Articles tagged with: Kalimba instruction

13 July 2018

New Exotic B11 Tuning: The Wizard

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

This is one magical tuning

New Exotic B11 Tuning: The Wizard

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 the exotic tunings have not really been explored at all - until now. Today we are looking at the exotic B11 tuning that I call "The Wizard." 

An exotic tuning can take a kalimba to a new and magical place, transforming the music it plays and the experience you have with it.

At Kalimba Magic laboratories, we took all the B11 tunings we could think of and played them all - and then selected the five best tunings. For the next five months, we will present a new exotic B11 tuning, including a recording or video and a short instructional download for each one.

18 July 2018

66 Songs for the 17-Note Kalimba in C

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

This is our standard 66 Songs download that has been reworked for the new 17-Note C Kalimba

66 Songs for the 17-Note Kalimba in C

The 66 songs in the download were taken from various Kalimba Magic collections and modified for use with the 17-Note "Treble" Kalimba in the key of C, which is sold under a great many brand names at this time - Donner and Gecko, among others.  The collections that went into this download include: African American Spirituals, traditional African karimba tunes, Christmas carols, classical pieces, folk and pop music, Americana and patriotic, and some children's songs.

These songs are rated by difficulty, with songs in each category between 1 and 5.

06 June 2018

New Instructional Resources You Can Use to Learn to Play the 17-Note Kalimba in C

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

Hint: The 10-Note eBooks will work with the 17-Note!

New Instructional Resources You Can Use to Learn to Play the 17-Note Kalimba in C

Is this happening to you? You have one of those new Chinese-made 17-Note kalimbas in the key of C, but you cannot figure out what instructional material to use for it.

You have considered all the possibilities... your new kalimba in C was copied from the Hugh Tracey Treble, so you looked at the books for that, but the Treble kalimba is usually in the key of G and has the 3rd of the scale, B, as the low note. So they don’t work for the 17-Note kalimba in C. You could use Alto kalimba books, but they are in the wrong key too. Yes, you could retune your new kalimba, but that can be a big hassle.

Now, we have the answer to this painful dilemma. We have a new selection of solutions to offer for both beginners and more advanced players. If you are a beginner, we have three downloads that will work for the lowest 10 notes of your kalimba. And if you have some experience playing, we have recast the 66 Song Download into the key of C. Here are the details:

06 June 2018

My Experience Learning to Play on the 10-Note Heart Kalimba

Written by Sara Edelman, Posted in News and Announcements

True confessions of an old musical dog learning new tricks

My Experience Learning to Play on the 10-Note Heart Kalimba

All my life I've been a musician. My family sang together, I played and loved piano (even piano lessons), sang in all kinds of groups growing up, and played recorder, pennywhistle, and a bit of guitar. I mostly sing and play pennywhistle these days. Classical and folk, and world music were and are my stomping grounds.

Reading music was always the key to the door into the musical world. Never a brilliant music reader, I made my way through it and very happily discovered new melodies. In my adult life reading music has not been a focus for me, rather I mostly play and sing by ear with others.

21 July 2018

Mark Holdaway, Special Guest on the 'Car Sessions with Karl' series

Written by Sara Edelman, Posted in News and Announcements

Great jamming and a whirlwind tour of Kalimba Magic headquarters

Mark Holdaway, Special Guest on the 'Car Sessions with Karl' series

Karl Von Packal is the host of Car Sessions with Karl, a Youtube phenomenon. Mark is invited by Karl to participate in some jamming in Karl’s vehicle, where Karl has done the same with a variety of other interesting musical monsters, including Mike Ankomeus, Mark’s band mate and employee. Mark also takes us on a quick tour of Kalimba Magic’s humble headquarters, and talks a bit about the kalimba’s story and culture (see the Black History month presentation in this newsletter for much more on this). We are treated with clips of the two musicians improvising some great music while sitting in Karl’s vehicle, covered by several video cameras.

06 June 2018

New In Stock - The 10-Note Heart Kalimba - a great kalimba to start on

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

Very economical, high quality, Great for Students, plays great music

New In Stock - The 10-Note Heart Kalimba - a great kalimba to start on

Kalimba Magic is known for selling some of the best kalimbas in the world, but we have been a bit sparse in the student kalimba department. That all changes right now.

We have long known that sooner or later, the Chinese would start manufacturing kalimbas, and, eventually, good ones. That day has arrived, and rather than stick its head in the sand, Kalimba Magic is embracing these new Chinese-made kalimbas - in part because they perfectly fill our gap of entry-level instruments in the Kalimba Magic catalog, and in part because these are really nice kalimbas that I think anyone would be happy to own - a child, a beginning adult, or an experienced player.

