Wild Blue Pixel
If you have a testimonial about the kalimba or kalimba music and what it has done for your life, please share it with me!
Greetings and Love from Netherlands! I just like to tell you how much I enjoy my Hugh Tracey alto kalimba; ah well, I can't since words are not the way to express my feelings..
I play the jawharp for more than 20 years, together with didgeridoo and other percussion, and I knew of the "thumb piano" for a long time, but when I came across your version of yekermow sew I knew I wanted a kalimba! It is one of the few melodic instruments I have, and I don't expect to play yekermow sew, but now I learn how to play simple songs which I know and it's great! The first day I got my kalimba I started to play in the late evening, when it was quiet, and I got tears in my eyes ...what a beautiful sound !
Now, some 7 months later I still love it more and now I think I am ready for the instructional books..
My job is taking care of people with visual and mental disabilities and I have played several times for and with them - when I brought my kalimba faces started to shine, eyes closed, well you know the magic !!
Please keep on spreading the Love (from the heart,through the kalimba to the people, and the universe will dance ... Jah (God) bless you and your family, One Love,
I just wrapped one of those free form sessions that just seem to fall into place on the alto and had to turn on this computer to thank you for making these instruments available. I bought my kalimba because I thought it would be a good instrument for Samba and I was right. It's a natural for expressing the fast, percussive melodic rhythms and also works well on the slow tunes. And it's versatile, I can imagine Celtic harp or clawhammer banjo tunes played on the alto kalimba and will most likely get to those styles some day.
Quality of the sound is very good. I have owned a hand made classical and Guild 12 string guitars so I know quality sound when I hear it.
Thanks again and have a happy new year.
And as per your wonderful suggestion, I did tune one of our karimbas to A minor to go with our sansula, in fact, I did it the same day we got your suggestion! We have really enjoyed playing them together. We sent to our other daughter in Portland, the Hokema 9 note pentatonic that we got from you earlier. They enjoyed playing those together too, as did the grandchildren.
Mark, I appreciate very much the kalimba you sold me last year, and the wonderful newsletter you put out. The love for the instrument and the music shines through it all and I am inspired by your efforts. I am just an old guy (age 50)who likes to lay in bed at night and plunk around on my kalimba and see what I can figure out. LOL I owe you many hours of great fun and musical adventure!
I'd also like to say thank you for your very informative homepage and all the beautiful movies on youtube. I was not really interested in musical things before, but after I was watching your movies, I can't get enough information about the kalimba and music theory.
Anyway, thanks so much Mark! The kalimba was waiting outside my door when I got home last night and it surpassed my expectations. It just sounds beautiful! I fooled around with it quite a bit last night before making it to bed, and it's already my wife's new favorite instrument :D
I bought one of your Kalimbas a few years ago and I've loved it to death ever since. It has become one of my most valued possessions. Keep up the beautiful work.
After years of playing piano andy other keyboards professionally, I now get to carry my instrument everywhere I go. I get to play riding in cars, walking in the woods, etc. and it is a great convenience. I also love that, having a chromatic, I can play 'any song in any key.' Great for playing with other instruments or along with singers.
Thanks for the fine instrument you provided and thanks for setting it up in C for me. The C tuning has allowed me to quickly improve my playing using knowledge I already have.
I am enjoying learning the 8 note ( trying to get beyond my clumsy fingers). The [8 note] book you recommend and sent is so informative and necessary, I, with my little knowledge of music could not do without it....You will be hearing from me again, matter of fact I have a friend that may be interested in purchasing a kalimba also.
Just letting you know that the kalimba arrived yesterday! It sounds better than I ever imagined it could and it plays more intuitively than anything I've ever come across! Thanks for all your help.
I came home from work today, and found quite a pleasant surprise on my doorstep: The Catania 6-Note Pentatonic kalimba is very good for anyone and everyone, and is incredibly easy to just play. I suggest this one for anyone wanting to just fiddle around and play something for a nature-y ambiance. Thanks, Mark!
I received my Catania electric kalimba today, when I got home from work, and my wife is gone for a few days. Perfect timing for some free-time to play kalimba. The Catania electric is a wonderful instrument!!!! I have the amp on high volume, flanger and delay up...... and this instrument sings! It plays itself. We're a bunch of old hippies. Living the simple life and playing our kalimbas. Thanks for this instrument Mark. I really mean that.
The little 2B 9 note was waiting for me when I got home today. What a sweet, heavenly, joyous sounding instrument!
Mark, I do have the KTabS reader, so it's not a problem! I looked at some of the songs, and really liked them. It's great for expanding my repertoire and gives me new melodic ideas. Thanks!!!
You're a great player, I like your playing style so much, you're music is a poetry.
Few mornings are finer than when there is a new Kalimba Magic newsletter!
