Top Tips For Playing Kalimba, Mbira, Thumb Pianos From PlayLimba™

On hearing Kalimba, what comes to your mind? Perhaps you think of Mr. Scruff's Kalimba – a song in your computer's sample music folder. Cool song, right? Would you like to play Kalimba masterly like that? If yes, this article is of great help.


First things first, let's get to know a little about Kalimba. What is it about Kalimba?
Kalimba is a great musical instrument. It is an easy-to-play chordophone too. Do you know it's from Africa?


Excitingly, Kalimba is capable of playing high-pitched notes. That makes it possible for you to create unique melodies by playing its notes.


How to play your Kalimba wonderfully

  • Tuning

It is excellent that you want to jump right into playing your Kalimba. However, the key is to get things right from the start.
Here is the start: tuning your Kalimba is the first step to masterly play the instrument. Your Kalimba must be well-tuned. If it is not, the sound won't come outright.

  • Fix the buzzy tine

Fixing the buzzy tine on your Kalimba is just as important as tuning the instrument itself. Why should you set the buzzing sound?
A buzzy tine affects your overall music. It adds such an unpleasant buzzing sound to what would have been a perfect delivery.


How to fix a buzzy tine?
First, scoot the tine either to the left or right. If that doesn't work, twist the tines clockwise or anticlockwise. Sandpaper can also help you manage a buzzy tine too.

  • Playing notes on your Kalimba

Now that the tune of your Kalimba is done let's start playing. So how do you play? Place the instrument in your palms, albeit with the tines facing you. If you feel that is uncomfortable, you can as well place your Kalimba on a table (or any flat surface).


What next?
Most people would advise you to strike the strings with your fingernails, which might hurt you. Try a finger-pick; it is better. Additionally, flick the strings rather than plain striking. Flicking the strings produces a more beautiful sound.

  • Playing scales

The basics have been sorted. Let's treat the next level: playing scales. Why do you need to play scales? Scales is crucial in music, and it is also in playing Kalimba.


Additionally, scales help the player to master the kalimba notes. Though hard, playing scales on Kalimba can be easy. Take your time. More so, scales can be as easy as playing eight tonally consecutive notes.

  • Learn to read tablature

Once you get used to playing Kalimba, try playing songs through tablature too. Playing songs through tablature is the next stop. What is Kalimba's tablature?


Kalimba tablature is a graphical representation of what tines need to be played to play music on Kalimba. That means all you to need with kalimba tablature is to follow graphical directions.


Put simply, kalimba tablature helps you to know if a song is playable on a kalimba or not. It saves you energy and time.


In all, creativity is just as required in playing Kalimba masterly as it is in other musical instruments. While you are it, you can also try playing your Kalimba with your eyes closed.


Closing your eyes while playing Kalimba helps you get accustomed to what sound each tine makes before you even play. And that is the final straw to gaining mastery of your Kalimba.