Anyone play Kalimba?

LarryS

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My partner randomly bought me one recently,a 17 kwy hollow board from Amazon. Arrived in tune and sounds great. Playing kalimba is quite a challenge though .

hsoqtKy.jpg


Here I'm playing Brahms's Lullaby on it.


https://youtu.be/IkdoubKuk9k
 

John Colter

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You're doing a lot better than me! I bought a Kalimba a few months ago. Mine is an Aiersi - solid Koa, hollow body, 17 keys. It sounds lovely, but I find it difficult to play a scale using both thumbs alternately, while moving outward from the center. It seems counter intuitive. I confess I haven't persevered.

I must take it out of its bag and try again.

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TerryWhite

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The kalimba is an African folk reed instrument, played simply by "stroking" the reeds with your thumbs and creating a sound from the wooden resonator box.
 

John Colter

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The term "Reed instrument" is usually used to describe wind instruments. The kalimba has tines rather than reeds and is classed as a lamellaphone, a member of the plucked idiophone family.

John Colter
 

Croaky Keith

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I was looking at maybe getting a concertina - until I realised just how expensive they are, (even pre used) - so I took another look at the Kalimba, (which I first saw/heard Joo playing in/on the Seasons threads).

Needless to say I ordered one, a Kmise 17 tine that should arrive sometime in the next 2 weeks - & I signed up at the Kalimba Forum to see what they are like.

It's good to try something new every now & then. ;)
 

John Colter

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I'll be interested to see how you get along with it, Keith. I confess, I find it not at all intuitive to play. My lack of application and self-discipline doesn't help, but I think it's a case of old dogs, new tricks. It does sound very pleasant, and would be a most complementary instrument for the ukulele.
 

Ms Bean

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I was looking at maybe getting a concertina - until I realised just how expensive they are, (even pre used) - so I took another look at the Kalimba, (which I first saw/heard Joo playing in/on the Seasons threads).

Needless to say I ordered one, a Kmise 17 tine that should arrive sometime in the next 2 weeks - & I signed up at the Kalimba Forum to see what they are like.

It's good to try something new every now & then. ;)

I got my daughter a Kmise 17 tine one for Christmas. I haven't bothered tuning it yet, as it is acceptable out of the box. I 'tabbed' about seven Christmas songs during the holiday (numbers only, I didn't bother with the notes length).
The Kmise came with a pickup you can attach with a sort of suction cup, but we don't have any toys to plug into and see what the result is. All in all, I like the sound and the volume too. So far we've been playing in C major/A minor.
I don't play it often, but I think it's good fun.
 

Croaky Keith

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I'll be interested to see how you get along with it, Keith. I confess, I find it not at all intuitive to play. My lack of application and self-discipline doesn't help, but I think it's a case of old dogs, new tricks. It does sound very pleasant, and would be a most complementary instrument for the ukulele.

Being an old dog myself, I'll try & remember to come back & let you know, John.

Sounds real nice, I wonder if they make then an octave higher, or lower.

I believe they make 21 tine boards, that goes down to G3 below middle C, (from what I have read, so far).

I got my daughter a Kmise 17 tine one for Christmas. I haven't bothered tuning it yet, as it is acceptable out of the box......... All in all, I like the sound and the volume too. So far we've been playing in C major/A minor.
I don't play it often, but I think it's good fun.

Good to know, thankyou. :)
 

MJB

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I've got a 17 key Kalimba arriving today. Because uke, guitar and bass are not enough. :p
 

Croaky Keith

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My Kmise 17 arrived today, couldn't wait to have a go on it, find it quite intuitive really, so I think you need to stick the note names on it to get you started, John. :)
 

John Colter

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That's good to hear, Keith. I'll take mine out of it's bag and have another go! They do produce a very pleasant sound.

I've remembered another reason (or excuse?) why I didn't persevere with the Kalimba - my cat has a very nervous disposition and he seemed to find it quite disturbing. Everybody is a critic!

