In This Issue

This month I share with you a hard lesson from twenty years ago that will fuel me on a lifelong kalimba fixing mission. I estimate there are between 100,000 and 1,000,000 old rusty kalimbas in America that are hopelessly out of tune and functionally useless in their current state, but I am convinced that I could bring most of them back to a productive and beautiful life.
Surprisingly few music therapists have used the kalimba in their practice, but a kalimba revolution has begun. Meet music therapist, Michelle Erfurt, who has embarked on the study of the kalimba with the objective of incorporating it into her practice. Over the next few newsletters, Michelle will share with us the story of her kalimba journey.
In March at the Mid Atlantic Region (MAR) of the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) meeting, I worked a table across from Kaitlin, who had lost a hand in an accident as a child. As she has lived most of her life with only one hand, she is quite adept at living a normal life. She reviewed our one-handed kalimba for us and compared it with the regular 8-note kalimba.
Bernard is a great example of someone who has jumped into the kalimba world and is figuring out his own path - including electronic effects on the kalimba and even his own beautiful kalimba creations. This month, he shares what he has discovered about the AXL Thin Amp and the Line 6 Floor Pod Plus effects processor.
Catania 12-Notes
The Catania 12-Note Kalimba is ripe with possibilities, and these alternative tunings will turn your 12-Note into a whole new instrument. We provide some explanation for each tuning, a tuning chart, and a sound clip for each tuning.
Catania 12-Notes
We have a lot of really neat stuff written out for the 12-Note kalimba in tablature is in PDF and KTabS formats. After I gave this collection away to a few people, I realized: "Hey, this should be available to everyone!" And now it is.
The Bb Treble, D Treble and Alto comprise a special family of kalimbas because, together, they span all 12 western keys. The Bb Treble (my personal favorite!) can be retuned to A, B, Bb, C, or C#, while the D Treble can be retuned to C, C#, D, D#, or E, and the Alto can be retuned to F, F#, G, G#, or A. And the real beauty of this scheme is that every one of these instruments will "look and feel" like the Alto kalimba.
Yekermo Sew is a great song by Ethiopian jazz legend Mulatu Astatke, and you can see it performed on the Gm karimba on Youtube. We now offer the tablature for this awesome song for Gm or Am Karimbas.


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