29 March 2019

Little Bits of Music - Playing Scales 2

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements, Tips

Here is a song you know that utilizes the scale in its melody

Little Bits of Music - Playing Scales 2

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 for a 17-Note Kalimba in C, but the concept and even the tablature is the same for many other types of kalimbas.)

The scale segments are easy to spot in this music - for one because they are marked with yellow lines! But you can also see that the notes zigzag back and forth on the kalimba.

The first four of the five notes in each of the scale segment here are eighth notes, which are faster than the un-barred quarter notes. And this gives us an important idea about how useful scales are on the kalimba: if you want to play fast on the kalimba, you need to go back and forth, left and right - like on a scale, though there are other things you can play that alternate left and right that are not scales.

About the Author

Mark Holdaway

Mark Holdaway

Mark Holdaway has been playing kalimba for over 30 years.  He invented his kalimba tablature in 2004, and has been writing books and instructional materials for kalimba ever since.  His business, Kalimba Magic, is based on the simple proposition that the kalimba is a real musical instrument capable of greatness.  Mark's kalimba books are a down payment on this proposition.