May 15, 2011
Vol. 6, Num. 4
Kalimba Magic NEWS
I am somewhat frustrated with this situation, but each year African Musical Instruments raises their prices for the Hugh Tracey Kalimbas by 10%. I have questioned AMI about the rate hikes. The core rate of South African inflation has averaged about 6% per year over the last six years. However, petroleum and transportation have increased much faster than core inflation. Also, as the kiaat hardwood is becoming less available, it's cost is also increasing faster than inflation.
As the Hugh Tracey Kalimba is at the core of my livelihood, I need to also raise my Hugh Tracey prices by 10%... or more. Since the raid in Pakistan, the dollar has actually been strengthening, but in the months before that the dollar was getting pretty soggy, and the new Hugh Tracey prices also reflect the exchange rates of recent months. (One year the exchange rates actually got better as the dollar strengthened and that offset the 10% wholesale price increase I was charged, and I actually was able to keep the prices of Hugh Tracey kalimbas the same for two years. Hope for another one of those years in 2012!)
All that said - FIRST remember that you are an "In The Know" person - one of the club! And, as such, you will always remember the CAT10 coupon code from the 2010 Catalog, good for 10% off when you order online at the Kalimba Magic Web Store. Actually, we won't be printing a 2011 Catalog, but we just activated the coupon code CAT11, good for 11% off. These coupon codes will never expire!
But, as if I am in a race to give away more money - even more money than I have raised my prices by - read on for the Another20 coupon code.
Ha ha ha! I finally raise the prices on my Hugh Tracey kalimbas to keep up with the price hike from the manufacturer and the gradually slipping dollar - and THEN I turn around and do this 20% off sale thing. Maybe I've just gone completely looney tunes. Whatever - it's good news for you because this sale will more than offset the price increase for the next 3 days. What's more - this 20% off sale extends to sansulas, Catania kalimbas, Goshen kalimbas, books, and CDs - all items that have had no price hikes in recent months or even years.
And exactly what do you need to do to get 20% off on kalimbas, books, and CDs? Just remember the coupon code Another20 when you check out at the Kalimba Magic Web Store. The coupon code will be in effect Sunday May 15, Monday May 16, and Tuesday May 17. (If you miss this sale because you were slow opening your email, contact me and we'll figure something out.)
The astute observer will notice that it has been a long long time since we have had a 20% off sale at Kalimba Magic. We save the 20% off sales for times of need - like in the autumn of 2008 when I went an entire week without selling a kalimba. Or like right now, when I have kalimba shipments from three different manufacturers coming in at about the same time, and we need just a bit more capital to push us over the top.
Current situation notwithstanding, the absence of frequent 20% off sales indicates to the world that Kalimba Magic, little by little, is getting a better footing. Congratulations to us all!
Are you one of those people who just didn't get why I have been so excited about the Bb Treble and the D Treble kalimbas?
I made this video to explain a) how our system of different keys on the Hugh Tracey Alto and Treble kalimbas works, and b) why you would want different keys. Most kalimba players don't need multiple keys, but if you are playing kalimba and singing, or if you are jamming with people who play guitar, you could benefit from kalimbas in multiple keys.
And here is a link to The Keymaster, a set of four Hugh Tracey kalimbas tuned to the keys of your choice, and priced at a significant discount.
You can purchase the 30 exercises and songs in the Easy Alto Download for $8.
I've been contacted by a number of beginning Alto Kalimba players who are frustrated with the "Advanced Christmas Carols" and such - so instead of writing for me, I wrote this set of exercises and songs FOR THEM! This material is, on average, easier than the material in the Alto Fundamentals Book, but is also totally different from that (and all) books. The 30 exercises and songs in this collection will help you find your way on the Alto, using the painted tines to help you navigate. You will learn arpeggios and octaves and chords, you will begin to learn how to play chords and arpeggios as accompaniment to singing, and you will begin to use chords and melody together simultaneously. You will see how to take a very simple riff and turn it into a more complex riff that could be a song unto itself. Songs are a bit sparse: To Know Him is to Love Him verse, Jamaica Farewell, Mrs. Robinson chorus, Country Roads verse. Look for another Easy Alto Songs download coming soon! (OR - if you have song requests, send them my way before it comes out.)
Exercises and songs come in PDF, KTabS (Kalimba Tablature Software), and MP3 (sound files of KTabS playing). The KTabS computer program for Windows lets you play the KTabS files for each song. KTabS will display the tablature on the screen and play the sound for the song, highlighting the notes as the are played. So, you can hear exactly what the song is supposed to sound like. KTabS is the Guitar Hero of kalimba. The KTabS Player is free and the full KTabS Program, which lets you write your own music or modify THIS music, is $30. You can purchase KTabS at the KTabS website.
This is what happens when ideas are openly shared around the world. Peter Hokema in Germany made 5-note kalimbas all tuned to Fm. Mark Holdaway in Arizona tunes them to different chords and plays them like a bell choir on a cardboard box amplifier. Peter Hokema in Germany designs a classy cardboard horn amplifier and a great shelf to accommodate five such kalimbas and their horns.
Peter in Germany calls these guys the Papson - Pap for paper (i.e., cardboard) and Son for sound. He calls the set the Papson Piano.
I've been calling these ensembles Chordal Kalimba Choirs.
If you are interested in one of these sets, I can special order a set for you. Or you could get the 5-Note Kalimbas (which I carry) tuned to the chords of your choice, and use your own box amplifier... which, however, couldn't be half as cool as the Papson.