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Magadi Kalimba FAQ's

What is a Kalimba?

A kalimba also is known as a thumb piano, consisting of a wooden/skin board with attached staggered metal tines. Kalimba is an ancient percussion instrument that originated in Africa and known by more and more people since the beginning of the 2000s. 


Do kalimba's have sharps and flats?

Yes they can have! You can customise the tuning of each Kalimba by tuning it to the scale of your choice.


Are Kalimbas Good For Children?

Because they are such an easy instrument to pick up and play, they make a good option to provide an instrument for the children to play.


Do Your Thumbs Get Sore?

Initially the tines may be hard due to being a new instrument making your thumbs sore. Over a period of playing the tines will become looser and make the instrument easier to play.

I hear a buzz while playing my kalimba. How can I fix this?

If you hear a buzz on your kalimba, it may be because of some dirt/debris gathered on the instrument or the tines have moved out of position. In this case, clean the kalimba with a dry microfibre cloth and then tune it using a tuning hammer. 

Is a Kalimba easy to learn?

It is considered to be a very easy instrument to play and you can learn very quickly. Although, to be able to play it to its full capacity, you would need to put in some practise to be able to become a professional. 


How do you record a Kalimba?
Place the microphone you are using at the top of the kalimba pointing towards the centre of the instrument. This will give you the most ideal sound. You can also place the microphone at different positions to experiment with the sound you are capturing/looking for. 

How Many Keys Does A Kalimba Have?

Keys on the kalimba can range from 7 - 30. The lesser the number of keys, the smaller is the Kalimba. 


What Is A Kalimba Made Out Of?

Kalimbas are usually made out of various kinds of wood, giving you a unique tonal quality of each. The tines are made out of special steel to maintain the tuning of the key and to provide a good tone. 


Can Kalimbas Play Chords? If So, How?

Absolutely! Technically, a chord is just 3 or notes played together at once. Many players play chords on kalimba by sliding their finger across the tines a bit while pressing down. Because of the way the notes of a kalimba are set up, major chords are positioned right next to each other, making it easy to play nice-sounding chords.

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