Articles tagged with: Kalimbula

26 April 2016

TIP: Exploring Sansula Tunings - p1 - What is a Sansula?

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in Tips

All sansulas have nine tines, four of them bent upward

TIP: Exploring Sansula Tunings - p1 - What is a Sansula?

Kalimba Magic started making the first alternative sansula tunings many years ago, and we are the only people to have made instructional materials for the sansula and its alternative tunings. This series of tips is an overview of Kalimba Magic's sansula tunings and related instructional materials. 

We start our series of tips with the nuanced question: "What is a sansula?"

26 April 2016

TIP: Exploring Sansula Tunings - p2 - The Sansula in Standard Tuning

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in Tips

The standard A minor tuning requires almost no effort and sounds great

TIP: Exploring Sansula Tunings - p2 - The Sansula in Standard Tuning

Kalimba Magic started making the first alternative sansula tunings many years ago, and we are the only people to have made instructional materials for the sansula and its alternative tunings. This series of tips is an overview of Kalimba Magic's sansula tunings and related instructional materials. 

To gain some perspective, we take a close look at where the Sansula started - the standard A minor tuning.

26 April 2016

TIP: Exploring Sansula Tunings - p3 - The Sansula Book

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in Tips

This ground-breaking book inspired thousands

TIP: Exploring Sansula Tunings - p3 - The Sansula Book

Kalimba Magic started making the first alternative sansula tunings many years ago, and we are the only people to have made instructional materials for the sansula and its alternative tunings. This series of tips is an overview of Kalimba Magic's sansula tunings and related instructional materials.

This is a good example of the music played easily on the sansula in standard A minor tuning - it is one of the lessons from the book "Playing the Sansula", which mostly covers the standard tuning.

The media player at the bottom of the article will play a sound recording of this music, when you click on it.

26 April 2016

TIP: Exploring Sansula Tunings - p4 - Why Alternative Tunings?

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in Tips

Changing the tuning can transform the music the sansula plays

TIP: Exploring Sansula Tunings - p4 - Why Alternative Tunings?

Kalimba Magic started making the first alternative sansula tunings many years ago, and we are the only people to have made instructional materials for the sansula and its alternative tunings. This series of tips is an overview of Kalimba Magic's sansula tunings and related instructional materials.

Before we launch into several alternative tunings, it only seems fair that I explain why anyone would even want to try an alternative tuning on their sansula.

28 April 2016

TIP: Exploring Sansula Tunings - p6 - How to Retune?

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in Tips

Exactly how does one go about retuning a sansula?

TIP: Exploring Sansula Tunings - p6 - How to Retune?

When you think of retuning, you may envision tuning hammers, tuning prongs, and pliers, and people pushing and grunting, but if you are serious about retuning your sansula, I have one little piece of information that will save you a lot of time and frustration. And we also hook you up with a lot of kalimba tuning resources!

28 April 2016

TIP: Exploring Sansula Tunings - p7 - The Easiest Retuning

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in Tips

Just retuning one of the A tines down to G increases the reach of the Sansula's standard tuning

TIP: Exploring Sansula Tunings - p7 - The Easiest Retuning

Modifying one note won't totally transform the sansula, but it will alter, and in this case, extend the musical palette available to the instrument. And if you are going to take the plunge and experiment with alternative tunings for the first time, you should start with something easy. This tuning only requires retuning one tine by a whole step.  It is also easy to get back to the original tuning, though I don't think you'd want to - I myself prefer to have that G than to have the double A's in the standard tuning.

28 April 2016

TIP: Exploring Sansula Tunings - p8 - The Beautiful E Tuning

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in Tips

From the Beautiful E Sansula Music Book

TIP: Exploring Sansula Tunings - p8 - The Beautiful E Tuning

While the standard-tuned sansula is lovely, many of the things it plays sound similar.  The Beautiful E Tuning for the Sansula not only has a totally different palette of colors and emotions, it can also play a much wider swathe of music than the standard tuning can.

This tip shares the tablature and sound recording of one of the songs from the Beautiful E Sansula book to give you an idea of what the Beautiful E can do.

28 April 2016

TIP: Exploring Sansula Tunings - p9 - The Heavenly A Tuning

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in Tips

From the Heavenly A Sansula Song Book

TIP: Exploring Sansula Tunings - p9 - The Heavenly A Tuning

The Heavenly A Sansula tuning is Rick Tarquinio's answer to my Beautiful E Tuning.  True to its name, the Heavenly A Sansula is quite lovely.  Not only is this a good tuning in which to improvise, but this tuning actually supports a great many songs.

The song in this lesson is "Sadza Madya Here", a traditional African piece for the karimba, but it sounds great on the sansula as well.

