The Alto Kalimba is the most popular type of kalimba sold
by Kalimba Magic.
The Hugh Tracey Alto Kalimba
Check out the video below, which shows me playing one of my songs, First Look Inside, on an Alto Kalimba.
You can learn more about tablature or learn more about KTabS, the
Kalimba Tablature Software, which actually "plays" the tablature on your computer.
Alto Kalimba Tunings
There are many other tunings for the Hugh Tracey Alto Kalimba,
but I recommend that you start with the standard G major tuning.
Most of the tips, tablature, and books were written for the
standard tuning, so a good path to follow is to keep your kalimba
in the key of G for a year or two or three as you learn, and
then branch out into other tunings as you progress.
Standard tuning for the Hugh Tracey Alto Kalimba.
Three Blues Tunings for the Alto
Three different blues tunings for the Alto kalimba
Books and Downloads for the Alto Kalimba
||Kalimba Fundamentals for the Hugh Tracey Alto Kalimba is a good introduction for Alto, TM Alto, or Celeste Alto kalimbas.
(Also works for the Bb Treble, D Treble kalimbas, and the front side of
the G-tuned Chromatic kalimba.)
Covers technique, chords, scales, left-right exercises, some songs, 32 pages
||Kalimba Christmas Carols for the Alto and Treble Kalimbas has 25 favorite Christmas Carols, ranging from simple single note melody lines
to two note harmonies, full harmonies, and counterpoint. 32 pages with CD.
||21 African American Spirituals for Alto Kalimba arr. by Mark Holdaway,
is available in both
The kalimba was first brought to the new world by African slaves, and some people must have
played on the kalimba while singing African American spirituals.
In this sense, the Alto kalimba is a symbol of the blend
of African and Western traditions. The download provides both KTabS and
PDF format, the book comes with a CD.
||Advanced Christmas Carols for the Alto Kalimba arr. by Mark Holdaway,
is available as a
Book or as a
download. Both have 20 favorite Christmas Carols, the download
provides KTabS files, tablature PDFs, and MP3s of the songs played by KTabS,
letting you hear how the piece goes. These arrangements are
very close to what I perform at Christmas time.
||Alto Kalimba Hymnal arr. by Sharon Eaton, this book
has 50 hymns, ranging from simple to difficult.
Amazing Grace, How Can I Keep From Singing,
Jesus Loves Me, There is a Balm in Gilead,
What a Friend We Have in Jesus, and 45 others.
Classical Alto, arr. by Mark Holdaway
and Sharon Eaton, is available in book form or as a
download from KTabS.
Both have 20 favorite classical melodies, ranging from simple to
very challenging. Bach, Handel, Holst, Pachelbel, and many others,
this collection will keep you busy for months, if not years.
||Kalimba Duets and Trios includes 32 duets and trios for alto, treble, pentatonic, 8-note,
karimba, sansula, treblito, and Cloud Nine marimbula (bass kalimba).
72 pages, no CD, but free KTabS files.
10 Traditional Karimba Pieces for Alto arr. by Mark Holdaway.
These karimba pieces were transmitted to Andrew Tracey and Dumisari
through Jega Tapera in the 1960s. They could be as much as 1000 years old.
These arrangements for the Alto kalimba are provided in both KTabS and
PDF format. MP3s (recordings of songs played in KTabS) let you hear how the piece goes,
even if you aren't able to run KTabS on your computer. Available as download only.
||12 Easter Hymns for Alto Kalimba arr. by Mark Holdaway.
Each hymn comes in both a (B) basic and an (A) advanced arrangement.
Basic parts are melody only, while
advanced parts come with harmony and some counterpoint.
These hymns are provided in both KTabS and
PDF format, but MP3s are not yet available. Available only as download.
||Introductory Pieces for the Happy Family by Mark Holdaway.
The Happy Family is an Alto, a Treble, and a HotShot-11 kalimba, all tuned to
G so they can communicate and harmonize like a good family at its best.
To help turn folks on to the possibilities of this serendipitous ensemble, I have started to write
music. At this point, the download is small and FREE!
Available as download only.
Articles on the Alto Kalimba
We often write newsletter stories that reference the Alto or provide new music for it.
Tips for the Alto Kalimba
The Tuesday Tips and the
are filled with insights and guidance for developing skills on the Alto kalimba.
Below is a list of selected tips. Note that
most of them use tablature.
Still Have Alto Kalimba Questions?
If you still have questions after reading this, please
send me a message to let me know what you
need to find out.
Last updated Nov 2011