6 Tips You Need To Know Before Playing Your New Kalimba instrument

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The thumb piano, kalimba, or mbira is a musical instrument with keys you can strike with your fingers to play music. The keys have letters of the alphabet that represent notes in the scale. The numbers on those letters represent degrees of the scale. This can help you remember the scale. So if you want to play Kalimba in C major, use the numbers on the keys to help you remember which notes are in the C Major scale which will be C | D | E | F | G | A | B, and these will correspond to 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7.

17 notes kalimba in c major

Make Sure That Your Kalimba is In Tune

We kookalimba know you’re excited to play your kalimba, but we wanted to let you know that there’s a chance it may be out of tune.

We have no control over the shipping process, and your kalimba instrument may be out of tune during transport. If this happens, we’ll do our best to make sure you get one in good condition as soon as possible. But in the meantime, we want to make sure you know how to tune it!

How Do I Tune My New Kalimba

To tune your kalimba instrument, start by making sure it’s in C Major. You can do this by pressing down on all the keys simultaneously and listening for a single note that sounds like “do.” If this does not happen, try pressing down on different keys until you hear that single note sound. Once you do, leave them down and proceed with tuning the rest of the keys.

The next step is tuning each string individually by pressing down on an individual key until you hear a clear tone coming from that string alone (without other strings sounding). When you’re done with all of these steps, your kalimba instrument will be in perfect tune!

Can You Tune A Kalimba Without A Tuning Hammer?

Yes course, if the seller doesn’t send you a kalimba hammer together like kookalimba K17M1. The same problem may occur with other kalimba instrument players, and they found that you can still tune it. Use a small nut runner and tap it on the handle with something not too heavy. Just want light taps.

Can A Kalimba Be Tuned to Any Key?

Yes! You can pick any tuning you like. Following the example I previously mentioned, you can change the pitch of each tine to create any tuning you imagine. This way, even if you get bored with the C major scale, you can change the length of the tines to create some different key, scale, or anything else.

In this case, we are going to tune the kalimba instrument to a C major scale. First, we need to find out what intervals are in a C major scale. To do this, we need to count all of the notes between every note in our scale and divide it by 2 (if there is an odd number of notes then round up).

So for example, if we had a C major scale with 7 notes then our intervals would be 1/1 (C), 1/2 (D), 1/3 (E), 1/4 (F), 1/5 (G), 1/6 (A), and 1/7 (B).

To determine which note needs to be tuned first for your instrument take half of the interval number and add it to your starting pitch for that interval. So for our example above: 1/1 + 0 = 1; 5 + 0 = 5; 6 + 0 = 6;

How Often Should You Tune a Kalimba?

I’ve been playing the kalimba instrument for years, and I can tell you that keeping it in tune is one of the most important things you can do. Without tuning, your kalimba will sound like a dying cow. And nobody wants that! If you’re new to the instrument, or if you’ve tried learning how to tune one before and it just hasn’t clicked with you, I’m going to hook you up with all the resources you need to learn how to keep your kalimba in tune – just the way I do!

How if There Is A Kalimba Instrument Buzz and How to Fix It

Kalimba buzzing is a common problem that can be easily fixed. It occurs when there is an imbalance between the tines of the kalimba instrument and the bridge upon which they vibrate. The smallest piece of debris can imbalance the connection between the two pieces of metal and cause a small audible vibration that sounds like buzzing.

To fix this issue, you will need to remove the bridge and clean it with a soft cloth. You may also use a toothpick to remove any debris caught in the tines or on their surfaces. If you have access to compressed air or a vacuum, these can also be used to clean out any debris that has accumulated inside your kalimba instrument. Once clean, reassemble your instrument and play!

Do All The Kalimba Instruments Have Dead Sounds?

This is a common issue with box kalimbas, and I’m not sure there’s any way to fix kalimba Dead Sounds. According to Leo, the resonator box style of kalimba does not do as good of a job with higher notes as the flat style does. The resonator box style also tends to be more expensive and harder to find.

If you’re interested in getting one of these, you might want to consider getting one of the flat-style kalimba instruments instead. They’re easier to play and produce a more pleasant sound than their box counterparts. Please watch our video of playing kookalimba K17M1, there is no dead sound at E3/D2 at all!

Do I Need to Keep My Nails to Play The Thumb Piano?

Yes, you do. It’s recommended that you use your fingernails to pluck the kalimba keys. The kalimba is held in both hands, and you use your thumbs to play them. To play the slide, keep about 2mm of nail on each side of your thumb —and don’t play with too much force! The right angle and force will give you a clean sound, and the direction of the slide is usually from bass to treble on the keys. The right thumb goes right, left thumb goes left.

What Song Should I Start to Learn for The Kalimba Beginner?

Happy Birthday Song 

Happy Birthday Song Kalimba Tabs

5 5 6 5 1° 7

5 5 6 2° 1°

5 5 5° 3° 1° 7 6

4° 4° 3° 1° 2° 1°

It’s an easy song to learn to play, so it’s a good to start for the kalimba beginners.

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