29 March 2019

Little Bits of Music - Playing Scales 3

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

The Kalimba Plays Many Scales - here is a D Minor Scale

Little Bits of Music - Playing Scales 3

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 a D minor scale.


(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.)

Actually, it is a bit more complicated than just calling it a D minor scale. It is the D dorian mode, which is special flavor of minor scale.

But this is amazing. Listen to what those eight notes sound like. It seems to be just like making the C major scale, but instead, it sounds - and FEELS - completely different than the C major.

This is one of the many flavors that is available to you in your kalimba playing.

There are actually seven different modes available to you on your kalimba. You can make those modes by picking a note on which to start the scale, and then zigzagging your way up to the same note an octave higher.

Each different note you pick to start the scale on will have a slightly different feeling to it.

And each different scale can be used as the basis for a melody or a song that expresses that scale's feeling.


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.