March 18, 2013
Vibrato/Wah Wah Tips for Joshua
I was watching some of your videos and I saw some
with you doing vibrato with your thumb. I would really like to try it,
but sadly I can't really get much vibrato out of my instrument.
I have tried both with the holes on the back and the hole on the
front. Please could you give me some tips.
Make a wah wah effect by playing notes on one side of the kalimba and
covering and uncovering the front sound hole with your other thumb.
Here are some things to help you with making the wah wah effect on the kalimba:
- Before you start trying to make the wah wah effect, play each note without trying vibrato - some notes in the midrange will be louder than the others - these notes will also be most affected by the wah wah - once you know which notes are naturally loudest, concentrate on THEM in the future stages - not the low or high notes.
- Do you drive a clutch car? Pushing in the clutch won't do anything until you reach that 1-2 cm range where the clutch engages/disengages. Same is true of your thumb - there is like a 1-2 mm range over the hole where it comes into effect. Playing one of the loudest notes in the mid range, experiment with exactly how close your thumb needs to be to the hole to change the tone of the note.
- The effect is increased as you increase the fraction of the hole that is covered.
- To really hear it, play two or three adjacent tines at once (use a glissando) - the wah wah effect will make one note louder and another note softer, and you can really hear the relative effect.
- If you cover the two little holes on the back while also covering the larger sound hole on the front,
you will make a stronger "wah" effect. Try covering and uncovering all three holes together.
By the way, this is the sort of useful information you get in the
Kalimba Fundamentals for Alto Kalimba Book.
We also have a
Kalimba Fundamentals for Treble Kalimba Book.
Thanks so much for the tips.
I can really get some good vibrato now
on my C note on my treble.