Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Advanced Techniques
Right Index Finger Over the Thumb

On instruments such as the sansula and the karimba that have two rows of tines (the shorter tines are bent upwards so you can play them even though they lie between two longer tines), the short and long tines that lie adjacent to each other often have special relationships to each other. On the right side of the karimba, these notes are an octave apart. On the left side of the karimba, those note pairs make a 5th or a 6th.

You can actually play those adjacent notes simultaneously. Place your thumb on one of the longer tines, and place your index finger over the thumb on the adjacent upper row tine. You can either alternate thumb-finger-thumb-finger, or you can play both thumb and finger simultaneously.

Here is a video that demonstrates the above technique on a karimba (in an alternative Am tuning). Watch for the index finger over thumb technique - on the right side.