Hugh Tracey Box Pentatonic


I found one more of these, in an ALTO BOX – very nice darker wood with some light bands (Jan 26 2024). If the shop lets you add this box pentatonic to your cart, then it is yours!  – MH

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I find the Box Pentatonic kalimba to be versatile, wild, and freeing. Get this kalimba if you want to cut loose and explore the ethnic worlds of the alternative tunings.

This kalimba runs from G-1 to G+1 and has the 11 notes of two octaves of the G major pentatonic scale.

Because it uses the pentatonic scale, it is very easy to play, and seems to float and soar above the guitar. Note that the guitar is actually modulating, going from C natural in the C chord to C# in the A major chord. Since the G major pentatonic scale lacks the 4th (C), you can just keep playing without even looking back to see if the harmony changed!

Some customers have requested that I retune this one to G minor, so that the kalimba spans two octaves of the minor pentatonic scale (so the relative major then becomes B flat).

Pentatonic Kalimba Instructional Aids: There are two books available for the pentatonic kalimba. Our first book, Playing the Pentatonic Kalimba, is full of patterns and shows you lots of tricks to help you improvise and write music for the pentatonic kalimba. Our second book, co-written with Kathryn Rambo, is the Pentatonic Kalimba Songbook which includes 33 arrangements of 29 songs in both tablature and staff notation.

Listen to these sound clips:

Box Pentatonic, Standard G

G Minor Tuning

G Ake Bono Tuning

F7 Bebey Tuning

Learn more about the Pentatonic Kalimba.

Additional information

Weight 1.4 lbs
Dimensions 6.6 × 9 × 2.2 in







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. See answered questions.