Thank you very much for making the Transposing Wheel available. I appreciate very much the effort that you have put into the development of this tool. I am always on the look out for ideas/devices that model fundamental knowledge in new or unique ways. You never know what our brains will pattern-match against and give rise to new or deeper understanding. I have worked it with several "thought" experiments and really like what I see so far.
Peter Hokema's comments on the Sansula Book:
...it's very extensive... I like it very much. It has lots of useful information and gives inspiration to check new things out. Especially the playalongs on the CD are very helpful.
I also appreciate very much the videos you've put on youtube. Especially the last one with the bass is great! You are really a fantastic player.
Peter Hokema, Inventor of the Sansula 2010
Mark Holdaway's book The Student Karimba has the potential to open doors wide for students of all ages to experience authentic African music. The book includes well-researched background information and sound teaching tips; breaking songs down into component parts for easy understanding. The tablature notation is nothing short of ingenious---easier than "painting by the numbers" --- and almost instantly you are playing real African music and connecting with a centuries-old tradition. The accompanying CD recording is beautifully done --- makes me want to play along! Mark Holdaway has a real gift for connecting with people through this universal music.
B. Michael Williams, Mbira professor, 2010
Thanks again for great quality and fantastic learning materials, keep up the good work!
Just a little mail to say ouawww ! I am so pleased !!! The parcel came very quickly, only one week to get to France, the two kalimbas are absolutely beautiful, I think I am in love !
I used to play a little bit the guitar and the piano but now I have a polyarthrisis and my hands are very crooked. My husband plays the djembe and the didgeridoo and I was a little sad not to be able to make a sound. My thumbs, however are still available and they can't get off the kalimba since it has arrived. Your books are great, what to say more ? You made me enter this year with joy and music. Thank you so much !
P.S Thank you also for the extra book and CD !
Infinite Gratitude for the magical musical gift of a Kalimba! I just ordered my first Kalimba a few months ago and have been playing just about every day, learning tunes and letting them come through--it has certainly been a joyous experience.
Hello Mark...received the 2B Kalimba today. You're right, the little darling plays by itself. This pearl puts me in heaven and I'm still on earth. What a feeling!
I recently ordered the Goshen 11-note box kalimba as a birthday gift for my girlfriend. I just wanted you to know how happy I was with the quality of the instrument, as well as the speedy delivery. I gave the kalimba to her yesterday, and she was thrilled - she didn't put it down all day. Thanks so much for helping to make her birthday a special day.
Your CDs are rich and brilliant. Love them!!! I listened to them almost the entire evening at work, and the tension drifted away. Should be peaceful today, since I will probably be the only one in the shop at that time, so I'll turn it up without the earphones. I am not sure if the extra CD's will be gifts or donations, I may even have to give one to my physician, and I will probably order more in the future. God bless!!!
And thanks for blessing the lives of others with your talents.
After playing for some time lots of new ideas and tunes came along and hopefully I will have the chance to work on them soon! It is a wonderful instrument indeed! I also quick checked the book you wrote and found it very useful! I will go through the book more carefully in order to gain more intimacy with the Kalimba. Congratulations for your work!
When I arrived home, the 8-note Catania student karimba had arrived for my husband's birthday. It's perfect, he loves it, we play together for hours outdoors in the evenings, while fireflies float around us. Thanks so much for your vital role in bringing these magical instruments to the public.
The other night I watched the Pete Seeger: Power Of Song (2007) dvd ( see it if you haven't ) and I like to tell you that your mission parallels his in several ways - your positive high energy, your bringing music to the people to be made by the people, and the inspiration, peace, healing, & joy you are spreading through your being, Kalimbas & the Kalimba Magic business. As I am inspired and grateful for Pete Seeger's life work, I feel similarly about what I've experienced of your work. Thank you and I wish you all the success possible.
The instrument, kalimba, is beautiful! I am a music educator and am learning more about the instrument as I plan to use it in our Orff Curriculum at school. It's easy to learn, and even my 19 month old son is enjoying every minute when I let him play my 8-tone Kalimba. I am pleased to have discovered this through your website as I was researching instruments that we can use for the school. Instead of buying expensive instruments, I think that we can utilize these Kalimbas for our children's orchestra. Thank you again and may God bless you all!
MN Miravite, 2010
When I open the package, I thought there is nothing to me, just to Enes and Arda... Then I saw your CD to me ) Mark, I screamed, just as when I got my karimba months ago) I listen to it 2 times and it is still in the loop and playing. All tracks are unique and takes me on a trip into my mind. I really cannot define my happiness with words I know.
I wish you could see the eyes of Enes and screams of Arda when they touch to their kalimbas) they were happy as childs... I re-tuned both of them to accompany my karimba (they also like the Gm scale).
With an uncanny power to mesmerize, the kalimba is a unique instrument with ancient roots and world wide influence. Considering the ease of play, affordability and quality sound of the kalimba, it is a wonder that the instrument isn’t a household item, much less a well-used part of music.
