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Mark Holdaway

Why Should You Buy From Kalimba Magic?

Because of the greatly superior overall kalimba experience that you’ll have with us Mark Holdaway and Mike Ankomeus of Kalimba Magic tune, paint, and set up the kalimbas you buy from us   Most kalimbas you buy online will arrive at your door in a relatively untuned state. Most kalimbas you buy online are packed by someone who has no idea of how to set up the instrument. At Kalimba Magic, Mark Holdaway or Mike Ankomeus tune every kalimba before it ships. We paint the relevant tines to help you read the tablature. We include a tuning chart and a “care and feeding” card directing you to the online resources

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Blog
Mark Holdaway

Why Are Some of the Tines Colored?

The Top Five Reasons Why A Box Lotus and a Regular Lotus Karimba   My idea of kalimba playing perfection is being able to know exactly where every tine is on my kalimba without looking. To be able to leap across from one side to the other, or to be able to jump large intervals from a low tine to a high tine… perfectly! To be able to play amazingly, quickly, accurately, and crisply, all by feel and memory. Ah, it’s a lovely dream. But after playing for 33 years, I still like to rely on visual cues to help me keep my place and find my way on the kalimba.

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Alto featured
Blog
Mark Holdaway

Why Get an Alto Kalimba?

Let Me Count the Reasons The 15-Note Hugh Tracey Alto Kalimba has been made from African kiaat hardwood by African Musical Instruments in South Africa since 1954.   I have recently heard from several people who were trying to purchase an Alto kalimba, but their attempts were somehow foiled. Some ignorant sellers are marketing cheaper kalimbas, claiming them to be Hugh Tracey Alto kalimbas. One fellow who was trying to get a good deal had bought two different kalimbas that claimed to be Hugh Tracey Alto kalimbas… but neither of them were! He begged me: “How am I going to get an Alto kalimba?” Well, it isn’t that hard. I

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Blog
Mark Holdaway

Kalimba Christmas Lyrics 1

Lyrics to Some Kalimba Holiday Music    These are some secular holiday songs that I get great joy from playing on kalimba. You can either read along silently, or if you are inspired to sing, please join me!   Winter Wonderland Sleigh bells ring, are you listening?In the lane, snow is glisteningA beautiful sightWe’re happy tonightWalking in a winter wonderland   Gone away is the bluebirdHere to stay is a new birdHe sings a love songAs we go alongWalking in a winter wonderland   In the meadow we can build a snowmanWe’ll pretend that he is Parson BrownHe’ll say, Are you married?We’ll say, No manBut you can do the job

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Blog
Mark Holdaway

Kalimba Christmas Lyrics

Lyrics to Mark Holdaway’s “Kalimba Christmas” Medley   This is a medley of all the Christmas carols that were deeply meaningful to me as I was growing up. I first created this medley for Kalimba in 2002, and it is available on my CD “Christmas Kalimba”.  You can either read the lyrics silently as the kalimba plays, or you can sing along if you are inspired.   Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (Instrumental) O Holy Night O holy night the stars are brightly shiningIt is the night of our dear Savior’s birthLong lay the world in sin and error piningTill He appeared and the soul felt its worth A thrill

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Blog
Mark Holdaway

New: Duncan-tuned Alto Kalimba and Book

This is the tuning Cornelius Duncan uses on his track on Poncho Sanchez’ Acclaimed CD “Trane’s Delight” One of the key features of most kalimbas: You will find the higher-octave note on the opposite side from where you find that same note an octave lower. For example, low C is on the right, and the C that’s an octave higher is on the left side of the kalimba. This layout (which is of alternating ascending notes) completely informs how the instrument is played and the resulting music.                                        But what if there were a tuning where a given note that is on the right side… stays on the right side in

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Blog
Mark Holdaway

Brand New to Kalimba? Step 2

Find the books and downloads that will work for your kalimba I’m Mark Holdaway. I’ve been playing kalimba since 1986, and I put all my experience into my kalimba books. Hi, Mark from Kalimba Magic again. Each different type of kalimba, with different notes, is capable of different songs. Hence, each different type of kalimba needs its own book. As there are dozens of fundamentally different types of kalimbas out there, there are many many kalimba books… in my universe, anyway! I have written 50 kalimba instructional downloads and 25 kalimba books. And so, when you go looking at my kalimba books or ebooks, figuring out which one/s would work

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Blog
Mark Holdaway

Octaves on the 17-Note Kalimba

On most kalimbas, including the 17-Note Kalimba in C, octave pair notes will be on opposite hands Here is a great tip to help you play the 17-note kalimba. Actually, most “regular” kalimbas follow this rule, so read on even if you have an 8-Note, an Alto, a Treble, or a Pentatonic kalimba. “Regular” kalimbas have low notes in the center, and as you go farther from the center, notes get higher. Consecutive notes alternate from right to left, going outward as you go up the scale. Consider the scale “Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do” = “1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8.” If the low

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Blog
Mark Holdaway

What Should I Do About Rusty Tines?

If you live in a humid climate, your kalimba tines could rust over the years I have seen some pretty old kalimbas with totally rusted tines. Kalimbas that have lived on a sailboat for 5 years. Kalimbas that have lived in Hawaii for 20 years. Kalimbas that have lived in Miama for 10 years. These high humidity environs can certainly induce kalimba tine rust. But I think most of these kalimbas could have been handled differently so they didn’t get so bad so fast. Keep reading if you would like to know some simple things you can do to prevent or remove rust from your kalimba tines.   What if

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