John Colter
 

Mivo

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I collected a few over the years. It was the instrument I spent time on before I got into ukuleles some eight years ago. Except one, they are all Hugh Tracey / AMI kalimbas: a 15-note G-tuned one (with soundbox), three chromatic kalimbas with tines on both sides (two with sound boxes, one without - was an oversight I ended up with two identical ones), one treble kalimba with 17 notes, three karimba models (one in Lotus tuning, another in a minor tuning, and one in an African tuning with little brass rings). I also got one of the Chinese 17-note models in C tuning that have been around for a few years, by Gecko (found it disappointingly quiet compared to the Hugh Tracey ones, but it was also substantially less expensive). Oh, and I have a Sansula Deluxe, with just 9 notes, but with a beautiful sound (but I feel it was too expensive and too much of a one-trick pony).

I have been meaning to sell most of these, but since they take up little space, I still have them all. I acquired them over the span of years, not all at once. :p Also went over board with ukuleles and then trimmed the heard. Luckily with banjos this has not happened! Only have one of those with a second one being built - no plans for more. No, really. :p They are not very collectible, just too large and expensive.
 

glasspipe79

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Got a used hugh tracey and my wife got me a gecko last christmas. Both are great kalimbas!
 

merlin666

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Occasionally I look at Aklot Amazon store and they have a few cheap ones. So tempting. But I already have too many instruments that I don't play regularly so not too difficult to resist.
 

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My cat didn't like harmonica! ;)
I tried harmonica and alto recorder and my cat went crazy also! Makes them a no-go, especially the harmonica. He wasn't a fan of synthesizer either on speakers. But doesn't mind Ukulele at all :)
 

Sporky

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I collected a few over the years. It was the instrument I spent time on before I got into ukuleles some eight years ago. Except one, they are all Hugh Tracey / AMI kalimbas: a 15-note G-tuned one (with soundbox), three chromatic kalimbas with tines on both sides (two with sound boxes, one without - was an oversight I ended up with two identical ones), one treble kalimba with 17 notes, three karimba models (one in Lotus tuning, another in a minor tuning, and one in an African tuning with little brass rings). I also got one of the Chinese 17-note models in C tuning that have been around for a few years, by Gecko (found it disappointingly quiet compared to the Hugh Tracey ones, but it was also substantially less expensive). Oh, and I have a Sansula Deluxe, with just 9 notes, but with a beautiful sound (but I feel it was too expensive and too much of a one-trick pony).

I have been meaning to sell most of these, but since they take up little space, I still have them all. I acquired them over the span of years, not all at once. :p Also went over board with ukuleles and then trimmed the heard. Luckily with banjos this has not happened! Only have one of those with a second one being built - no plans for more. No, really. :p They are not very collectible, just too large and expensive.
I've been wanting a kalimba for many years but always hesitated. I didn't want to get a cheap one I won't love. But I also don't know how much nicer the "nice" ones are. How do you feel about chromatic ones, and solid body? I'd love to have a small versatile kalimba 😊 doesn't have to be loud as I'd only be playing for myself...
 

rafter

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I've been wanting a kalimba for many years but always hesitated. I didn't want to get a cheap one I won't love. But I also don't know how much nicer the "nice" ones are. How do you feel about chromatic ones, and solid body? I'd love to have a small versatile kalimba 😊 doesn't have to be loud as I'd only be playing for myself...

I wanted to get a nicer kalimba, but I just ended up getting a cheaper one to see how I like it. I'm glad I did. It's fun, but I don't spend a ton of time on it. Like you, I thought it would be nice to get a solid body version so it would be quieter. For similar reasons, I sometimes wish I could just get a solid or hollow body (ala Gretsch guitars) uke, just to play quietly. I know Pono makes some electric, but I just want something light and non-electric, with a thin, possibly chambered body for quiet playing. I digress. My advice is just get a starter kalimba since all those years could have been spent learning how to play. And if you want better, you can gift the cheap one, although they don't take a lot of space if you decide to keep it.