Articles tagged with: Kalimba instruction

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!

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.

27 July 2019

Middle Eastern Tuned 17-Note Kalimba

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

It plays Moody, complex, mysterious music. And here's a new eBook just for the Middle Eastern-Tuned 17-Note Kalimba

Middle Eastern Tuned 17-Note Kalimba

This Middle Eastern tuning makes amazingly beautiful, powerful, exotic music. It is really a journey I can recommend to most anyone. The music you can play in this kalimba tuning takes you around the world in its musical expressions. I find this music to be so beautiful,  I recommend you purchase the download just to listen to the recordings that come with, even if you don't play kalimba.

If your 17-Note kalimba is in the key of C, you will need to slightly modify the tuning. You should find that it is not too difficult to change the tuning of your kalimba to this Middle Eastern tuning.

21 June 2019

Kalimba Americana for 17-Note Kalimba in C

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

This eBook has Songs From the Soul of America... arranged for your kalimba

Kalimba Americana for 17-Note Kalimba in C

For all the good and bad things you can say about my country America right now, one thing that most people can agree on is that America is a great leader in musical innovation. This has been going on for centuries, and a lot of it has to do with the huge ethnic melting pot that the land of the free has always been.

Know that this great country's great music has always brought people together, across this land and across the world. I invite you to jump into the pot yourself, and learn some of these classics on your 17-Note Kalimba in C.

09 May 2019

Exotic Minor Chords on the Freygish Karimba

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

This tiny bit of advanced music theory is very simple on the Freygish karimba

Exotic Minor Chords on the Freygish Karimba

Have you ever heard of a "minor major 7" chord? How about a "half diminished 7" chord? Yeah, at the time I had been playing kalimba as long as you probably have, I didn't either.

On the Freygish karimba, you can make the "C minor major 7" chord by simply playing the four tines on the left side of the upper row. You can play the "D half diminished 7" chord by playing the four tines on the right side of the upper row. In other words, you get them for free, and they are easy and obvious.

And THAT is the whole magic of the kalimba: each kalimba can be, and should be, set up to play its own magic in a very simple way.

25 March 2019

Kalimba Americana for Alto Kalimba

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

Play favorite folk and popular music on your Alto kalimba!

Kalimba Americana for Alto Kalimba

This is the music I grew up with - the American song book! These are some of the songs that bind us together as citizens of the great American experiment. To many of us, this is some of the sweetest music in the world!

This 54-page PDF download with clickable links to MP3 files has tablature for 29 different versions of 25 different songs. This book has enough easy songs to have a beginner playing right away, and it has enough complex songs to keep you working for months or longer!

11 March 2019

How does the Kalimba Relate to the Piano?

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

The kalimba's unique note layout really affects the music it makes

How does the Kalimba Relate to the Piano?

A customer recently asked:

"I am having a lot of trouble playing my kalimba. I took piano lessons as a child for three years and I think this is the trouble. Is there a tip to help me make sense of reading the kalimba music as opposed to reading piano music?"

The kalimba and the piano are very different instruments! Two big differences between them are that the kalimba only has a small subset of the notes the piano has, and the notes on the kalimba are arranged in a way that is fundamentally different from the arrangement on the piano.

While the general music introduction you got from piano lessons will be helpful on your kalimba journey, the specific muscle memory (and the way you think about reading and playing music) that you developed from playing piano is pretty much irrelevant to playing the kalimba.

17 February 2019

Learn to Play the 10-Note Kalimba - Revised

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

Four high quality instructional downloads will supercharge your kalimba journey

Learn to Play the 10-Note Kalimba - Revised

Kalimba Magic is the leader in kalimba instructional materials. We take that work to the next level with these four instructional eBooks for the 10-Note Kalimba in C. Three of the downloads are formatted for iPad or tablet, but you can use them on your smartphone (or any computer). Each page teaches a bite-sized bit of music. As this music is all cyclical, you repeat those four measures about a dozen times, becoming more sturdy as you go. If you want to hear what each song or pattern sounds like when played by yours truly, just touch the tablature - an MP3 will be downloaded, and you can play along with me!

The Christmas book download is formatted more like a standard book, and will print on 8.5 inch x 11 inch paper. This one is better for a computer screen or a laptop.

