Lotus 150 Lotus and SaReGaMa Tunings

New Age musician SaReGaMa is a master at inventing new kalimba tunings. He has turned on a whole new generation of kalimba players, with both his brilliant playing and innovative tunings. Learn here about his special karimba tunings, the Lotus, the Freygish, and the Air tuning; watch Saregama's karimba videos, and check out instructional materials and karimbas available for purchase.

 

Lotus Karimba Videos


  • SaReGaMa's Original Lotus Tuning


  • Box-Mounted Lotus Karimba


  • Matteo Crugnola on the Lotus karimba


  • Sue Moxon on the Lotus karimba - finger style! (must watch)


  • Bernhard Schimpelsberger on the Lotus karimba - perhaps my favorite.


  • Jack Vendetta on the Lotus karimba. The white tape deadens the buzzers for a milder buzz.


  • Although this video is not the sort of thing I usually post, there is a very good point to it: Marissa uses sparsely played Lotus Karimba notes to back up her beautiful voice. This is a perfect use of the Lotus Karimba, and I am surprised that more people aren't doing this sort of thing with it.


  • Mark Holdaway playing the Bob Marley song "We're Jamming!" on the Lotus karimba.

    Instructional Materials for Lotus Karimba

    • Lotus Book

      Lotus Book

      Best-selling guide to playing the SaReGaMa Lotus Karimba: 58 pages, includes tablature for 76 musical exercises, with MP3s of each available for download. Dozens of tips for how to progress on the Lotus, plus five alternative tunings.

      Purchase Book/Download

    • Lotus Download

      Lotus Download

      PDF download of book: best-selling guide to playing the SaReGaMa Lotus Karimba: 58 pages, includes tablature for 76 musical exercises, with MP3s of each available for download. Dozens of tips for playing Lotus.

      Purchase Book/Download

    • Lotus Solo

      Lotus Solo

      This download contains the complete SaReGaMa Lotus Solo in two handed staff notation, in Kalimba Tablature, and as a MIDI file - everything you need to learn to play this wonderful piece of music.

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    SaReGaMa Lotus Karimba Models

    Lotus Karimba

    Lotus Karimba

    The Lotus-tuned Karimba is the best selling of the SaReGaMa models.

    SaReGaMa created this karimba tuning right about when his daughter, Lotus, was born. Each night he would help Lotus go to sleep by improvising music on his karimba. When he got really good, he recorded a video of his playing, published it on YouTube. He named it "Kalimba Solo for Lotus" and dedicated it to his daughter. The video got about 20,000 views over the first three years, but then it went viral on Reddit, and in one awesome week the video got half a million views! For a few years since then it has been the most popular kalimba video the world has ever known. While SaReGaMa's solo is in G minor, the Lotus-tuned karimba plays equally well in C minor.

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    Lotus Karimba with Pickup

    Lotus Karimba with Pickup

    This is the same Lotus-tuned Karimba, but with an electronic pickup installed. The pickup is mounted beneath the bridge from the back side of the kalimba body, and the jack is mounted at the head of the kalimba.

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    Box Lotus Karimba

    Box Lotus Karimba

    Lotus karimbas have a distinct look. You know for sure, from the lengths of the tines and the scalloped patterns the tine tips make, that this is a Lotus tuning. It is mounted on a box rather than a solid board, which gives you different tonal properties, some acoustic amplification, and the ability to do the "wah wah" effect - but it is definitely a Lotus-tuned Karimba!

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    Box Lotus Karimba with Pickup

    Box Lotus Karimba with Pickup

    And this one is the box-mounted Lotus-tuned Karimba with pickup. Would you, could you, with a fox?

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    Freygish Karimba Video

      Instructional Materials for Freygish Karimba

      • Freygish Download

        Freygish Download

        Download the PDF for the book Playing the Freygish-tuned Karimba. The PDF includes a URL from which you can download MP3 files for each of the 54 songs. Two of these songs can be heard on YouTube (search for Freygish karimba).

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      • Freygish Book

        Freygish Book

        Coming Soon: Playing the Freygish-tuned Karimba Book.

      SaReGaMa Freygish Karimba Models

      Freygish Karimba

      Freygish Karimba

      The Freygish tuning is my favorite of SaReGaMa's Karimba tunings. You may be able to detect this from the loving way I highlight the regular pattern the tines make, in the photo. The Freygish-tuned Karimba plays in C harmonic minor and also in a G Middle Eastern scale.

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      Freygish Karimba with Pickup

      Freygish Karimba with Pickup

      All of the Hugh Tracey Kalimbas come with optional pickup. Since Kalimba Magic builds the Freygish Karimba from other Hugh Tracey components, we can always make one from a karimba body with a pickup.

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      Air Karimba Video


      • SaReGaMa playing his Air Karimba

        Instructional Materials for Air Karimba

        • Free Air Download

          Free Air Download

          While we would like to have a full-length download for the Air Karimba in the future, for now we just have this 12-page introduction to the Air Karimba Layout - so for now, it's FREE!

          Purchase Book/Download

        SaReGaMa Air Karimba Models

        Air Karimba

        Air Karimba

        Among SaReGaMa's tunings, the Lotus is the most idiosyncratic, and the Freygish is the most regular. The Air tuning falls somewhere in between the two - it has a fairly regular note layout, but it skips some notes in the lower row, and has a long tine thrown in among short tines on the upper row. The Air-tuned Karimba plays in D minor.

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        Air Karimba with Pickup

        Air Karimba with Pickup

        And of course, the Air-tuned Karimba is also available with an electronic pickup.

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        SaReGaMa Tunings

        The two Lotus tunings here have identical notes, but show different numbers which indicate how the notes are used in Gm and Cm tunings. SaReGaMa plays his Lotus solo in the key of Gm, but most folks tend to play the karimba in Cm because on this karimba, C is the low, bass note and they make it be the root note. Every kalimba tuning could be used in multiple modes; these two are the most likely to be used.

         

        • SaReGaMa Lotus Tuning - relative to G minor

          SaReGaMa Lotus Tuning - relative to G minor

          SaReGaMa's Solo for Lotus is played in G minor, but the tuning supports either G minor or C minor. C minor is in some ways more psychologically compelling because the bass note on the Lotus is C. When G is made to be the root note, this is a straight natural minor scale, except that the 2nd is missing.
        • SaReGaMa Lotus Tuning - relative to C minor

          SaReGaMa Lotus Tuning - relative to C minor

          This chart has the exact same note names as the G minor Lotus tuning, but the numbers - that is, the roles that each note is playing - has shifted to make C be the "1" or root. From this point of reference, the 6th is missing, giving this tuning a sort of pentatonic feel. To be completely pentatonic, the D or 2nd would also have to be missing.
        • SaReGaMa Freygish Tuning

          SaReGaMa Freygish Tuning

          This is a C harmonic minor scale, but it also works as a G Middle Eastern scale. The C natural minor would have a minor 7th, minor 3rd, and minor 6th, but the 7th is a major 7th in the harmonic minor scale.
        • SaReGaMa Air Tuning

          SaReGaMa Air Tuning

          SaReGaMa Air tuning is a form of D minor with a 4 and a 5 in the bass below D (the 1), but skipping the 7th of the scale in the lower range. Why? Avoiding the 7th permits one to hear either an implied major 7th or a minor 7th, so the lower range does not conflict with the harmonic minor (requiring a major 7th). In the upper range, the minor 7th (which is C) is used, making this a natural minor.

        Questions?

        If you have any questions, feel free to contact us via the email form, or speak directly to Mark Holdaway at 520-488-7641.

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