Download: Playing The Four Winds B11


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 The “Four Winds” tuning was named to reflect the different modes that it played, more or less with equal ease:  Bb Major (East Wind),  Eb Lydian (North Wind), F Mixolydian (West Wind), and G Minor (South Wind). Playing in each of these four modes brings a different ethnic flavor to your music. Like having a four-scoop ice cream cone, each scoop a different flavor.


The “Four Winds” B11 download is an intermediate level, 58 page PDF, instructing via graphic kalimba tablature, words and advice, and with 55 MP3 files, all linked-to and easily clickable within the PDF. The music, in tablature, comes in 4-8 measure chunks which form bite-sized cycles that fit on one page. The cycles are repeated to create a song. Longer songs are built up by introducing variations into the cycles, or by switching to a complimentary cycle.

To me, the Bb Major (East Wind) is the most vanilla mode, meaning the most commonly used and standard one, but the way this scale sits on the B11 kalimba prevents me from doing my “old tricks” and forces me to confront new musical possibilities. I love it! The Eb Lydian mode (North Wind) sounds angelic, and makes me think of Celtic or Scandanavian. Perhaps Elvish music. The F Mixolydian mode (West Wind) is folk, Latin, Celtic, and psychedelic 60s music. Cool and groovy! And the G Minor mode (South Wind) is Mexican or Spanish. That is a pretty good tour of the world through imagination and music. Lovely!



This music relfects the four different scales the B11 Four Winds plays… and the sort of music you will learn to play.

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.