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Kalimba is also called thumb piano. There are two types of Kalimbas: box type Kalimba and plate type Kalimba. The box-style Kalimba has a hollow body with three sound holes, and the sound is relatively loud and bright. The body of the plate Kalimba is solid, without a soundhole, and the sound is relatively small and soft.

Feel a little bit confused? There is a variety of Kalimba on the market. LumBuy provides quality and popular products.

Kalimba is mainly used for accompaniment performance. Some kalimbas are equipped with shells so that some sounds can be emitted when playing so that the performance effect is more abundant. The sound of the thumb piano is bright, similar to the music box, but more clear. At dusk, people sit together and use it as an accompaniment to playing songs. Some people will play it to pass the time when they travel long distances.


Kalimba is an instrumental of music that originated in southern Africa. The piano is composed of wooden plates and metal keys. The sound of the piano is clear and bright, similar to a music box. Kalimba is also called thumb piano. There are two types of thumb pianos: box type and plate type. The box-style thumb piano has a hollow body with three sound holes, and the sound is relatively loud and bright. The body of the plate thumb piano is solid, without a soundhole, and the sound is relatively small and soft.

The most common kalimba instrument is 17 key kalimba. Beginners need to consider the following points when choosing a kalimba:

  • Deep and clear voice
  • Rich sustain sound and durable wood
  • Affordable price
  • Download a tuner APP on your phone.
  • Before you play Kalimba, you need to adjust the pitch. You can download a tuning app on your phone, or you can buy a digital guitar tuner.

  • Make sure to find a kalimba key chart to choose the proper notes.
  • Kalimbas will come with a key chart that outlines which notes correspond to which keys. For example, if the Kalimba has eight tuning forks, look for the tuning of a kalimba with eight tuning forks.

  • Hit the center tooth and look at the notes on the tuner.
  • While observing the tuner, use your nails to pull out the middle key. The keys should vibrate. The center note is usually the G or C on the 12-note Kalimba. On most 8-tooth carimba, the center tooth should be the C note.

  • Use the tuning hammer to hit the tines upwards to adjust the notes.
  • Use a tuning hammer to gently hit the bottom of the key upwards to increase the pitch. If the tone is sharp, use a tuning hammer to lower the keys. Tap the top of the tine lightly to move it down. Repeat the above steps until the adjustment is good.

    The popular and well-known brands are LingTing, Gecko, Donner, PARDUS.

    LumBuy cooperates with well-known brands, quality and professionalism are well guaranteed. There are often discounts on LumBuy. Get the Kalimba instrument at a lower price, twenty-four hours pre-sale, and after-sales service. You can choose the best suitable Kalimba on LumBuy.

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  • First, adjust the tone of the Kalimba according to the above steps. After the tune is adjusted, to hold the Kalimba correctly, you need to hold it with the inside of your palm and pull the keys with your thumb.

    The standard Kalimba tab is displayed as a series of vertical bars representing each key on the Kalimba. Along these bars are points that represent which note should be played. The kalimba label is read from bottom to top, which means you will always start with the note or chord in the bottom row and then move to the second, third, etc.

  • Prepare material:
  • Wood board, hardwood, Brass rod, spring, paint, Screw, Board, pipe, glue.

  • Prepare tool:
  • Bandsaw, drill, files, and sandpaper.

    Step 1: First, you need to make a strong top and bottom for your Kalimba. The preferred thickness of the wood plank is approximately 5 mm. Then draw a circle the size of the thumb piano you want on the wood. When cutting, leave the edge of the line and do not cut close to the line.

    Step 2: Use the heat and water vapor of the steam to bend and hold the round shape. Once cooled and dried, its body will not change anymore.

    Step 3: After the plank's shape is fixed, the sides need to be trimmed to an appropriate size. If you are afraid that you will not grasp it properly, you can use a saw to remove most of the excess material first and then use a polishing machine to polish off the extra edges and corners.

    Step 4: Use a drill to drill a hole in the top to make the sound clearer.

    Step 5: Cut the ground rod on the saw and sand it with a disc sander. Drill two holes in the ground rod to allow the two screws to pass through.

    Step 6: Use wood screws to install the ground rod to the thumb piano.

    Step 7: A brass rod mounted on the top of the ground rod is also needed to suppress the pressure on the keys.

    Step 8: The keys need to be made of elastic material. The most common is to make the keys of metal and cut them to a certain size.

    Step 9: The last step is to paint. A good layer of varnish is a good barrier to protect the wood. In addition, a light sanding with fine sandpaper between each coat will make the surface look smoother.

    Due to its small size and simple craftsmanship, the price of the Kalimba instrument is relatively low. Generally around 15-50 US dollars. But if you want good sound quality and performance, the price of the thumb piano will be relatively high, about 100-200 US dollars.