down a rabbit hole #2

As my regular readers know, I’ve been down a few rabbit holes of late, discovering new things, thanks to internet search engines and youtube.  One of the rabbit holes led to me waving Mr Visa around again (always sensible to have Mr Visa to hand when you go exploring!) and I bought myself this:

A kalimba.  I chose a cheap model (on @m@zon) because I don’t know if this will be a passing phase or not.  A 17 tine version (tine is what the keys are called), made of acacia koa wood.  It came nicely packaged with a tuning hammer, little pouch, various stickers and thumb thingies, plus a little manual with a few easy tunes.

Each tine has the note engraved, and also a number, so you don’t even need to know how to read music to be able to pick up and play.  I added the red stickers to help me  keep track of notes.  You hold it in both hands and play by plucking the tines with your thumb(nail).

For the time-being, I’ve just about mastered “Ode to Joy” and have downloaded the tablature to learn the theme tune of “Beauty and the Beast” – basic melody is easy enough but there are quite a few chords and twiddly bits and my thumbs aren’t coordinated yet.

Anyway, I’ve been having so much fun making music that I couldn’t resist sharing my find with Mr & Mrs Viking during a chat on skype.  They are both very musical.  They thought the kalimba sounded lovely too, so I ended up ordering two more to be sent directly to them, plus a mini 8-tine kalimba for Little Viking.  Only 24 hours after receiving theirs, Mr & Mrs Viking are already playing the theme music to Harry Potter !  so I’ve got a bit of catching up to do lol.

21 thoughts on “down a rabbit hole #2

  1. Well that’s a different sort of rabbit hole you’ve gone down now Claire 😁
    I’ll bet Little Viking is having a whale of time. I remember having one of those coloured xylophone thingies when I was little but I don’t think they were capable of such tuneful output, not in my hands at least.

    • yes ’tis a slightly “hors piste” direction this one ^^ I think it’s the birthday that spurred me on. Thinking I need to be learning different things, and moving out of my comfort zone to keep grey cells from shrivelling up.

    • and I’m afraid you’ll never get the pleasure, Cathy ^^ I am not tech-savvy enough to film myself and put it on-line. You’ll just have to imagine my faltering steps ^^

  2. Awesome! Congratulations in your diving down the musical rabbit hole and taking the family with you. That’s sounds like so much fun. I think the sound of the kalimba is magical like a fairytale music box. I look forward to hearing about your musical progress. 🙂

  3. Back when I was in my 20s, I had an Mbira, which is a keyed instrument that looks quite a bit like your Kalimba, but much more ‘home-made’. I worked with the head of the Music department at the School of Oriental and African Studies at London University, and he gave it to me after a project about the music of Zimababwe. I believe it’s a forerunner of your lovely Kalimba, which is much more standardised. I hope it gives you years of enjoyment

      • I gave it away, to a musician friend who actually used it; the poor thing was just getting dusty on my shelf. It was made from a thick chunk of wood and the keys were cut from a Gold Flake tobacco tin – you could see the lid printing on the underside of some keys. Simple, but a lovely tone. And of course, no instructions with it, so I never learned to use it.

  4. What a fabulous rabbit hole though I was looking at one of these but was actually to scared to buy one to try since my attempt of teach myself the ukulele hasn’t gone very well. After seeing this maybe I will actually give it a go. 🙂

    • Joanne, I suspect this is easier to learn than the ukulele ^^ I’d say it’s remarkably easy to pick up and play a simple tune BUT like with any instrument, will need lots of practice to become a really fluent player. Advantage: there are loads of free kalimba tabs on-line, which means plenty of choice to inspire.

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