30 March 2019

Little Bits of Music - Playing Scales 6

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements, Tips

An example of a song that uses the A Minor Scale

Little Bits of Music - Playing Scales 6

This series of tips is about scales and how useful they are for the kalimba player.

Really, this song lives in the A minor scale. It breathes the air and drinks the water of A minor. It knows the curves and twists of A minor, and it follows them. It is founded on the land of A minor.

OK - I like to be dramatic.

Do you remember the song "Those Were the Days, My Friend"? That is an example of a song that lives and breathes in a minor scale.


(By the way, the tablature here is for a 17-Note Kalimba in C, but the concept and even the tablature is the same for many other types of kalimbas.)

The opening line of the song is "Once upon a time there was a tavern" - and that line is reproduced in this tablature. Most of the notes are adjacent to each other in the scale. The melody goes from A up to D, and then comes back down to A.

This is common in melodies, to go up a bit, and then to go down a bit. It is very useful to practice going up a small scale segment, and then to come down. There are many shapes you can make, going down and up, or down a bit and up more. Experiment!

About the Author

Mark Holdaway

Mark Holdaway

Mark Holdaway has been playing kalimba for over 30 years.  He invented his kalimba tablature in 2004, and has been writing books and instructional materials for kalimba ever since.  His business, Kalimba Magic, is based on the simple proposition that the kalimba is a real musical instrument capable of greatness.  Mark's kalimba books are a down payment on this proposition.