28 April 2016

TIP: Exploring Sansula Tunings - p10 - Morocco E Tuning

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in Tips

This is an enchanting middle-eastern style tuning

TIP: Exploring Sansula Tunings - p10 - Morocco E Tuning

Even though the  Morocco E sansula tuning is one that I haven't explored very much,  I actually have two instruments set up in this tuning!  I play around with this tuning because it is fun.  Morocco E tuning sounds quite serious, which is why I love it so much.

28 April 2016

TIP: Exploring Sansula Tunings - p11 - Bluesy E Tuning

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in Tips

This funky-bluesy tuning has a free instructional download

TIP: Exploring Sansula Tunings - p11 - Bluesy E Tuning

I was playing kalimba at an independent living facility here in Tucson, and the family of one of the residents was there enjoying the music.  After about five or six songs that were happy, light and beautiful, one of the visitors said "Play something ugly!"  Well, I could not. I suspect that what he was asking for was something less of a sweet delight and more gritty, bluesy, down and dirty.

The Bluesy E sansula tuning was created with that idea in mind. 

26 April 2016

Fantastic New Instructional Download for the Sansula

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

The C Major Sansula Tuning has always been beautiful - and now it is accessible!

Fantastic New Instructional Download for the Sansula

Kalimba Magic sansulas are normally sold in the A Minor tuning, which produces music of an enchanting, mystical and melancholy nature. I created the C Major sansula tuning in 2011 in response to a customer’s request for a sansula in C.  I love this tuning; it is simply happy and positive, potentially majestic and even euphoric. I am often struck by how easy it is for the C Major sansula to produce music of great simplicity and beauty. If something gorgeous happens in the midst of my time spent with it, I take careful notes (whenever i come up for air!).

The C Major sansula book, a downloadable PDF, covers some of what this delightful instrument can do. With 48 pages and 32 original compositions and exercises written just for this tuning, this book gives you enough material to occupy you for many months as you improve your sansula skills. Included among these compositions are the two YouTube videos I have made with the C Major tuned sansula and the C Major tuned kalimbula.

 

28 April 2016

TIP: Exploring Sansula Tunings - p12 - C Major Tuning

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in Tips

From the C Major Sansula Download

TIP: Exploring Sansula Tunings - p12 - C Major Tuning

The C Major Sansula Tuning is one of my favorites.  It is happy and uplifting and powerful.

28 April 2016

TIP: Exploring Sansula Tunings - p13 - C Minor Tuning

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in Tips

TIP: Exploring Sansula Tunings - p13 - C Minor Tuning

The C minor tuning is a straight minor pentatonic scale.  It has a little more force and a little less mystery than the standard A minor Ake Bono tuning.

28 April 2016

TIP: Exploring Sansula Tunings - p14 - Other Tunings

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in Tips

Following Kalimba Magic's lead in the Sansula Tuning Movement, other tuning innovation is happening

TIP: Exploring Sansula Tunings - p14 - Other Tunings

The people at Hokema have also been bringing forth sansula tuning alternatives. They have an app for the iphone that will help you experiment with your own sansula tunings, permitting you to retune, within realistic limits - that is, any tuning you create on the iphone will be possible to create on your sansula.

28 April 2016

TIP: Exploring Sansula Tunings - p15 - We'll Work With You

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in Tips

Do you really need some totally different tuning? We can probably invent it

TIP: Exploring Sansula Tunings - p15 - We'll Work With You

Many people are not looking for anything in specific - they will go for a particular kalimba or tuning because it makes cool music that resonates with them.   I think chances are good that these people will find something that tickles them among the tunings I have presented.

Some people have very specific needs.  They might require a sansula in a particular key so that it will work with other instruments playing a song in that key, or to accompany singing a particular song in that key.  Inventing a tuning for a particular key is as much an art as a science.  

In many cases, we can come up with a kalimba that fits your needs. This service is part of what we do at Kalimba Magic. Let us know if you have the need for a special tuning.

08 March 2016

The Kalimbula - An Electric Ceramic Sansula

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

I've been having fun experimenting with tunings again...

The Kalimbula - An Electric Ceramic Sansula

The Kalimbula is a cool instrument that I've been enjoying playing in a variety of tunings.  I have tried all of the canonical sansula tunings, including the C Major I use in this video with new Kalimbula music.

08 December 2015

A geometrical approach to Sansula Note Layouts

Posted in News and Announcements

Sansulas come in many different tunings, which can be somewhat confusing - but here is a way I found to understand the basic shape of all of those tunings

A geometrical approach to  Sansula Note Layouts

The Hokema Sansula and the Hands on Drums Kalimbula come in the standard A minor tuning or in any of the alternative tunings. We present a few purely geometrical ways of thinking about the Sansula tunings. We also introduce a new alternative Sansula tuning based on my favorite Thomas Bothe tuning.