- Is kalimba easy to learn?
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.
- Where should I start?
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.
- Where can I find more Kalimba tabs?
Simply search “kalimba tabs” in Google or YouTube, you will find thousands of easy tabs and tutorial online.
- What should I do with the colored stickers?
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 the stickers is a good idea for beginners, it will help you find the notes faster. Stickers can be applied as below.
- Does the kalimba need tuning?
All the kalimba is already Pre-tuned in C, you can play it right away when you received the order. 17 keys kalimba can be tuned into other keys for more advanced player, please check the tuning part in the instruction booklet.
- Do I play kalimba with nails?
Kalimba can be played with finger or nails but play with nails is recommended. Grow nails on the thumbs will help you to play it easier, and the tonality of the kalimba is brighter when play with nails.
- Why the end tines sound a bit muted?
This is a common problem for the box shaped/hollow kalimba, especially for Kalimbas that under $60. This is more due to the structure of this instrument rather than quality issue.
First of all, Kalimba was intentionally designed its keys to a 'V' shape, which can make big echoey sound in the middle and crisp shorter sound at the end. This allowed musicians to play it with different tone color and dynamics. The very end tines sound muted due to it far away from the sound hole and the length of the tine doesn't leave much room for vibration.
There are many solutions to this problem
- If you like clear and long lasting end notes, it might be better for you to choose flat-board kalimba over hollowed kalimba. Flat board kalimba have much better end notes, and the sound quality is clearer compare to hollowed kalimba.
- However, hollowed kalimba has many advantages. they have bigger and fuller sound than flat-board kalimba. Most importantly, when you open and close the sound hole with your fingers hollowed kalimba can make the super cool 'Wah-Wah' sound.
- If you prefer hollow kalimba, maybe choose a kalimba that in a lower keys. Kalimba in A major or G major have lovely end tines.
- Move the problem tine left to right, wiggle it a bit might slightly improve the sound, It won't fix it totally but it helps.
- Tune the whole kalimba 1 key lower, from C major to B major
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♯