Your note said that the [Goshen] kalimba had been retuned, but somehow I thought that you had just tweaked the tuning a bit. I didn't realize that you had to retune the whole thing -- oh my! I really appreciate it and am extremely grateful that you did.
The kalimba works fine with the [11-note] exercises that I downloaded. Being in the key of D instead of G is no problem. So far, I am on exercise #5, which I like a lot -- it sounds beautiful. I find the exercises to be well thought out and help with thumb dexterity and coordination (I definitely need to work on that).
Thanks for ... your overall helpfulness!
I'm spreading the word about kalimbas everywhere I go. I think you will be getting more orders from this area as I give your website to everyone who asks. And ask they do, everytime they hear it!
Did I tell you that I recently went to Pennsylvania when my 86 year-old mother had gall bladder surgery. I played the kalimba (that is probably an exaggeration, but I am learning) while she and her hospital roommate slept after surgeries, and both of them later told me how much it relaxed them. It is truly a magical and healing sound.
Hi Mark - I got the Sansula today and it is just lovely. What a beautiful sound! The Kalimbas are all so different and I love each and every one I've got! They are all fun to play and make beautiful music... Thanks for bringing the Kalimba to us all in such a warm and encouraging way, it is a pleasure dealing with you :))
The sansula has arrived and it sounds wonderful! Thank you so much for your effort. It got here so quickly! I love the sound and cant wait to hear it with my halo. I wish I had 4 hands! My girlfriend will be home soon and I am very excited for the two instruments to be played together! Thank you again.
Thanks, Mark, and for your thoughtful customer service (I’m a marketing professor and appreciate this stuff).
The info on that link is GREAT! I can't wait to explore it further. Yes, please do sign me up for the newsletter. I appreciate your quick response and your willingnes to guide without "trying to sell something". Your site alone is a phenomenal guide. Thanks again.
I had the opportunity to attend your presentation at the AMTA conference in San Diego. It was one of the most interesting and eye opening sessions I've attended in a long time. I did not know much - if anything - about kalimbas when I entered the room, but I sure learned a lot and got hooked on their wonderful sound.
Everyone that I've introduced to the kalimba magic site has been fascinated. Thanks for all you do, and many thanks for coming to present at the San Diego conference.
Just a note to tell you I'm very happy with the 12-note Catania gourd kalimba and the Goshen 11-note I ordered. The workmanship/woodwork is better than expected for the price and I'm impressed with the sound of both.
Each has a unique sound and feel, though I'll never understand why they're called thumb pianos when they sound more to me like kind of an ethereal marimba. Looks like I've got some enjoyable learning to do. And they showed up exactly when you folks said they would even though the gourd was out of stock when I initially ordered it. That's a big plus.
Expect I'll be graduating to a Hugh Tracey or two eventually, but won't neglect these.
I found out about kalimbas while watching a DVD of Bela Fleck hunting up authentic musicians in Africa and playing with them. I'm sure you're aware of it, but if not the DVD is "Throw Down Your Heart," a real eye opener and one of the most interesting music documentaries I've seen. Great fun to watch a banjo god like Fleck work with world-class players of kalimba.
Again, thank you. And the personal note about tuning the Catania and Goshen together was a nice personal touch. Completely unexpected, but very welcome in a time when customer service usually means waiting on the phone for an hour to accomplish nothing.
Needless to say, I'll be turning people on to your site.
I saw on youtube how you play work Nowhere Man. Great thing. You are master. I ask send me the tabulaturę on alto kalimbe of this song. I greet from Poland
My goal at some point in time is to get a loop pedal and go out and busk with kalimba, karimba and Mbira. I also play didgeridoo but that is alot of hard work and after 16 years of playing it I find the kalimba is a much needed break......not only that but I am addicted to it (Kalimba is so meditative!!).
The CD is wonderful and will be played often. Keep doing what you're doing. You have a beautiful and unique thing going on. It has been a pleasure working with you to start my kalimba journey.
The karimba is wonderful, I can't stop playing it. It is so responsive and enchanting. The chromatic is fun, especially for playing western music, I like squeezing out chords, and the C tuning is great for reading off a piano score. We also both enjoy playing just the pentatonic side. I love your book, the tablature is so easy to understand, (in comparison to Andrew Tracey's which I have yet to wrap my brain around.)(But I appreciate his creation of this magical instrument.) Thanks for sending out the CD. We may later be ordering another karimba.
Sue Thompson, 2010
Received the kalimba today safe and sound. I sat down with it and before I knew it an hour had gone by. It sounds great; I'm very happy with it.
Your website is a fantastic resource, and your passion is both uplifting and infectious - thank you.
I received the Alaska Piks and they're amazing!! So this is what it's like to have nails!! ;-) I can play the notes much more clearly with these. Thank you! and thank you for the spare, too. I appreciate it. Have a great day! Happy kalimbaing!