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Maybe you’re the one your 3rd grade teacher told not to sing and just mouth the words during the elementary school choral concert. Maybe your musical confidence level is, well, it isn’t. Take heart. You can play a kalimba! You can be a campfire hero and impress your kids! Consider the kind of wood, number of tines or keys, and the tuning as you choose a kalimba for you.

High-Quality Materials

Mahogany is used to manufacture many music devices and tools because it projects such great sound quality. Honhand

Traditional kalimbas are made with African hardwood, usually kiaat, which is a protected tree in some countries. Mahogany is another popular wood for kalimba construction, as is bamboo, acacia koa, spruce and sandalwood. Each tonewood offers a unique sound.

Great Sound

This instrument comes with an instruction manual. UNOKKI

Kalimbas are typically available with 6, 8, 12 or 17 tines. Beginners find that fewer choices can make for easier playing, but a kalimba is not difficult, and many come with instructional manuals or DVDs. Even non-musicians can start picking out tunes in a short while.

Easy to Operate

This device is tuned to C and has individual notes stamped on the tines. Huawind

Many kalimbas come tuned to a standard scale, usually C or G. You can find alto or treble kalimbas, which, with their octaves are fun for multiple players playing the same song. Kalimbas can also be tuned to alternate scales to suit the music. Most come with a tuning hammer.