Playing Kalimba With One Hand? Try the Moon-10 in Golden or Silver Moon Tuning

The whole concept of kalimba music, in my mind, is bouncing the right thumb energy off of the left thumb energy, and watching where they dance together. Or you can take it to the next level, and play with two thumbs and an index finger, with all three energies dancing in a triangle.

But what if you don’t have the use of one or the other of your thumbs? I would think just playing with one thumb might be a bit dull. But you can get that same sort of kalimba experience by using two or three fingers from one of your hands.

The the note layout of the Moon-10 Kalimba is compact enough so that it fits beautifully under the fingers of one hand. The two rows of tines further simplifies the mechanics of playing – though it also gives an extra layer of complexity to the thought process if you are calculating which note to play on-the-fly.


Playing the Moon-10 in Golden Moon Tuning with one hand.

In the lead up to the holiday season last year, I ended up sending the Moon-10 Kalimba in Golden Moon Tuning to three different people who only had the use of one hand. Two of them had been established life-long musicians who suddenly lost the use of a hand. And I also know that two of these folks absolutely love what they can do on their Moon-10.

But why Golden Moon Tuning?

The standard tuning of the 10-Note Moon Kalimba is a C major pentatonic tuning. While this is a very relaxing tuning, there are not a lot of songs you can play on it, outside of Amazing Grace and some nice African American Spirituals. You can improvise and jam and float with it… but if you are looking to play actual songs, you will be better off with a “diatonic tuning” (meaning it has the notes of the “Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do” scale.

I have written a 106 page download for the Moon-10 in Golden Moon tuning, with dozens of songs, including 20 Christmas carols.

A closely related diatonic tuning of the Moon-10 is the Silver Moon Tuning, which has a download with totally different songs.

You can get the Moon-10 Kalimba here.

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