MBIRA - the non-profit organization devoted to Shona mbria music

SITE CONTENTS

Home Page

Erica’s Blog

What’s New On The Site?

The MBIRA Organization

About MBIRA
Erica Azim
Activities
Mailing List Sign-up
Tax Deductible Donations

Workshops and Lessons
    Skype Mbira Lessons
    Mbira Camp
    Enrollment Form
    Getting an Mbira
    Pointers for Mbira
        Students
    Tuning Your Mbira
    On Teaching

Event Calendar

The MBIRA Catalog
    Mbiras with DVD
    Student Series DVDs/CDs
    Mbiras
    Mbira Accessories
    Downloads & CDs
    Discount Downloads
    1985-2001 Downloads
    NEW RELEASES
    Zim Music/Dance Videos
    Favorites/Gift Guide
    Library Packages
    Mbira Piece Intensives
    Marimba Recordings
    Books
    Sculpture
    Shirts
    Search the Catalog
    About the Catalog

E-mail: info@mbira.org

Mbira Music
    The Instrument
    Shona Mbira Music
    The Role of Mbira
        in Shona Culture
    Mbira Singing
    Mbira Healing
    Njari

Musician Biographies

Mbira Makers at Work

Tips on Zimbabwe Travel

Links
    Other Resources
    Kit To Link To Us

    Mbira Tuning

    Here is a video that shows you how to tune your mbira (the mbira being tuned is a B pitch Nyamaropa tuning mbira).

    Key things to remember when tuning your mbira are:

    1. When the key is longer, it is lower in pitch. When it is shorter, it is higher in pitch. This refers to the length of the key beyond the bar underneath the keys.

    2. When a key is loose, tap it toward the top of the board until it comes loose, then bend it down as close as possible to where it usually goes underneath the top bar over the keys. Now, tap it back into position, until the octave relationships are correct. It should no longer be loose. On an mbira with wired (as vs bolted) construction, bend the key cautiosly when tightening a key, so you don't stretch the wire and make many more keys loose!

    3. Helpful tuning tools are a tabla hammer (brass, from India, with very pointed tip), a pair of pliers, a smallscrewdriver, and a small block of hardwood.

    4. Use the Mbira Octave Chart when tuning.

    MBIRA, Box 7863, Berkeley, CA 94707-0863, USA, tel (510) 548-6053, email info@mbira.org