There is a lot of cool music you can do on this one – we start from the beginning
Peter Hokema has done it again! He has created a charming little kalimba that seems to just captivate everyone who hears it, the B11 “Melody” kalimba.
And Mark Holdaway has done it again, creating an instructional download/book filled with great music, illustrating many of the wild and wonderful things you can do on the B11 kalimba.
Read on to learn more about the unusual B11 “Melody” kalimba, and to see what kinds of things are in “Exploring the Hokema B11 Kalimba,” available as a hard-copy book or download. You can also hear one of the more advanced songs you can play from the B11 collection.
The song you are listening to right now, #40 – “Latin I IV V,” is just one of the 64 songs and exercises in “Exploring the Hokema B11 Kalimba.” In the tablature (displayed) this song appears to be all geometrical patterns. These are simple both visually and to play – so you can see that it’s not that hard to play music as cool as this!
One of the special things about this song is that it is in 7/8. The song just popped out of the instrument that way, I swear. My thumbs had begun doing something all by themselves, and as I heard myself playing, I realized that it was in 7/8 time signature!
Well, this is the only song in 7/8 in the download – but it is such a cool pattern I had to show it off. And even though this is surely a pattern, it landed in the “Complex Songs” section.
The B11 download has seven different sections – “Easy Bits and Pieces,” “Easy Songs,” “Chords and Arpeggios,” “Crossovers, the B11’s Gift,” “Complex Songs,” “Patterns,” and “Music in Different Modes.”
I especially like the music in different modes. The B11 kalimba is tuned to the G major scale, but just like any major-tuned kalimba, it also has access to several different modes, each with distinct expressive qualities. In other words, if you want to be able to paint your music with a variety of colors, learning the different modes would be well worth your while.
On the other hand, even if you are a kalimba beginner, there is plenty in this collection that you will be able to pick up right away.
The download of “Exploring the Hokema B11 Kalimba” consists of a 74 page PDF file, formatted in spreads (left and right adjoining pages facing each other), containing pages of tips and insights and the tablature for 64 songs and exercises. The MP3 files for each song can be downloaded, either from a URL or by clicking on the title of each song. It’s a pretty handy format.
The book version of this collection gives the URL for the music download page, so you can listen to the songs just the same as the download.
By the way, there is a cool feature about playing the B11 that I would like to mention – I call it the “crossover,” and the second column of tablature in the “Latin I IV V” song above is a great example. You can make automatic harmonies (harmonies that sound good but you don’t really have to think about them or even to understand them) just by following this rule: when you are on the upper row notes of the right side (as at measure 9), you harmonize by being on the lower row notes of the left side. Similarly, when you are on the upper row notes of the left side, (as in measure 10), you harmonize by being on the lower row tines on the right side.
You will learn about the crossover and plenty more in the B11 download.