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Mark Holdaway

Follow Kalimba Magic on TikTok

Yes, that is me dressed in black holding a guitar. Even though I make my living playing kalimba, I probably spend as much time playing guitar as kalimba. And I like that photo! Hey – I started making kalimba videos on TikTok, and I’m having a lot of fun. Here are some of the types of kalimba videos I am creating: Duets with other musicians on TikTok Pop songs on Kalimba Visits to beautiful places around my world with the Kalimba Tips for your Kalimba playing Eventually, I aim to get videos of every single Kalimba type and tuning that I have in my collection Upcoming Kalimba Magic giveaways! Kalimba

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Blog
Mark Holdaway

What Song is This? Tablature, Video, and Contest Winners

Last newsletter, we had a contest to see who could figure out the song that was in the new tablature “logo” image. OK – here is the video: And here is the tablature for the song: On the green kalimba in the video, I have tuned my high C to C#. Why? Because the song goes that way. I could have played this on a chromatic kalimba, but I really liked having Thing hand me the second kalimba. Congratulations to the first three people who told me what the song was: 1: Mary Bragg 2: Lisa Cuthbert 3: Holly Soptick Thank you for playing! But where are the guys? About

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Blog
Mark Holdaway

Hava Nagila, Middle Eastern Tuning, and the Freygish Karimba

A number of people have recently asked me for tablature for Hava Nagila. Like everything I do… it is complicated. For starters, here is a video of a pretty hot performance on a Middle Eastern-tuned Hugh Tracey Treble Kalimba. This will surely be set up differently than your kalimba, so enjoy listening, but you probably won’t be playing along with this one: Hava Nagila on a Hugh Tracey Treble Kalimba in Middle Eastern Tuning. I have buzzers on this kalimba, and it is being played in a gourd deze, which amplifies and buzzifies the sound. That black thing is a guitar strap that goes over my neck to support the

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Blog
Mark Holdaway

Free Classical Tablature for Treble Kalimba, Thanks to David Pomatti

David Pomatti of Japan has sent a PDF of free tablature for the 17-Note Hugh Tracey Treble Kalimba. With David’s consent, I am making this music available to you for free. It is hand written kalimba tablature and hand written staff notation, and also includes the original piano sheet music in the original key. This gives you a clear idea of what is included in this free PDF:           Treble Kalimba Tuning If you didn’t get the memo, the Hugh Tracey Treble Kalimba is painted with a 5-painted tine system, but is in the key of G, with a low note of B, the 3rd of

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Blog
Mark Holdaway

If your 17-Note Kalimba is Too Much, Try This!

While a lot of people buy the 17-Note kalimbas, I know for a fact that a lot of these sit unplayed. While 17 notes seems small compared to a piano, 17 notes in your hands can be more than you bargained for. Learn on the Central, Lower 10 Notes I have just finished a great introductory book for the 10-Note Kalimba in C, and as you can see from the diagram above, the 10-Note kalimba “fits within” the 17-Note kalimba. The notes and the painting marks are the same, until you get to the outer seven notes. And here is the clever thing: you don’t have to get the 10-Note

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Blog
Mark Holdaway

“How do I hold the tablature to read it?” Plus: Get Free Stuff for Being Smart!

An unnamed customer asks:  “Am I right that I have to turn all of your books sideways to read the tablature?” Well… if I had intended you to read it that way, I probably would have printed the books that way! No, no no… the tablature runs UP the page, not left to right across the page as standard staff notation. OK… why does the tablature run up the page? I suppose the answer is that I had the courage to buck the trend of western civilization and western music notation. I struggled with this for months. In 2004 when I invented kalimba tablature, I resisted making this decision. Playing

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Blog
Mark Holdaway

A New 10-Note Kalimba in C

Get your Kalimba Magic 10-Note Kalimba today! The 10-Note Kalimba is a great instrument to start on, if you are a child or an adult who is not ready to fly on a 17-Note Kalimba. The big thing to remember is that these are the same 10 notes as the lower, central 10-Notes of the 17-Note Kalimba – meaning anything you learn to play on this kalimba can be played immediately on the 17-Note Kalimba. Playing “Mwana Aboyi Mama” on the 10-Note Kalimba. These are very sweet kalimbas, with soft, wide tines, modestly spaced, that are easy on young thumbs and beginners of all ages. Key of C. With 10

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Blog
Mark Holdaway

New eBook: Intro to 10-Note Kalimba in C

This is a 32-page PDF ebook with live links to the sound files, instruction on special techniques. Very colorful! Also, with links to other resources for this 10-Note Kalimba. Instead of writing about what this ebook is about, I thought I would just show you some of the pages from the book. First, this is the tuning and kalimba setup that this ebook works for: Here is one of the more advanced songs in this book – which is also the song in the video I made to promote this book: And here is that same song, on video: A New 10-Note Kalimba in C How to Play 10-Note Kalimbas

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Blog
Mark Holdaway

“I Can See Clearly” or “How to Make Flats and Sharps on the Kalimba”

In order to play songs with accidentals or modulations on the diatonic Kalimba, you need extra notes. Here, I pick them up off of three different Kalimbas in different Tunings. “I Can See Clearly” by Johnny Nash. Yes, yes, I could have played this on a Hugh Tracey Chromatic Kalimba. But instead, I take the easy way out, using three diatonic kalimbas instead. Diatonic Scale, Diatonic Kalimba If you don’t know the word “diatonic”, learn it! It describes a kalimba that has only notes from some major scale: “Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do…” It could have 8 notes, 10, or 17 notes… but the notes are all

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