TIP OF THE DAY

Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Performing on the Kalimba:
Improvisation

The kalimba is a great tool for improvisation. Most people find it easier to improvise than to play a predetermined piece of music on the kalimba. If you are a strong kalimba improviser, I encourage you to experiment with improvising in a performance setting.

Improvisation in front of an audience could lead to fear and either clumsiness or freezing up. You will know if you have those tendencies, and may want something more prepared. It is nice to have at least a start worked out, so you are not just thrown out into space. However, if you can find a way to be very comfortable in front of people when you won't know what note is going to come next, you may find that you can assemble the song out of the energy that the audience provides.

As you improvise, you could have a few notes figured out ahead - or you could surrender to your body and trust that it will find the way (it will find A way, anyway). Then, as the audience makes those involuntary "ooohs" and "aaaahs," or whatever it is that audiences say - sometimes it is the sheer silence that lets you know - take those signs into account to give more, if you have more to give.

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