these notes (passing notes in brackets):

F (Gb) G C Eb (E) F

Bassline uses these notes

F Bb C and D

Improvising on Boomshakak

Essentially it’s a Blues scale in F but, because it’s Major, then F mixolydian will work too.

  • Blues: F Ab Bb (B) C Eb F
  • Mixolydian: F G A Bb C D Eb F

Enjoy it!