This is one magical tuning
The Hokema B11 Kalimba – also called the “Melody Kalimba” – has a lot of untapped potential. In its standard G major tuning, it does a lot of nice music. But so many other exotic tunings are also possible, and those exotic tunings have not really been explored at all – until now. Today we are taking another look at the exotic B11 tuning that I call “The Wizard.”
Last summer when I created an instructional download for the B11 Wizard tuning, I did things in the wrong order. After the download came out, I wrote an enchanting little piece of music and made a YouTube video of the song to popularize the download… it should have been IN the download, and so I never wrote down the tablature for what I call “The Wizard Theme Song.”
Well – apologies for that blunder, and here is the tablature for the song now, for you, for free. Enjoy!
The instructional download explains to you how this B11 tuning works – what chords it makes naturally, what tines to play to make those chords, and how to go back and forth among various chords. The Wizard Theme Song really puts that basic learning to the test. Here is the first page of the 4-page tablature download:
In my mind, the feature of this tuning that gives it its really spooky flavor is the three central notes on the upper row – D#, E, and F. Each note in this trio is only a half step from the next. This unique pattern does not occur in music’s major scale or any of its modes, or in most minor scales.
At the bottom of each column of tablature, to the right of the first full measure in each column, you will see a time (eg, 0:08). This is a reference to the time in the video of this spot in the tab. In the (downloadable) PDF, there also is a link at the bottom of each column that will take you to that time stamp in the YouTube video. Thus you can instantly listen to that spot in the tablature. (Also in the PDF there is a live link to the original Kalimba Magic article presenting all B11 Exotic Tunings.)
If you already own the B11 Melody Kalimba, you can most likely change to “The Wizard” tuning yourself. It should take you about 10 or 15 minutes. If you run into trouble, send us an email for further help. If you don’t want to mess with tuning your B11, you can send it to “The Kalimba Doctor” at Kalimba Magic to accomplish the retuning. If you want to keep your B11 in standard tuning so you always have access to its music, you will probably want a second B11 just for “The Wizard” tuning.
By the way – I confess there is an error in the accompanying video. When I made the video, I first recorded the guitar part, and after that I improvised the kalimba part. The guitar returned to a “bridge” type part at around 1:10, and my kalimba playing should have returned to what I played the first time the guitar went to the bridge. But it didn’t. Being a digital recording guy, I fixed the kalimba sound… but I did not fix the video. Sorry about that!
On the bright side: the tablature presented here correctly tracks the music you hear.