05 February 2019

Why Get an Alto Kalimba?

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

Let Me Count the Reasons

Why Get an Alto Kalimba?

I have recently heard from several people who were trying to purchase an Alto kalimba, but their attempts were somehow foiled. Some ignorant sellers are marketing cheaper kalimbas, claiming them to be Hugh Tracey Alto kalimbas. One fellow who was trying to get a good deal had bought two different kalimbas that claimed to be Hugh Tracey Alto kalimbas... but neither of them were! He begged me: "How am I going to get an Alto kalimba?"

Well, it isn't that hard.

I have been selling the Hugh Tracey Alto kalimba to the world since 2005. And it is one of my favorite kalimbas. I play it more than I play any of the hundreds of other kalimbas I have around me. It is like a reliable best friend that I can always count on. But the Alto is currently being overshadowed by the ubiquitous and inexpensive Chinese-made 17-note kalimbas, but it is really deserving of much more attention.

Read on to find out the most important reasons why you should have your own Alto Kalimba.

07 February 2019

Learn to play "The Wizard" Theme Song

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

This is one magical tuning

Learn to play

The Hokema B11 Kalimba - also called the "Melody Kalimba" - has a lot of untapped potential. In its standard G major tuning, it does a lot of nice music. But so many other exotic tunings are also possible, and those exotic tunings have not really been explored at all - until now. Today we are taking another look at the exotic B11 tuning that I call "The Wizard."

Last summer when I created an instructional download for the B11 Wizard tuning, I did things in the wrong order. After the download came out, I wrote an enchanting little piece of music and made a YouTube video of the song to popularize the download… it should have been IN the download, and so I never wrote down the tablature for what I call "The Wizard Theme Song."

Well – apologies for that blunder, and here is the tablature for the song now, for you, for free. Enjoy!

14 September 2018

Playing the Sansula 2.0 - Brand New Download

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

This is the download you've been waiting for

Playing the Sansula 2.0 - Brand New Download

The sansula is a wonderful, mysterious contradiction.

Whatever you play on the sansula sounds great...and the sansula also has a limited capability.

This download goes below the sweet, fluffy outer layer of the sansula's character and gives you the understandings needed to really work the instrument's potential, resulting in a lot more joy and music! Included in the ebook: the essential chord progression and melodies of the sansula in standard tuning; play along with surprisingly diverse chord progressions; accompanying another instrument; and alternative tunings - all these give you and your sansula a much wider scope of possibilities.

This ebook is a total rewrite of the 2009 book "Playing the Sansula." The download is a 53-page PDF containing live links to 49 MP3 sound files and to web pages that can help you to understand how to read tablature or how to tune your sansula.

24 August 2018

KTabS (Kalimba Tablature Software) Works in Windows 10!

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

You have to run it in compatibility mode

KTabS (Kalimba Tablature Software) Works in Windows 10!

Do you ever wonder how I create kalimba tablature? Those detailed, elongated maps of the kalimba with note symbols dancing on the tines? I use the Windows program KTabS - the Kalimba Tablature Software. This program changed my life, my productivity, and how the rest of the world learns and creates new kalimba music too!

KTabS is an old program, and for the last few years, the KTabS website indicated the program would not run on the most current Windows operating systems.

But the big news today: I heard from the creators and owners of KTabS, Randy and Sharon Eaton, that KTabS DOES run on computers running Windows 10 - you just have to run it in compatibility mode. Click through to learn how to do that... or to learn why you should have KTabS.

24 August 2018

New Exotic B11 Tuning: The Four WInds

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

This one plays in four different scales, without retuning a single note

New Exotic B11 Tuning: The Four WInds

I love to fall in love. Who doesn't? Yes, it is a bit chaotic, and your plans might go out the window, but the blissful feeling of falling in love? Of discovering and sharing each's inner secrets?

That is why I devote myself to exploring new exotic tunings on the various kalimbas - because each new tuning is an opportunity to fall in love.

I can't really tell which kalimba or tuning I will fall in love with, but I know it when it happens. All of a sudden, I understand, and the movement of my thumbs on the tines starts to flow, and we are working as one.

I just fell in love with the B11 "Four Winds" tuning, and I feel happy to be able to present to you four opportunities for you to do the same, all in one kalimba.

