Is the kalimba easy to learn?
YES! It's considered one of the easiest instruments for a beginner. Even without a teacher, anyone can learn to play simple melodies in a matter of minutes.
Choosing the right kalimba
For help choosing the right kalimba, click HERE to read the little kalimba buyer's guide made just for you.
1. Follow the instruction booklet in the box. It will help you get started.
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.
Finding Kalimba Tabs
You can find thousands of easy tabs and tutorials by searching "kalimba tabs" on Google or YouTube.
Click HERE to get some free sheet music and learning tips we made for beginners.
The notes are already engraved on most of the kalimbas and labelled with numbers and letters (CDEFGAB). The stickers are optional and can help beginners identify notes more quickly.
Kalimbas come pre-tuned and are ready to play right out of the box. All the kalimbas can be tuned to different keys for more advanced players, consult the instruction booklet for more information.
Playing the kalimba
You can play the kalimba with either your fingers or nails, but playing with nails is recommended for a brighter tonality. Growing nails on your thumbs can make playing easier.
About the end tines
Box-shaped or hollow kalimbas, especially those under $60, the end tines might not resonate as well as other keys, which is a common issue due to the instrument's structure.
The keys are intentionally designed in a V-shape to produce different tones and dynamics, and the end tines have less sound because they are further from the soundhole and have limited room for vibration.
- Choose a flat-board kalimba for clear, long-lasting end notes.
- Choose a kalimba in a lower key, such as A or G major, if you prefer a hollow kalimba with better end tines.
- Slightly improve the sound by moving the problem tine and wiggling it.
- Tune the entire kalimba 1 key lower, from C major to B major.
Tuning the Kalimba in B Major: C♯ A♯ F♯ D♯ B G♯ E C♯ B D♯ F♯ A♯ C♯ E G♯ B D♯