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18 December 2015

Free Tablature - Learn "Carol of the Bells"

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

Free PDF and KTabS Tablature for Alto, Treble, B flat Treble, and Chromatic Kalimbas

Free Tablature - Learn

"Carol of the Bells" is not only a beautiful song that is great to learn on the kalimba, it is also a strategic stronghold of kalimba technique. The basic music consists of two different parts played at the same time, which in this case is not that hard. If you can learn this song, you will be entering the marvelous world of playing two voices of music at the same time on kalimba. Not up for heavy lifting? Please enjoy the video of me performing "Carol of the Bells" on the Alto Kalimba.

07 December 2015

"First Look Inside" - Tablature for Alto Kalimba

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

You can download the tablature for this Hit Youtube Kalimba song for free!

You can get free tablature for the song "First Look Inside", performed on the Hugh Tracey Alto kalimba by Mark Holdaway.

With over 1 million views, "First Look Inside" qualifies as my first YouTube Hit, and hundreds of people have asked for the tablature to this song. It is part of the "Advanced Alto Download", but it is also available for free in this blog article, in both PDF and KTabS formats.

16 November 2015

Playing SaReGaMa's Lotus and Freygish Karimbas Together

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

Three tines need to be retuned on the Freygish Karimba

Playing SaReGaMa's Lotus and Freygish  Karimbas Together

The SaReGaMa-tuned Karimbas are one of the coolest developments in the kalimba world in recent years.  This article shows you how to make the Lotus-tuned Karimba and the Freygish-tuned Karimba sing together!

07 December 2015

Return of The Afroharp

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

This clever 1970s kalimba is back - or at least its note arrangement is back, on a Catania body

Return of The Afroharp

The Afroharp, one of the more interesting early Hugh Tracey kalimba competitors, hasn't been manufactured since the 1970s. I have brought it back, putting its 13 notes onto a Catania body. OK, this isn't a real Afroharp, but the notes are the same as the Afroharp. This is a pretty interesting note arrangement, borrowing from the pentatonic kalimba tunings as well as from the karimba layout. It plays its own music.

25 November 2015

Using the 6-Note Songbook on Any Kalimba

Posted in News and Announcements

If you are having difficulty finding your way around a big kalimba, step back and simplify

Using the 6-Note Songbook on Any Kalimba

If you would like to play specific songs on your kalimba but you don't know where to start, or if you feel you haven't really connected well with your kalimba, you might want to consider getting the 6-Note Pentatonic Song Book.

13 November 2017

On "Just" tuning and A = 432 Hz

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

An Easy Way To Do It, Even If You Don't Do Math

On

"Just" intonation is tuning based on the notion that ratios of frequencies should be ratios of simple whole numbers. That is a complicated way of saying: the distance between notes in a scale should be simple. And it turns out the ear agrees: "just" intervals sound more pleasing than what your $20 digital tuner or your cell phone app will lead you to tune.

We'll explain a simple way you can get most of the benefit of a just tuning.

Oh, and 432 Hz? We'll talk about that too. While I understand 432 has some avid proponents, I myself do not perceive any musical or therapeutic benefit to a 432 Hz reference compared to a 440 Hz reference, but we'll explain how to do that too.

06 December 2017

Welcome to Kalimba Magic

Posted in News and Announcements

Quality, Selection Support and Service

Welcome to Kalimba Magic

 2017 HOLIDAY SAVINGS

Recieve 25% off popular Hugh Tracy Acoustic Altos,Trebles and Pentatonic Box Mounted kalimbas. Save a whopping 30% on songbooks; including music and instructional downloadsFind over 100 unique thumbpiano instruments in our on-line catalogue. Don't forget to listen to all of them with our KALIMBA MAGIC APP.  Find Links to all this and more below our Christmas Video.

07 December 2017

Christmas Kalimba Videos

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

Christmas Carols are so so beautiful on kalimba

Playing Christmas Carols on the kalimba was my big breakthrough back in 2002. People in my home town were not taking the kalimba very seriously as an instrument. I had been casually working on Christmas carols for about three years, and I decided that I really needed to step up my game.