01 August 2018

Free Tablature: SaReGaMa's Freygish Song

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

This will help you learn this challenging karimba solo

Free Tablature: SaReGaMa's Freygish Song

Do you know SaReGaMa's story? He received a Hugh Tracey Karimba as a gift, but it was out of tune, so he started inventing his own tunings. Every few weeks, he would change the notes on the karimba, until it played the kind of music he wanted to play just then. He would play the karimba in its new tuning for a few days and become comfortable with it. Then, he would record and videotape an improvisation on that new karimba tuning.

That is how we got SaReGaMa Lotus, Air, and Freygish tunings.

If you have a Freygish-tuned karimba, I have a treat for you!

13 July 2018

New Exotic B11 Tuning: The Wizard

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

This is one magical tuning

New Exotic B11 Tuning: The Wizard

The Hokema B11 Kalimba - also called the "Melody Kalimba" - has a lot of untapped potential. In its standard G major tuning, it does a lot of nice music. But so many other exotic tunings are also possible, and the exotic tunings have not really been explored at all - until now. Today we are looking at the exotic B11 tuning that I call "The Wizard." 

An exotic tuning can take a kalimba to a new and magical place, transforming the music it plays and the experience you have with it.

At Kalimba Magic laboratories, we took all the B11 tunings we could think of and played them all - and then selected the five best tunings. For the next five months, we will present a new exotic B11 tuning, including a recording or video and a short instructional download for each one.

18 July 2018

66 Songs for the 17-Note Kalimba in C

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

The 66 Songs Download has been replaced with user friendly 44-Beginners-Songs and 33-Intermediate-Songs

66 Songs for the 17-Note Kalimba in C

The 44 songs in the download were taken from various Kalimba Magic collections and modified for use with the 17-Note "Treble" Kalimba in the key of C, which is sold under a great many brand names at this time - Donner, Walter, Heart-17, and Gecko, among others.  The collections that went into this download include: African American Spirituals, traditional African karimba tunes, classical pieces, folk and pop music, Americana and patriotic, and some children's songs.

These songs are rated by difficulty, with songs in each category between 1 and 5.

06 June 2018

My Experience Learning to Play on the 10-Note Heart Kalimba

Written by Sara Edelman, Posted in News and Announcements

True confessions of an old musical dog learning new tricks

My Experience Learning to Play on the 10-Note Heart Kalimba

All my life I've been a musician. My family sang together, I played and loved piano (even piano lessons), sang in all kinds of groups growing up, and played recorder, pennywhistle, and a bit of guitar. I mostly sing and play pennywhistle these days. Classical and folk, and world music were and are my stomping grounds.

Reading music was always the key to the door into the musical world. Never a brilliant music reader, I made my way through it and very happily discovered new melodies. In my adult life reading music has not been a focus for me, rather I mostly play and sing by ear with others.

21 July 2018

Mark Holdaway, Special Guest on the 'Car Sessions with Karl' series

Written by Sara Edelman, Posted in News and Announcements

Great jamming and a whirlwind tour of Kalimba Magic headquarters

Mark Holdaway, Special Guest on the 'Car Sessions with Karl' series

Karl Von Packal is the host of Car Sessions with Karl, a Youtube phenomenon. Mark is invited by Karl to participate in some jamming in Karl’s vehicle, where Karl has done the same with a variety of other interesting musical monsters, including Mike Ankomeus, Mark’s band mate and employee. Mark also takes us on a quick tour of Kalimba Magic’s humble headquarters, and talks a bit about the kalimba’s story and culture (see the Black History month presentation in this newsletter for much more on this). We are treated with clips of the two musicians improvising some great music while sitting in Karl’s vehicle, covered by several video cameras.

06 June 2018

New In Stock - The 10-Note Heart Kalimba - a great kalimba to start on

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

Very economical, high quality, Great for Students, plays great music

New In Stock - The 10-Note Heart Kalimba - a great kalimba to start on

Kalimba Magic is known for selling some of the best kalimbas in the world, but we have been a bit sparse in the student kalimba department. That all changes right now.

