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Mark Holdaway

Little Bits of Music – Playing Scales 10

A Melody Using the Upper Octave of the C Scale A Box Lotus and a Regular Lotus Karimba This series of tips is about scales and how useful they are for the kalimba player. We used the opening melody of the Bach Minuet in G as an example of how scale segments are used in melodies. Now that we have had a look at the upper octave of the C Major scale, I take you back to the Minuet melody.   (By the way, the tablature here is for a 17-Note Kalimba in C, but the concept and even the tablature is the same for many other types of kalimbas.)

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Blog
Mark Holdaway

Little Bits of Music – Playing Scales 9

The Upper Octave of the C Scale A Box Lotus and a Regular Lotus Karimba This series of tips is about scales and how useful they are for the kalimba player. Do the math. You have a 17-Note kalimba. There are 8 notes in one octave of a scale. For the C Major scale, which starts on the very lowest note on your kalimba, you will be able to get a higher octave version of that scale. And here it is now!   (By the way, the tablature here is for a 17-Note Kalimba in C, but the concept and even the tablature is the same for many other types

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Blog
Mark Holdaway

Little Bits of Music – Playing Scales 8

The G Scale A Box Lotus and a Regular Lotus Karimba This series of tips is about scales and how useful they are for the kalimba player. The G major scale usually has an F# in it. However, if you play a G scale – 8 tonally consecutive notes – on a 17-Note Kalimba in C, you will have an F natural, or a flatted 7th in the otherwise major scale. In music theory terms, this is the G Mixolydian mode. To me, that flat 7th is the first step toward minorness, and it introduces a funky sort of feel.   (By the way, the tablature here is for a

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Blog
Mark Holdaway

Little Bits of Music – Playing Scales 7

Edging Up and Down the A minor scale A Box Lotus and a Regular Lotus Karimba This series of tips is about scales and how useful they are for the kalimba player. This is a great sort of exercise to help you gain familiarity with your kalimba. Each measure only has three different notes – for example, in the first measure, it goes A B C B A. It even rests a little extra time on that last note, to give you a chance to prepare for the next part. And what is the next part? This exercise, which I call a “spider,” inches up and back down… and then

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Blog
Mark Holdaway

Little Bits of Music – Playing Scales 6

An example of a song that uses the A Minor Scale A Box Lotus and a Regular Lotus Karimba This series of tips is about scales and how useful they are for the kalimba player. Really, this song lives in the A minor scale. It breathes the air and drinks the water of A minor. It knows the curves and twists of A minor, and it follows them. It is founded on the land of A minor. OK – I like to be dramatic. Do you remember the song “Those Were the Days, My Friend”? That is an example of a song that lives and breathes in a minor scale.

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Blog
Mark Holdaway

Little Bits of Music – Playing Scales 5

Here is the A Minor Scale A Box Lotus and a Regular Lotus Karimba This series of tips is about scales and how useful they are for the kalimba player.  We have already learned that different scales can be made by playing eight tonally consecutive notes on the kalimba, zigzagging our way back and forth over the instrument. We have played the D minor scale, made by starting on D, and going to E, F, G, A, B, C, and ending on D. We can get a slightly different minor scale by doing the same procedure, but starting on A, B, C, D, E, F, G, A.   (By the

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Blog
Mark Holdaway

Little Bits of Music – Playing Scales 4

Here is a kalimba melody that uses the D Minor Scale A Box Lotus and a Regular Lotus Karimba This series of tips is about scales and how useful they are for the kalimba player. This tip illustrates some music you can play in the D minor mode of your kalimba. Of course, the real lesson is for YOU to create some music in the D minor mode, so pay attention to this music and then try your hand at creating your own.     (By the way, the tablature here is for a 17-Note Kalimba in C, but the concept and even the tablature is the same for many

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Blog
Mark Holdaway

Little Bits of Music – Playing Scales 3

The Kalimba Plays Many Scales – here is a D Minor Scale A Box Lotus and a Regular Lotus Karimba This series of tips is about scales and how useful they are for the kalimba player. If you start on the middle tine – C – and alternate – right – left – right – left outward and upward and stop 8 notes higher, on the left side’s C, you have just made the C major scale. Now, instead of starting and ending on C, try starting on the low D just left of the center tine… and alternate your way up the scale, and stop on D. This is

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Blog
Mark Holdaway

Little Bits of Music – Playing Scales 2

Here is a song you know that utilizes the scale in its melody A Box Lotus and a Regular Lotus Karimba This series of tips is about scales and how useful they are for the kalimba player. The scale zigzags back and forth, left and right on your kalimba, gradually moving toward ever-shorter tines (to go up) or ever longer tines (to go down the scale). But why learn scales at all? Because they are useful. Check out Bach’s “Minuet in G” – yes, transposed to the C kalimba. If you can play your scales, you have already mastered half the notes.   (By the way, the tablature here is

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