I have created this section to support people wanting more information of the practice of the kamalengoni.
I do not pretend to know how to play kamalengoni because it really is an instrument that requires a lot of practice to master the different playing technics, but I do have some knowledge that can further enrich the practice of students, like me.
First of all, the tuning is not limited to one scale, but the main scale used by Abou is MI scale. The notes that compose it are : E / F# / A / B / D
For certain tunes, Abou changes the F# in G, and for others, he also uses this following scale : E / F# / G# / B / C#.
Respecting the intervals between notes, you can change the key tone, for example, if the first note is D: D / E / G / A /C.
It is up to you to find the tonality that suits you best. The following recordings will be in E.
I find that the main challenge with that instrument is in the touching of the string : since we play fretless strings, the modulations are done by touch; either we let the string vibrate, which is fairly rare, or we stop it with the palm of the hand at a specific moment, or we prevent it all together to vibrate while still playing it or else we play it in harmonics modulation.
In the following grids, I will indicate the strings to play, without the details of the sus mentioned effects, so that you’ll get familiar with the tunes. But you won’t be able to avoid consulting a real ngoni master to expand on your practice.
All the tunes were taught to me by Abou Diarra, which, apart from a few he created himself, were transmitted to him.
I use an 8 string kamalengoni and I number them from the lowest to the highest pitched sound.
I have chosen a color for each hand because thumbs sometimes go get the strings on the other side, like for example in the "Dji Amain” song
Good luck and if you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact me !