I put together a medley of 12 Christmas songs in 12 minutes, telling the emotional story of Christmas: searching for God in the darkness, the birth of Jesus, and the joy of all creation. And back in 2002, I worked the medley for an hour a day for two months, and my performance in Tucson was a knockout!

05 September 2018

My Neighbor's Dog Loves Kalimba

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

Well... he recognizes me by my kalimba playing

My Neighbor's Dog Loves Kalimba

A woman was walking her big black dog over to the fence where Gus is likely to greet neighbors and other dogs. I was playing kalimba on my morning walk as I approached. At first, Gus - a very friendly white dog with black spots - trotted over to great the neighbor dog, but then he cocked his head and raised an ear, as if he was being directed for a movie - and he ran the other way.

At first I didn't get it - but then we stopped near the front gate and rolled over on his back, waiting for me to come to the spot where I first pet him about a year ago.

21 November 2018

Play WIth the Intention of Love

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

Kalimba is a tool for connecting, soul to soul

Play WIth the Intention of Love

This holiday season, give the gift of kalimba music, from you to the people in your life.

Play from the heart, and play the truth and emotion and love that you have within you for those around you.

The kalimba seems to be a very simple instrument. You can control which tine you play and when you play it, and you can control the volume of each note... but it is not like a violin, a saxophone, a trumpet, a guitar, or a voice, where the musician can bend the note and exuberantly emote.

Yet, the kalimba has an expressive magic all its own. My message to you today: Use the powers of the kalimba to express and emote, with love.

27 March 2019

EZ Numbers-Based eBook for Almost Any Kalimba

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

Give the new eBook a Test Drive for Free

EZ Numbers-Based eBook for Almost Any Kalimba

My gift to the kalimba world is kalimba tablature. It is expressive and elegant. It can display any sort of music, and it reflects my internal conceptualization of the kalimba and its music.

However, not everyone likes my vertical tablature.

If the tablature is too much for you, you might want to try the Numbers-based approach.

Soon, I am going to have a full length Numbers-based book available for sale. Until then, I offer you this short "demo version" of the book for free.

13 August 2019

Duets for 10-Note and 17-Note Kalimbas

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

The new ebook will show you some great ways two kalimbas can play together

Duets for 10-Note and 17-Note Kalimbas

The 10-Note and 17-Note kalimbas work really well together, mainly because their notes (tines) match exactly. 

This book is a broad exploration of some of the ways that two kalimbas can fit together. Typically, the 17-Note parts will be more advanced than the 10-Note parts, but not always!

Playing kalimba together is an amazing way to be close to another human being. This book is intended to help people get close together. Grandparent and grandchild? Yes! Parent and child? Yes! Friends? Yes! Lovers? Spouses? Yes!!

I invite you to learn more about this ebook!

14 August 2019

Dots, Ties, and Triplets in Kalimba Tablature

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

The notes of a song don't always stick to standard lengths. Here's how we indicate the unusual notes in tablature.

Dots, Ties, and Triplets in Kalimba Tablature

The standard types of notes last 1 beat, or 2 beats, or 4 beats... or going the other way, 1/2 beat, or 1/4 beat, or 1/8 beat. What if you want to play a note that lasts some other length, like three beats, or 3/4 of a beat?

There are two symbols in the standard notation system - dots and ties - that are used to modify the length of the basic note types to give you a note that lasts other lengths. In this post we elaborate on how longer composite notes are built with dots and ties, and how to play them.

24 August 2019

Violin and mbira

Written by Klara Wojtkowska, Posted in News and Announcements

Playing Violin with traditional Mbira Music

Violin and mbira

Klara Wojtkowska is an accomplished musician and playwright among many other things. She is on a spiritual journey that blends ancient ceremonies with music (recently in Peru and Zimbabwe) where she seeks transformation for herself and others.

