TIP OF THE DAY

Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Let One Thumb Slack Off While the Other One Works

It is difficult to do two completely different things at once. Playing kalimba requires that your two thumbs do two different things at once, but we can ease into it. So, instead of both thumbs doing two very difficult things at once, we are going to let you do something difficult with one thumb and something simple with the other thumb. Let's allow the right thumb to slack off while the left thumb works hard.

Well, both thumbs are working, and we are trading off L-R-L-R, but the left thumb has to change notes every time, and the right thumb just sits there on the same note the whole time. Once you get the L-R-L-R rhythm, you can just let the right side go on "automatic pilot" while you concentrate mostly on the left thumb. The right thumb just sort of answers the left thumb anyway.

Tablature showing right left interaction

If you don't have a Treble kalimba, find something that has the same shape as this exercise that sounds nice.