Kalimba Community

Kalimbas on Tiles

Are you doing something cool with the kalimba? Have you released a new CD, or a new video on YouTube? Do you have an upcoming kalimba performance? Do you have some cool photos to share? Contact us and we'll get your story or pics onto the Community page to help you share your news or other good stuff with the kalimba world!

The Nine Note Cloud Nine Marimbula
can play I-IV-V in seven keys.

Cloud Nine Marimbula Advice From Loron Holden

A marimbula is a large bass kalimba.

I've had my Cloud Nine Marimbula for about a year and play it with a number of folk groups and at festivals around the Southeast. I have a suggestion for anyone interested in a Cloud Nine. Talk to Michael Allen and order the cello foot option!! This gives you some adjustment from the floor and allows me to put my feet under the instrument and will even allow you to play while standing with the foot fully extended. This is a nice feature I discovered when only a limited amount of stage space is available. Another tip is to use a mouse pad under the foot on hard services to stop the instrument from sliding away from me. I like the nine note version as it gives a much wider range that fits well with the other instruments and music that we play. I have been very happy with the volume of this Marimbula as I usually play with a group of 20-30 other instruments and is now our choice for a bass. I enjoyed your comparison article), nice job.

Another note: Coon Hollow Canvas in Kit, Montana makes a wonderful padded and well fitting case for the Cloud Nine, (They will make a case for any instrument). The shoulder straps and hand grips make handling and storage much easier. They also include a square covered insert that fits over the keys and provides protection for them!!

Kalimba Magic does not sell any marimbulas or bass kalimbas, but we endorse Cloud Nine Marimbulas and Eric Freeman Bass Kalimbas at this time. I myself love using the Cloud Nine Marimbula with kids. As it is arranged in the circle of 5ths, most songs can be played using only three adjacent notes, and you can even color code them with little stickers as you see in the photo above! —Mark

The Array Mbira

A Virtual Array Mbira

If you've never heard the Array Mbira, you should first check out this close-up of Puppet Patti playing the Array Mbira on YouTube. Now, if you've been to the Array Mbira website and balked at the $1600 - $2400 price tag, perhaps you should check out this virtual array mbira for your computer... Well, I know which one I would rather play.


Kalimba Lessons in Chicago?

One E. Williams is looking for kalimba instruction in Chicago. I've sent a number of kalimbas to Chicago, and figure there must be some top players out there. If you are in a position to give kalimba lessons, why don't you contact me and I'll send your information to E.


Kalimba Teacher Directory?

Which leads me to this idea: wouldn't it be great to have a map on the Kalimba Magic web site that would let you click on it and some magical Java script would spit out the names and emails of the closest kalimba instructors? Or a window where you enter your Zip Code, and a database search will return the closest teacher?

Given that I might be able to recommend like 10 teachers, that is some pie in the sky type thinking. BUT if you are a dreamer like me who also plays kalimba, and would like to teach, please contact me.

Kalimba Magic Logo

Become a Fan of Kalimba Magic on Facebook

I haven't exactly mastered the art of the social network thing. I do respond to email and phone, and I love to get visitors in person. But I am trying my hand at Facebook - so I'm inviting you to become a fan of Kalimba Magic on Facebook.

I put out almost everything I do in the newsletters... so I'll have to figure out something else to give to the Facebook community.


Slightly Defective Kalimbas for Half Price

About 1% of the kalimbas I get have some defect that prevents me from selling them at the regular price. I can send them back to Africa and get a refund, but then AMI takes a hit. Instead, in recent months I have sought to repair them when I can, or to sell them for the amount that I would have been refunded had I sent them back to Africa, i.e., about half price.

These defective kalimbas have cracked wood or pickups that don't work. We currently have some Altos and some Trebles with cracks and such. By the way, cracks have essentialy no impact on the sound of these instruments.

Most people who purchase kalimbas want a perfect little gem and do not want pre-broken kalimbas. On the other hand, if you are someone who lets lots of kids play on your kalimbas (yes, today I had a few kids throw my kalimbas, or at the very least DROP THEM on the floor), maybe you should be interested in getting a pre-broken kalimba. This sounds like a good option for Music Therapists and Music Teachers. You might not think twice about having a dozen excited kids wailing on that kalimba if you know you paid half price for it and it already has a crack on the back.

If you would like to inquire about purchasing a pre-broken instrument, contact me.


My Parting Words

As soon as you start a business, everybody and their brother starts sending you things. I still get junk mail for my failed business Marimbas and Beyond. (If you must know, I was a better maker of marimbas than kalimbas, but both are in the past now.) With a name like "Kalimba Magic", I get a lot of mail from people who think I am a MAGIC STORE. I try to explain what a kalimba is, and that I help people make magic with their kalimbas, but some people just don't get it - like Brad from China:

You wanna to let girls cray for you?
You wanna to make people stupefied?
You wanna hundreds of thousands of audiences clap and scream for you?
You wanna all these become true? Just join us!!!!

Of course I wanna to let girls cray for me, and I wanna hundreds of thousands of audiences clap and scream for me! That's why I play kalimba, isn't it?

—Mark Holdaway, Kalimba Magic


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