Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Kalimba Techniques
4: The Deliberate Glissando

To play notes quickly on the kalimba, it's usually best to alternate sides: L-R-L-R-L. Since the scale is a very common figure in melody, the kalimba is designed so that you must alternate sides to play a scale.

However, some melodies end up having two or three notes in a row on the same side. If you need to do those notes very quickly - well, you might just be out of luck, and you might need to pick a different song.

But there is an exception to this situation. If you need to play three or four notes on the same side and they are right next to each other, you can do a glissando in slow motion, i.e., a deliberate glissando, where the notes are in time with the tempo, going at a rapid, such as 16th or 8th note, rate.

tablature of slow gliss
Listen to a deliberate glissando

While the glissando is grandest when you play several notes in a row, this technique can help you out even when used on just two notes. If your pattern is L-R-L-R-R-L, the 4th and 5th notes could be played by making a two note, right-sided glissando - that is, IF those two right-sided notes are adjacent to each other.