The Making of An Mbira: May 28, 1999

I never thought I would actually be able to get all six of those little metal tongues underneath the bridge -- but I did it! Thanks to my electronic tuner I use for my guitars, I was able to get the mbira into tune, using a contemporary scale: C-D-F-G-A-C. In the instruction booklet accompanying my mbira building kit, it lists an ancient mbira tuning as C-E-G-A-B-C. I think it would be interesting to build another mbira (hey, the kit is only $30 or so) and tune it the other way. It would give me a greater musical variety and also for some tunes both mbiras could probably be combined -- sort of like a xylophone. This is an idea that needs further thought.