How to Play the Hokema B11 Kalimba

This kalimba has top notch materials and craftmanship, it plays music as smooth and beautiful as the B9, but with a few more notes, this kalimba becomes much more musically capable. Exotic tunings available.

Multiple Modes on the B11 Kalimba

Demonstration of different modes on the B11 kalimba in standard tuning.

This video shows the diversity of modes, or scales that is possible on the B11 kalimba. Each mode is defined by emphasizing one of the notes as the root note, and each of these scales has different emotional/musical content. To follow this video: each phrase is 4 measures long and takes about 6.5 seconds to play. On the tablature, each column is a phrase. Each column (at least till the end) has repeat signs, so each column is played twice… meaning each mode will sit around for 2 * 6.5 seconds = 13 seconds. (If you were playing this at home, you would probably repeat each phrase more times before moving on to the next phrase.)


Exotic Tunings for the B11 Kalimba

Another way to get a diversity of musical expressions is to change the B11 kalimba’s tuning. With only 11 notes, there is only so far you can go… unless you get creative! The tuning of the kalimba will define its universe of musical possibilities. Change the tuning, and you have changed the instrument.


Instructional Resources for the B11 Kalimba

We have one hard copy book for the B11 in standard G tuning, and ebooks for G tuning, Four Winds tuning, and The Wizard tuning. These books will help you explore the wildernesses of these wonderful B11 tunings to get the most out of your kalimba experience.



Get the B11 Kalimba


Get the B11 Elektro Kalimba

Get the B11 Melody Sansula

Oh, and why do some kalimbas have bent up tines?

It is a traditional African thing, but many western kalimbas have also adopted the upward bent row of tines interleaved between the longer, lower tines. It transforms the instrument, it is an organizing principle, and it make certain types of things easy to play on the instrument.


Blog Posts About the B11 Kalimbe

B11 Kalimba Video


Instructional Resources for the B11 Kalimba

Dajari-F B11 Tuning

Exotic B11 Tunings Overview

New Exotic B11 Tuning: The Four WInds

New Exotic B11 Tuning: The Wizard

A Download and Book for the Hokema B11 Kalimba






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

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