What's the Buzz at Kalimba Magic

Happy Mark

Miscellaneous news, happenings and other items of interest from Kalimba Magic!

Finding Your Way Around the Kalimba Magic Website

Tip of the Day

One of the broadest and deepest parts of the Kalimba Magic website is the Tips of the Day. There is currently usually a tip for each day of the week except Friday (the Friday tips went on semi-permanent vacation a couple years ago). The tip for each day of the week has a unique objective:

The tend for a given day of the week tend to run in series of 3 to 20 tips, spread over many weeks or even months. Each series of tips tells a story.

The depth of the tips is apparent when one views the vast tip archives. At the top right of each of the current tips is a link to the archives for that day of the week. If you click on the archives link, you can see all the tips in each of the series going back to June 2006. The tip archives are a great place to browse for items of interest.

For example, looking at the Thursday (featured kalimba) archives, you can find series and lists of individual tip titles on the karimba, the pentatonic kalimba, the sansula and treblito, the 8-note kalimba, the sansula, the sansula in beautiful E tuning, modal scales n the diatonic kalimba, modes and intervals, the chromatic kalimba, the G minor karimba, the hotshot-11 (diatonic 11-note), the 11-note Goshen, the G chromatic kalimba, the G amadinda, the sansula (again, again), the box pentatonic kalimba, and the primal karimba.

So, no matter what you are looking for, browsing through the titles in the tip archives is sure to turn up something of interest to you. By the way, the search tool searches the entire web site, including the tips.

In the very near future, I expect to be running tips from guest writers, kalimba players in the community who are helping me out with their own series of tips on how they are expanding their understanding of the kalimba universe.

Next month we'll touch on the Newsletters, which are also archived and are a great source of kalimba information.

Alto and Treble

Kalimba Magic Open House: March 10, 6 to 9pm

I've been turning my living room into a room for magic, and I invite you to come out and jam, ask questions, get a short kalimba lesson, or pick up a book, CD, or kalimba. I'll have a bit of food and some cool kalimbas. It doesn't matter if you are an experienced player, a novice, or a non-player. Come on out, it is time to build the Tucson kalimba community. I would love to see you!

If you are in southern Arizona, drop in and let's make some magic. If you need directions, contact me.

Easter Hymns

Easter Hymns

Just a reminder that we have instructional downloads of Alto Easter Hymns and Treble Easter Hymns in PDF tablature and KTabS formats for $10. These came out last year, but they weren't available until just before Easter, i.e., I used Easter as the inspiration to create these arrangements. So this year, you actually have enough time to learn some of these hymns in time for Easter.

The 12 Easter Hymns in the download are available in basic melody-only arrangements for beginners, and also in full harmony or counterpoint arrangements for more advanced players. Even the advanced players will probably want to start with the basic arrangements to get the feel for the melody.

The Hymns included in these downloads are:


More New Kalimba Magic Post Cards

Kalimba Magic has more post cards! Nature photographer Glen Davis has turned some of his striking kalimbas into postcards to supplement the collection of post cards we already developed last year. We will also have a batch of Sansula post cards coming out in the coming months.

Why kalimba post cards? First, I like to write little notes on them when I send out kalimbas. Second, you can hang 'em on your bulletin board to remind yourself how beautiful these kalimbas are. Third, if someone bought a kalimba for you as a gift, how appropriate will be a kalimba post card for a thank you note. Fourth, use kalimba post cards for general greeting cards to your friends and help spread the word about this magical little instrument.

Three Kalimba Magic postcards

8-Note Insert

8-Note Kalimba Insert

We designed this informative 8-note kalimba insert a while ago and ran out of them, but since we were getting the post cards printed up, we also made 1000 of these. If you buy an 8-note kalimba today, it will come with one of these. If you bought an 8-note kalimba last month or last year, it didn't come with an 8-note insert. If you need one, just contact me and send your mailing address and I'll get one out to you right away. Or you could just download one and print it out.