We have long known that sooner or later, the Chinese would start manufacturing kalimbas, and, eventually, good ones. That day has arrived, and rather than stick its head in the sand, Kalimba Magic is embracing these new Chinese-made kalimbas - in part because they perfectly fill our gap of entry-level instruments in the Kalimba Magic catalog, and in part because these are really nice kalimbas that I think anyone would be happy to own - a child, a beginning adult, or an experienced player.

 I invite you to check out the 10-Note Heart Kalimba. 

11 June 2018

An Interesting Kalimba Purchase Strategy

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

Buy the Download First

An Interesting Kalimba Purchase Strategy

I have a few customers who purchase mainly downloads from Kalimba Magic. One wants to get the music because he is interested in using it in his video work. Another just likes to hear what new music is available for the kalimba. But there is a growing group of people who see the downloads as a collection of music that is representative of what a particular kalimba style or tuning has to offer. 

As such, the download is a key that opens some of the secrets that the kalimba has to offer.

11 June 2018

Three Against Two for Structure - 1

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

The Fabric of a simple "Three against Two" pattern is strong enough to be the foundation of a song

Three Against Two for Structure - 1

What does "John Huffington" have to do with the classic African three-against-two multi-rhythm?

I don't know a John Huffington, but here's his name, embodied in this rhythmic riff when I play it on the Hugh Tracey Alto Kalimba.

When I fall into the groove of this pattern, I hear my kalimba saying  the name "John Huffington."

The three against two pattern requires that one thumb play one thing (three notes) in the same space as the other thumb is playing something else (two notes). And repeat.

You can play this sort of riff on any kalimba. This post gives you a prescription for how to accomplish the feat.

 

29 April 2018

Did you buy an inexpensive Chinese-made 17-note kalimba in C? At a loss about finding a book to help you learn?

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

OK - I can help you

Did you buy an inexpensive Chinese-made 17-note kalimba in C? At a loss about finding a book to help you learn?

Long before Kalimba Magic started writing books for the Hugh Tracey kalimba and touting the advantages of Hugh Tracey kalimbas, there was trouble afoot. A Pakistani company had started to make poor quality copies of the 17-note Hugh Tracey kalimbas. They cost about 30% of what the Hugh Tracey kalimbas sold for, but the company advertised that "tuning doesn't matter” – their instruments basically came untuned. So I really didn't have to worry all that much about the competition. Yes, people would still buy these cheap kalimbas, and they got more or less what they paid for.

Lately, however, a new 17-note Treble copy has sprung up from China. These instruments are a bit different, in large measure because they are well-tuned. Did you acquire a 17-note kalimba made in China, but cannot find any kind of instructional materials? Well, there is a ton of help for you, you just need to be aware of a difference in tuning that we will guide you into handling with ease.

19 March 2018

Run the balance between Wildness and Precision

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

Working this dialectic can expand your playing amazingly

Run the balance between Wildness and Precision

I was speaking last night with my neighbor Geo, when he said:  "Somewhere between the party animal I was in my marriage and the zen meditator I've been in my current relationship... is the real Geo."

I could see the axis, drawn in space before our eyes: on one end of the imaginary "number line" was Geo as Beer-Drinking-Good-Timing-Party-Animal... and at the other end was Geo as Peaceful-Meditating-Man. And Geo's quest right now was to feel along this axis and understand where he belongs.

In my opinion, he exists all along that axis, occupying different places at different times, as everyone does.

And the very same thing applies to wildness and precision in your kalimba playing.

14 March 2018

New and Improved Downloads

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

The Fastest Way to Learn to Play Kalimba

New and Improved Downloads

As you know, it's hard to resist the beauty of, and the urge to make, kalimba music; that's why you're here! Over many years I have written dozens of books to help a lot of people who want to learn to play these instruments. It's an ongoing project, as each different kalimba needs its own books, and new kalimba tunings and layouts are being invented (and not just by me) all the time. It ends up being a big part of my life's calling, because nobody else in the world is creating anything like this.

But while I am deep in the recesses of KM headquarters doing this, it gets lonely and quiet and I forget sometimes about why I spend my time at it.  So when I got this letter in the mail today, handwritten in pencil, I was thrilled to be reminded:

"Your kalimba tablature method is far superior to any numbers-based systems. Your method is the ONLY way I want to learn to play my kalimba!"

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