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Mark Holdaway

Using the 6-Note Songbook on Any Kalimba

If you are having difficulty finding your way around a big kalimba, step back and simplify Left: numbers for “C tuning” songs. Right: numbers for “5-tuning” songs. If you would like to play specific songs on your kalimba but you don’t know where to start, or if you feel you haven’t really connected well with your kalimba, you might want to consider getting the 6-Note Pentatonic Song Book. Here is a remarkable fact: if you have a big kalimba with lots of notes, you may very well be able to use the instructional material from a kalimba with fewer notes, but you need to know which tines map into the

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Blog
Mark Holdaway

Playing SaReGaMa’s Lotus and Freygish Karimbas Together

Three tines need to be retuned on the Freygish Karimba The SaReGaMa-tuned Karimbas are one of the coolest developments in the kalimba world in recent years.  This article shows you how to make the Lotus-tuned Karimba and the Freygish-tuned Karimba sing together! You are listening to a Box Lotus-tuned Karimba on the left and a Freygish-tuned Karimba on the right, with a guitar in the middle.  The Freygish Karimba is playing mostly lower notes and supporting harmonies and rhythms, while The Lotus Karimba is playing higher, the box gives it a brighter tone, and the playing is more melodic. I was walking through the Arizona desert last summer with my

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Blog
Mark Holdaway

TIP: Straight Left-Right Playing and Syncopation

You can syncopate by leaving out notes The easiest thing to do when you play kalimba is to set up a regular rhythmic pattern, alternating right-left-right-left (or the opposite), but this will not result in syncopation.  Here is a quick changeup you can make to this regular pattern to create some great syncopation. This tablature shows a sample pattern on the Hugh Tracey Alto Kalimba, but you can do this sort of pattern on any kalimba at all. Feel free to change the exact notes. In Measures 1-3, we establish the alternating right-left pattern, and Measure 4 changes the pattern to make a “bookend”, indicating both that the pattern is over, and that the whole

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Blog
Mark Holdaway

Learn to play the “Kalimba Solo for Lotus”

Tablature and Staff Notation for the Entire Song Click to go to the Lotus Solo product page Thousands of people have been wanting to learn to play SaReGaMa’s “Kalimba Solo for Lotus” on the Lotus Karimba, and if you are one of those people, I’ve got good news for you. In 2009, New Age musician SaReGaMa celebrated the birth of his daughter, Lotus.  At night he would play her to sleep with improvisations on his Hugh Tracey Karimba.  The Karimba had started out its life in a traditional African tuning, but by the time it got to SaReGaMa it had fallen out of its original tuning, and he began to invent new tunings.  After

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