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YES! It's one of the easiest instruments for a beginner. Anyone with a hint of musicality can understand how a well-tuned kalimba works and discover how to play a few simple melodies in minutes without any handbook, teacher or YouTube tutorial.
Need a little help on choosing the right kalimba? Here is a little kalimba buyer's guide made just for you.
Step 1: Follow the instruction booklet in the box. It will help you get started.
Step 2: Once you know the basics, find the kalimba tabs you like online, then play the corresponding number or letter, you will have a beautiful melody in no time.
Simply search "kalimba tabs" on Google or YouTube, you will find thousands of easy tabs and tutorials online.
All the notes are already engraved on the kalimba keys (both in number and in CDEFGAB). So, you don't need stickers to identify notes. However, apply stickers is a good idea for beginners. It will help you find the notes faster. Stickers can be applied as below.
All the kalimba is already Pre-tuned in C, and you can play it right away when you received the order. 17 keys kalimba can be tuned into other keys for the more advanced player, and please check the tuning part in the instruction booklet.
Kalimba can be played with fingers or nails but play with nails is recommended. Grow nails on the thumbs will help you play it easier, and the tonality of the kalimba is brighter when playing with nails.
It's a common problem for the box-shaped/hollow kalimba, especially for Kalimbas under $60. However, it's more due to the structure of this instrument rather than a quality issue.
First, kalimba intentionally designed its keys to a 'V' shape, making a big echoey sound in the middle and a crisp shorter sound at the end. It allowed musicians to play it with different tone colours and dynamics. Second, the end tines sound muted because it is far away from the soundhole, and the length of the tine doesn't leave much room for vibration.
There are many solutions to this problem
the original tuning from left to right is D B G E C A F D C E G B D F A C E,
B major tuning is: C♯ A♯ F♯ D♯ B G♯ E C♯ B D♯ F♯ A♯ C♯ E G♯ B D♯