Dajari-F B11 Tuning

This tuning was invented to play with an F major hand pan

B11 in Dajari-F Tuning

I should have known better than to post a video of a kalimba in a strange new tuning, and then not also make that tuning available to everyone. Several folks have requested the Dajari-F B11 tuning, so here it is.

The initial plan for this year was to make instructional downloads for each of six exotic B11 tunings, to demonstrate the breadth of music that is possible on this otherwise unassuming but beautiful kalimba… but then Christmas came knocking, and with it came the creation of four new books of Easy Christmas Carols… to get this done, several items had to be put on hold including the exotic B11 project and the Dajari-F tuning.

We regret the delay, but now you are invited to explore this very clean and positive 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. At that point, I wrote down the tuning and put the B11 Elektra kalimba in a box and shipped it out

DajariF TuningI thought that Dajari’s special tuning was a thing of the past, but the next morning I woke up with this little kalimba’s song stuck in my head. I tuned another B11 to “Dajari-F” tuning just so I would have it around. (Having access to the latest and greatest exotically-tuned kalimbas is one of the up-sides of living at Kalimba Magic. One of the down sides is that you have to watch where you step or sit, as kalimbas seem to have taken over.)

Most of the “exotic” B11 tunings are pretty ethnic, and some of them even border on darkness – such as the exotic middle-eastern “Wizard” tuning. But the Dajari-F B11 tuning is a fairly vanilla tuning that seems to be nothing but light and happiness to me. Exotic tunings usually work out best when they require only small modifications of the standard tuning. Each kalimba was designed and built with the standard tuning in mind, and while small departures from the standard tuning usually present no problems, large departures from the standard tuning can result in a kalimba that doesn’t sound as good as it should.

It’s not that complicated to get to the Dajari tuning from the standard G tuning, Seven tines do not change tuning at all, two tines change by a half step, the lowest tine changes by a whole step down, and the second lowest note changes by a step and a half up.

Inventing a special tuning is a service that we routinely provide to our customers. If you have a special key in which you need to play kalimba, or if you have a special instrument such as a hand pan that you want to play kalimba with, contact us and we can find a tuning in our archives, or invent one that works for you. You never know – you might get an exotic kalimba tuning named after you!

Thank you, Dajari!

Dajari Makena.


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