Articles tagged with: exotic tuning

07 February 2019

Learn to play "The Wizard" Theme Song

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

This is one magical tuning

Learn to play

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

Last summer when I created an instructional download for the B11 Wizard tuning, I did things in the wrong order. After the download came out, I wrote an enchanting little piece of music and made a YouTube video of the song to popularize the download… it should have been IN the download, and so I never wrote down the tablature for what I call "The Wizard Theme Song."

Well – apologies for that blunder, and here is the tablature for the song now, for you, for free. Enjoy!

15 December 2018

Exotic Sansula Tunings - C Major

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

Learn how to play guitar chords with any sansula - and get a taste of the rules of chorded improvisation

Exotic Sansula Tunings - C Major

My friend Andrea Eckardt and I are back with another exotic Sansula tuning, showing the world just how easy it is for a Sansula and a guitar to make great music together.

The Sansula is made by Hokema in Germany. The tines of this exotic kalimba make a crystal-clear sound, amplified by the Sansula's oval-frame drum body.

Today we are going take a very close look at how the guitar accompanies the Sansula; I dissect our improvisation "blow by blow," and share six rules that can help any chording instrument (guitar, piano) successfully and gracefully accompany a Sansula.

09 December 2018

Exotic Sansula Tunings - G Major

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

This is so different from the Sansula's melancholy standard A minor tuning

Exotic Sansula Tunings - G Major

"Oh - it's so small... it only has nine notes - that's not much."

I must admit, hearing comments like that always leave me a bit disconcerted. Yes, she was a piano player who was accustomed to having scores of notes at her fingertips. I could have explained to her: "This is a magical instrument that just creates its own music, just the way it is. These 9 notes have a special story to tell."

But the words did not come out. Instead, I started playing that small nine-note Sansula... and then picked up another Sansula in a different tuning... and then another. After listening, she nodded with understanding, and said "Oh, what a charming little instrument! And it seems there is not a single wrong note on it." Of course not! With only nine notes, you have to make them all count!

07 November 2018

Dajari-F B11 Tuning

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

This tuning was invented to play with an F major hand pan

Dajari-F B11 Tuning

I should have known better than to post a video of a kalimba in a strange new tuning, and then not also make that tuning available to everyone. Several folks have requested the Dajari-F B11 tuning, so here it is.

The initial plan for this year was to make instructional downloads for each of six exotic B11 tunings, to demonstrate the breadth of music that is possible on this otherwise unassuming but beautiful kalimba... but then Christmas came knocking, and with it came the creation of four new books of Easy Christmas Carols... to get this done, several items had to be put on hold including the exotic B11 project and the Dajari-F tuning.

We regret the delay, but now you are invited to explore this very clean and positive B11 tuning.

25 September 2018

Exotic B11 Tunings Overview

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

We have four tunings out now - let's pause and consider

Exotic B11 Tunings Overview

The B11 is a really cool kalimba concept. Even though it has only two more notes than the Sansula on which it was modeled, it can go to many, many more places, musically, emotionally, and vibrationally.

Just as the Sansula does, the B11 naturally leads you down pleasing avenues of discovery. The lower notes work together one way, the upper notes work together another way, and the upper and lower notes can dance together in many ways.

But the arrangement of those notes - the exact order in which they are laid out - has a tremendous effect on a kalimba's music and its meaning to us.  Click through to hear and see the musics that several different B11 kalimba tunings can create.

24 August 2018

New Exotic B11 Tuning: The Four WInds

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

This one plays in four different scales, without retuning a single note

New Exotic B11 Tuning: The Four WInds

I love to fall in love. Who doesn't? Yes, it is a bit chaotic, and your plans might go out the window, but the blissful feeling of falling in love? Of discovering and sharing each's inner secrets?

That is why I devote myself to exploring new exotic tunings on the various kalimbas - because each new tuning is an opportunity to fall in love.

I can't really tell which kalimba or tuning I will fall in love with, but I know it when it happens. All of a sudden, I understand, and the movement of my thumbs on the tines starts to flow, and we are working as one.

I just fell in love with the B11 "Four Winds" tuning, and I feel happy to be able to present to you four opportunities for you to do the same, all in one kalimba.

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.

13 April 2019

Exotic Tunings for 17-Note Kalimba

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

Reinvent your Kalimba, Re-energize your Kalimba Playing

Exotic Tunings for 17-Note Kalimba

If you ever get to the point where you feel your kalimba is old hat, or you cannot think of anything new to do on it, you need to come back to this article.

By retuning your kalimba to a new tuning, you basically get a new instrument that presents you with a new world view and plays new music, all for the price of... the five or ten minutes it will take for you to retune your kalimba.

You would be amazed - these tunings sound so rich and amazing and different! Just listen to each one. Each is a land I would love to explore.