Instructional Resources for the B11 Kalimba

Tunings, Books, eBooks, and Kalimbas


The simple 9-Note Sansula, or Hokema B9, has been a spectacular, emotive instrument that people have loved for almost 20 years.

Now it’s time to move up to the B11. While the Sansula is charming and beautiful, there are precious few songs you can play on it. The B11 has another name – the “Melody”. That is because it lends itself to making melodies with simple accompaniment,

In other words, if you seem to be at a dead end with the Sansula, you might want to check out the B11, because there is so much more music you can do with it!

Exploring the Hokema B11 Kalimba (Book)

This 74 page book is full of instructional tips and tablature for 64 songs and exercises arranged just for the Hokema B11 Kalimba. The material starts out very easy, appropriate for a beginner, but progresses to provide challenges for better players – in other words, anyone can start on this book and there is room to grow!

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Exploring the Hokema B11 Kalimba (eBook)

This download will set you up with a 15 MByte, 74 page PDF “book” with instructional tips and tablature for 64 songs arranged just for the Hokema B11 Kalimba. The material starts out very easy, appropriate for a beginner, but progresses to provide challenges for better players – in other words, anyone can start on this book and there is room to grow!

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Playing The Four Winds B11 (eBook)

The “Four Winds” is an exotic tuning for the B11 kalimba. It can easily play four different scales, or modes, each with a different emotional feeling.

The Four Winds B11 download is an intermediate level, 58 page PDF, instructing via graphic kalimba tablature, words and advice, and with 55 MP3 files, all linked-to and easily clickable within the PDF. The music, in tablature, comes in 4-8 measure chunks which form bite-sized cycles that fit on one page. The cycles are repeated to create a song. Longer songs are built up by introducing variations into the cycles, or by switching to a complimentary cycle.

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Playing The Wizard – Exotic Tuning for B11 (eBook)

I used to call the B11 Wizard tuning the “A minor Hitzaskiar” tuning. It is a Persian-sounding minor scale, similar to the harmonic minor, but with a raised 4th. But it seems so magical, like a wizard waving his or her wand over a little magical music box in a Harry Potter movie, that I had to change its name to the right one – the Wizard!

The new Wizard B11 ebook has a very gentle and measured approach, helping you to learn patterns and chords and encouraging you to create your own compositions from these bits and pieces.

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Playing this instrument is like a burst of joy. It is a great personal instrument and travels well. For adults or older children.

The B11 “Melody” Kalimba, made by the same people who make the Sansula, is a much more capable instrument. It is in the key of G, which is generally useful, and has a range of G3 (G below middle C) to A5 (two octaves and a whole step above the lowest note). The two-octave range is important. The lower octave is sparsely populated, which makes this good for accompaniment. The upper octave has every note in the G major scale, plus one more note in the high A, which means there are a lot of melodies you can play on this instrument.

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This is the same as the B11 Melody Kalimba, but the ELEKTRO version comes with a high quality electronic pickup, ready for you to plug into an amplifier, looper, effects pedal, or PA system through a 1/4 inch guitar cord.Visit Product Page


The B11 Sansula is the same as the standard B9 Sansula, but a little different. The physics of sound explain it: The B11 Sansula is built on a sansula body – that amazing and lovely wood-framed echo chamber that makes the great wah-wah sounds – but notes on the B11 go lower than the B9’s, so, to achieve proper resonance, the B11’s sansula body is about 10% larger than the standard Sansula’s.Visit Product Page

Learn to play “The Wizard” Theme Song

Free tablature for “The Wizard” Theme Song.Visit Product Page

Dajari-F B11 Tuning

This tuning is named after an avid kalimba player in Seattle named Dajari Mekena, who commissioned this tuning. He has a hand pan type instrument tuned to F major, and he wanted a kalimba that played along with it. He sent a video of himself playing his hand pan, and I sat down with the B11 and listened, and tuned, and refined, until I could happily play along. This is that tuning.Visit Product Page

Exotic B11 Tunings Overview

We present video here for four different B11 tunings: Four Winds, The Wizard, Dajari-F, and Standard G.Visit Product Page

Cool Ethnic Tunings for the B11 Kalimba

The reports on the new Hokema B11 Kalimba are all coming in glowing – people love this kalimba. Of course, everyone loves the sterling workmanship, ease of playing, and incredible sound of the huge Hokema hit, the Sansula, but the musical possibilities and adaptability of Hokema’s latest, the B11, really exceed that of the Sansula by leaps and bounds, and the B11 carries the same quality and has a gorgeous sound too.

I have just developed five cool new tunings for the B11, and would love to share them with you! In addition to this post’s tuning charts for all the tunings, you can also listen to demo recordings of each so you can hear how each individual tuning sounds, and easily compare them.Visit Product Page

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