Little Bits of Music – Playing Scales 2

Here is a song you know that utilizes the scale in its melody

A Box Lotus and a Regular Lotus Karimba

This series of tips is about scales and how useful they are for the kalimba player.

The scale zigzags back and forth, left and right on your kalimba, gradually moving toward ever-shorter tines (to go up) or ever longer tines (to go down the scale).

But why learn scales at all? Because they are useful. Check out Bach’s “Minuet in G” – yes, transposed to the C kalimba. If you can play your scales, you have already mastered half the notes.


(By the way, the tablature here is for a 17-Note Kalimba in C, but the concept and even the tablature is the same for many other types of kalimbas.)

The scale segments are easy to spot in this music – for one because they are marked with yellow lines! But you can also see that the notes zigzag back and forth on the kalimba.

The first four of the five notes in each of the scale segment here are eighth notes, which are faster than the un-barred quarter notes. And this gives us an important idea about how useful scales are on the kalimba: if you want to play fast on the kalimba, you need to go back and forth, left and right – like on a scale, though there are other things you can play that alternate left and right that are not scales.

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