This insert tells a bit of Hugh Tracey's story, and gives you the basic tuning of the 8-Note kalimba. But the thing that I really like is the four different alternative tunings for the 8-Note. With one from Africa, one from Persia, one from the Middle-East, and one from Japan, this can help you make your little kalimba into an ambassador of world music.




Tablature for "I'm Moving Tomorrow"

Last summer we did a tips series that provided step by step instructions for playing a song I wrote a few years back called "I'm Moving Tomorrow". But we never gave you the tablature for the compete song. So here it is now as a PDF and here it is as KTB (we are adding these links to this series as well).

By the way, this song was written for Dan the Hot Dog and Coffee Man who runs a little cart at the University of Arizona, when he was about to move in with his girlfriend. I didn't write another tune for him when he moved out.

D Treble Chords

Chord Chart for D Treble Kalimba

One of these days, I'm going to have everything done. I'll have chord charts for every kind of kalimba and every kind of kalimba tuning.

But today I've only got a chord chart for the D Treble kalimba. Click on the image to the right to download the PDF for this chart. And to help me in my goal of accomplishing everything, if you have a kalimba/tuning that dosn't have a chord chart yet, please contact me and I'll get one made up for you!



Blond Alto

New! Blonde Hugh Tracey Altos Now Available

While I own over 20 kalimbas, I do 90% of my performing on about four different kalimbas, and probably half my performing on my favorite kalimba, the very first Bb Treble kalimba. Part of what makes that kalimba so special is its blond face wood. And now you can purchase blond Hugh Tracey Alto Kalimbas.

What is different about the sound of a blond face-wooded kalimba? All Hugh Tracey kalimbas are made of kiaat wood. The heart wood of kiaat is dark and dense, while the sap wood of kiaat is blond and not so dense. A blond kalimba can be about 10-20% lighter than a dark wooded kalimba.

The denser dark wood will not resonate as loudly, but will sustain longer. The lighter blond wood will make a louder sound, but will not sustain as long. I myself play fast enough that I actually prefer a less sustained sound, and the louder, brighter sound is wonderful to me.

If you don't believe me, listen to a dark and a blond kalimba side by side.

I hope to be able to offer blond-wooded Altos, Trebles, and Box Pentatonics. I find that the board models (Celestes, Karimbas, and TM Altos) are somewhat lacking in tone, but I really love the sound the blond boxes make. And I hope you love them too. If you are interested in getting a blond Alto, contact me.

Stairway To Heaven

First Part of "Stairway to Heaven" on Chromatic Kalimba

This music was the acid test for high school guitarists in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. I wonder what they use nowadays to assess guitar expertise?

You cannot play this song on a diatonic kalimba - you must have the chromatic kalimba. Which is why it is here for you right now!

First a reminder about the chromatic tablature - this is non-optimal, but it is what we have at the moment. The front tines are the central 15 (just like the Alto), and the chromatic tines on the back are represented by the shaded tines on the far left and right. You can tell which tines are the chromatics based on the note names at the bottom of the tab. In the second bar, the song requires an Eb from the back side - that Gb is actually F# from the front side.

You can download the PDF file for Starway to Heaven or download the KTabS file for Starway to Heaven.

Nowhere Man

"Nowhere Man" on Chromatic Kalimba

If you didn't read the explanation about the chromatic tablature under Stairway to Heaven, do so now.

I play a verison of Nowhere Man on a diatonic kalimba, but it is missing one note. I finesse the missing note with my arrangement, but for those of you who have the chromatic kalimbas, why bother? Thats right! You can play what the song actually calls for.

Think of the song: He's a real nowhere man, sitting in his nowhere land, making all his no-where plans for nobody. That no requires an Eb (yes, the same note that Stairway to Heaven needs). It is the minor third of the C chord - or rather C minor.

You can download the PDF file for Nowhere Man or download the KTabS file for Nowhere Man.


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