Instructional download for the Celtic-D Karimba, a 46-page PDF with tablature and live links to sound files to help you get the most out of your Celtic-D Karimba.
The Celtic D Karimba is designed to play Celtic music in the key of D major, or B minor, or E dorian mode. Not all Celtic music is in D, but it is a common key for Celtic music.
Kalimba, or Karimba? That is a tricky one. Kalimba now generally means a non-traditional kalimba, such as the Hugh Tracey Kalimbas or the 17-Note Kalimbas in C. Karimba is a specific traditional instrument with half its tines raised. The Celtic-D Karimba started out life as a traditional African tuned karimba, but has been changed into a non-traditional tuning, to facilitate Celtic music.
With two rows of interspersed tines, the spacing between adjacent tines on the same row is significantly increased. This makes fast melody playing easier (because the tines are spread out more), but it makes glissandos and chords a bit more difficult (because the tines are spread out more).
The Celtic D Karimba tines are mounted on a solid board, mainly because box kalimbas cannot support the high notes in the middle.
There are 15 notes to cover two octaves of the D major scale… but as there are 17 tines on the Celtic D Karimba, this gives us an extra low tine, C#, and an extra high tine, E. These notes make a buffer below and above the two octave range. Melodies will sometimes have little turnarounds that go down to the low C# or up to the high E.
The low note, C#, is a half step above middle C on the piano.
Here is the Swallowtail Jig: