kalimba buying guide

As children, many of us grow up learning musical instruments. From the guitar to the violin, we all learn one instrument or another. However, as we go through our teenage years, many of us give up on our musical ability. 

Whether we fall out of love with the instrument, begin prioritising alternative activities or simply want to focus on our social life, we all have our reasons for doing so. So, how do you want to get back into music but want to do something different to everyone else, where can you start? You can consider playing the kalimba, we have plenty of kalimba tabs to get you started.

kalimba tabs

Also known as the thumb piano, the kalimba is a small piano-like instrument inspired by the traditional Zimbabwe instrument, the mbira. It has a very distinct sound and is now played all over the globe.  Most kalimba's will come tuned to either C or G, however, they can be tuned to alternate scales depending on the type of music being played. If your instrument is out of tune you can tune your kalimba yourself with a tuning hammer.


But where can you buy one? And what should you look out for? We sell coconut thumb pianos which are suited to beginners, but if your looking for something more advanced you can begin by searching for a kalimba online.

There are many digital stores you can buy a kalimba from, many of which will provide you with a high-quality instrument. To make sure you know what options are best for you, here are some of the things you should look out for.

The Type Of Material

A traditional kalimba is made from African hardwood (usually kiaat). Alternative options include coconut, bamboo, spruce, sandalwood, mahogany and more. All of which will provide the instrument with its own unique sound. 

Number Of Tines

Depending on where you shop, a kalimba should have 6, 8, 12 or 17 tines based on your skillset. If you’re completely new to the instrument, look for a lower number of tines. Many kalimbas will come with their own manuals which will help you to quickly pick up the instrument. Before you know it, you’ll be able to play with 17 tines easily!

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