I've had this old mahogany chest I found in a thrift store, and was planning to build an upright bass with it -- but no more!

After trying the Sansula tuning, I am now so intrigued to try other tunings, like the major and minor pentatonics.  Since retuning is a bit of a pain, better to set up individual sets and be able to switch them out.

Metal tines, wood tines, bamboo tines - no limits now!  I can even make a bass set with jumbo tines!


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Replies to This Discussion

Photos! We need photos!
Cam levers to hold down each different tuning set.

And a piezo, just in case!

If only I did not have to work for money.
Diane in Chicago said:
Cam levers to hold down each different tuning set.

.

Diane, go to http://ktabs.theirhouse.org/ktabsMain.php and download a copy of a program called KTabs. There's a free version that won't let you save or print; I bought the full-featured one. This is a nifty little program that allows you to learn tablature for the kalimba. There's dozens of "standard" tunings available, or you can cook up your own. If it doesn't have the pentatonic key you're looking for, you can roll your own.

This is a cool little learning program -- you can play at a slower tempo while you're learning. You should hear me play "Mbube" (a South African song known in this country an "Wimoweh" or "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"), with me on the melody and Ktabls playing a three-part harmony! The story behind the song is a sad one, full of cheatin' record deals and duplicity. Here's the original Solomon Linda's version -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrrQT4WkbNE
Miriam Makeba has a nice version as well -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fEHguhykD8&feature=related

Mark Holdaway has TONS of free instruction available on his Kalimba Magic page -- http://www.kalimbamagic.com/ -- that runs under KTabs.

P.S. Lions DON'T sleep in the jungle, and not at night anyway.
Thanks! With all these tunings, all the more reason to build a half dozen.

I have been watching player SaReGaMa on youtube, like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=at3vFejwEaY

and especially this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tg24k7tzIc0

Alan Roberts said:
Diane in Chicago said:
Cam levers to hold down each different tuning set.

.

Diane, go to http://ktabs.theirhouse.org/ktabsMain.php and download a copy of a program called KTabs. There's a free version that won't let you save or print; I bought the full-featured one. This is a nifty little program that allows you to learn tablature for the kalimba. There's dozens of "standard" tunings available, or you can cook up your own. If it doesn't have the pentatonic key you're looking for, you can roll your own.

This is a cool little learning program -- you can play at a slower tempo while you're learning. You should hear me play "Mbube" (a South African song known in this country an "Wimoweh" or "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"), with me on the melody and Ktabls playing a three-part harmony! The story behind the song is a sad one, full of cheatin' record deals and duplicity. Here's the original Solomon Linda's version -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrrQT4WkbNE
Miriam Makeba has a nice version as well -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fEHguhykD8&feature=related

Mark Holdaway has TONS of free instruction available on his Kalimba Magic page -- http://www.kalimbamagic.com/ -- that runs under KTabs.

P.S. Lions DON'T sleep in the jungle, and not at night anyway.
Alan, I am about to order some 1/16" wood to make "tines"" for the kalimba-tron. Choices are maple, black walnut, cherry and jatoba (Brazilian cherry) -- because they are cheap and available in 1/16".

Have you ever worked with wood, and does the type make any difference? Or is a hardwood a hardwood - in this case?
Diane in Chicago said:
BR>Have you ever worked with wood, and does the type make any difference? Or is a hardwood a hardwood - in this case?

I have never used wood for tines, except popsicle sticks to prove a point. What types of wood you use has to make a difference, but I don't have the answers you seek. The nearest thing I can call to mind is hardwoods used for marimbas -- vibrating blocks of wood. The woods used there are expensive! We're talking about Honduras rosewood, African padouk, durian or meranti. But you will only be using slivers... I'm wondering if you could order rosewood bindings or something like that?

Let me see if I can rescue some paduke scrap I saw Monday. Nasty stuff, that. Mildly toxic, tends to get into other woods you're working on (you can NOT use a piece of sandpaper on paduke and then maple, unless you like pink maple). Oily, it doesn't glue up well. Banned now in the college workshop. But there was a thin long piece I saw... I'll dig around.

Start out with bamboo. Cheap as dirt. Used throughout Africa by tribes without iron.

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