 I invite you to check out the 10-Note Heart Kalimba. 

06 June 2018

Learn to Play the 10-Note Kalimba

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

Three high quality instructional downloads will supercharge your kalimba journey

Learn to Play the 10-Note Kalimba

Kalimba Magic has always been the leader in kalimba instructional materials. We take that work to a whole new level with three new instructional PDF files for the  10-Note Heart Kalimba in C. These downloads are formatted for your iPad or tablet, but you can even use them on your smartphone. Each page gives you a bite-sized bit of music - typically four measures long. As this music is all cyclical, you repeat those four measures about a dozen times, becoming more sturdy as you go. If you want to hear what each song or pattern sounds like when played by yours truly, just touch the tablature - an MP3 will be downloaded, and you can play along with me!

11 June 2018

An Interesting Kalimba Purchase Strategy

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

Buy the Download First

An Interesting Kalimba Purchase Strategy

I have a few customers who purchase mainly downloads from Kalimba Magic. One wants to get the music because he is interested in using it in his video work. Another just likes to hear what new music is available for the kalimba. But there is a growing group of people who see the downloads as a collection of music that is representative of what a particular kalimba style or tuning has to offer. 

As such, the download is a key that opens some of the secrets that the kalimba has to offer.

11 June 2018

Three Against Two for Structure - 1

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

The Fabric of a simple "Three against Two" pattern is strong enough to be the foundation of a song

Three Against Two for Structure - 1

What does "John Huffington" have to do with the classic African three-against-two multi-rhythm?

I don't know a John Huffington, but here's his name, embodied in this rhythmic riff when I play it on the Hugh Tracey Alto Kalimba.

When I fall into the groove of this pattern, I hear my kalimba saying  the name "John Huffington."

The three against two pattern requires that one thumb play one thing (three notes) in the same space as the other thumb is playing something else (two notes). And repeat.

You can play this sort of riff on any kalimba. This post gives you a prescription for how to accomplish the feat.

 

29 April 2018

Did you buy an inexpensive Chinese-made 17-note kalimba in C? At a loss about finding a book to help you learn?

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

OK - I can help you

Did you buy an inexpensive Chinese-made 17-note kalimba in C? At a loss about finding a book to help you learn?

Long before Kalimba Magic started writing books for the Hugh Tracey kalimba and touting the advantages of Hugh Tracey kalimbas, there was trouble afoot. A Pakistani company had started to make poor quality copies of the 17-note Hugh Tracey kalimbas. They cost about 30% of what the Hugh Tracey kalimbas sold for, but the company advertised that "tuning doesn't matter” – their instruments basically came untuned. So I really didn't have to worry all that much about the competition. Yes, people would still buy these cheap kalimbas, and they got more or less what they paid for.

Lately, however, a new 17-note Treble copy has sprung up from China. These instruments are a bit different, in large measure because they are well-tuned. Did you acquire a 17-note kalimba made in China, but cannot find any kind of instructional materials? Well, there is a ton of help for you, you just need to be aware of a difference in tuning that we will guide you into handling with ease.

19 March 2018

Run the balance between Wildness and Precision

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

Working this dialectic can expand your playing amazingly

Run the balance between Wildness and Precision

I was speaking last night with my neighbor Geo, when he said:  "Somewhere between the party animal I was in my marriage and the zen meditator I've been in my current relationship... is the real Geo."

I could see the axis, drawn in space before our eyes: on one end of the imaginary "number line" was Geo as Beer-Drinking-Good-Timing-Party-Animal... and at the other end was Geo as Peaceful-Meditating-Man. And Geo's quest right now was to feel along this axis and understand where he belongs.

In my opinion, he exists all along that axis, occupying different places at different times, as everyone does.

And the very same thing applies to wildness and precision in your kalimba playing.

14 March 2018

New and Improved Downloads

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

The Fastest Way to Learn to Play Kalimba

New and Improved Downloads

As you know, it's hard to resist the beauty of, and the urge to make, kalimba music; that's why you're here! Over many years I have written dozens of books to help a lot of people who want to learn to play these instruments. It's an ongoing project, as each different kalimba needs its own books, and new kalimba tunings and layouts are being invented (and not just by me) all the time. It ends up being a big part of my life's calling, because nobody else in the world is creating anything like this.

But while I am deep in the recesses of KM headquarters doing this, it gets lonely and quiet and I forget sometimes about why I spend my time at it.  So when I got this letter in the mail today, handwritten in pencil, I was thrilled to be reminded:

"Your kalimba tablature method is far superior to any numbers-based systems. Your method is the ONLY way I want to learn to play my kalimba!"