Violin and mbira, they do go together. Violin and modern mbira, yes, but equally – violin and traditional mbira music. When people ask me about the album that I am working on (launching later this year), this is what I tell them: it is a fusion of Zimbabwe and Poland. The voice of the mbira and Shona [culture and language] come from Zimbabwe; the voice of the violin and Polish come from Poland. Together, they make something new. What is important is not the details, but the spirit of the songs.

25 August 2019

Sage advice for performing on Kalimba

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

30 Years of Kalimba Performance Experience Might Assist You on Your Kalimba Path

Sage advice for performing on Kalimba

Everyone has their own learning style, from totally alone wandering in the wilderness, to working with a book, to a full teacher-student relationship. And no matter what our personal style is, good tips from a veteran along the way can be of monumental importance. Being a great kalimba performer stems directly from being a great kalimba player.

We may be deep into our own learning journey, and a few good words of advice could be very very welcome. And if we are starting out then how great of a gift is it to get a brief guide to the best habits to develop so we have the best shot at growing into a good musician and competent performer?

This post comes directly from the heart of someone who has been there, knows all the ropes, the pains and pitfalls and pleasures to becoming a master at kalimba, and he provides invaluable insight and memorable pointers for all kalimba players, gently encouraging self knowledge, hard work, and joy. 

                                                                                    - Sara Edelman, editor at Kalimba Magic

26 August 2019

Playing Guitar with the Sansula

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

Exploring Chords for Accompanying the Sansula in Standard Tuning

Playing Guitar with the Sansula

A main part of the philosophy of western musical instruments is to provide as many sonic possibilities as possible - hence the piano keyboard, with seven octaves of fully chromatic notes.

A main part of the philosophy of the kalimba is that it has exactly the notes it needs to create a particular scale or a particular song. Every note on a kalimba is important and useful. A particular kalimba's scale, or tuning, will span a particular "music space" which contains the musical possibilities of that scale. And there are "way many" music spaces and there are also "way many" kalimba tunings. 

One of my most favorite activities is to explore new kalimba tunings and their music spaces - ie, the different possibilities these tunings create.

However, as much as I love to explore and map all of these exotic music spaces, sometimes I forget to cover the most basic tuning of an instrument. In this post, I go back and analyze the Sansula's standard mystical and enchanting tuning, and then I relate the Sansula's tuning to exactly how I accompany the Sansula on my guitar. 

27 August 2019

Take Your 8-Note (or 10-Note) Kalimba Playing to the Next Level

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

How? By slightly retuning one tine, and by getting our new ebook

Take Your 8-Note (or 10-Note) Kalimba Playing to the Next Level

If you have an 8-Note or a 10-Note kalimba, you may have learned "Joy to the World," "Ba Ba Black Sheep," and "Doe, a Deer" or various other simple songs. But what do you do next?

Typically, when someone masters a kalimba, they search for another kalimba challenge - usually a bigger or more exotic kalimba. However, I offer you another path, and it's right in front of you! A very simple modification of your 8-Note or 10-Note kalimba will transform it into a new tuning, with a new repertoire - essentially providing you with the challenge of a new kalimba without having to acquire another one.

Just how do you accomplish this very simple transformation? I'll show you! And once you have your "new" kalimba, it will be capable of playing all the songs in our newly published ebook 32 Songs for the 8-Note (or 10-Note) Kalimba.

08 September 2019

Selecting Songs for a Kalimba Performance

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

From my experiences in the past

Selecting Songs for a Kalimba Performance

One kalimba associate asks: "How do I choose the songs to play at my kalimba performance?"

Well, you want songs that connect with meaning and significance to you... and also to your audience.

Even though your kalimba is probably not a traditional African instrument, I ask you to consider it nonetheless as a sacred instrument, capable of touching people, moving people, healing people, and helping people be their best. Of course, that means both the musician and the audience. Seemingly a tall order, but the magical kalimba is suited for it.

And the songs you choose can play into this narrative.

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