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About Kalimbas & Instruction

How To Tune & Play A Kalimba

While holding the kalimba (see video) lightly slide your right thumb off the bend of the key starting with the number 1 key, your left thumb with the number 2 key alternating back and forth until you have played all the keys. You have just played the scale C to C, better known as Do, Re, Me, Fa, So, La, Te, Do!

There is another option, simple place the kalimba on your tabletop with a cloth in between the instrument and table top surface, using your index fingers simply pluck the keys. On every 8 note instrument you will notice numbers 1-8. Each number corresponds to a note in the 8 note Diatonic scale of “C”. 1-C, 2-D, 3-E, 4-F, 5-G, 6-A, 7-B and 8-C.

We also offer tuning in Low Diatonic which is one octave lower than our high diatonic scale, same notes, same numbers, just one octave lower. Your tuning option 3 is Pentatonic tuning. We use a 5 note scale. The notes are similar to the black notes on a piano but a half note higher. If you pluck two notes at once, the tone will sound oriental. This scale is 1-D, 2-E, 3-G, 4-A, 5-B, 6-D, 7-E and 8-G.