- 17-Key Kalimba Thumb Piano with Spruce Top
Sheesham thumb piano, with solid spruce soundboard. There are 17 steel keys and two vibrato holes on the back. 5" x 7"
The thumb piano originates in Africa. It is also known as the mbira or likembe. The metal keys are mounted on a wooden box that acts as the resonating chamber. To play, rest the thumb piano on the fingers of both hands and hold it between your palms. Cover the vibrato holes with your fingers. Then pluck the keys with your thumbs.
As you play you can un-cover and cover the vibrato holes as you like. Many different tunings are acceptable, according to personal preference.
Specific tuning of a thumb piano is only an issue when two instruments are played together; then they should generally agree in tuning. Otherwise, the tuning is subjective and should only be pleasing to the player. The longer keys have lower pitches and shorter keys have higher pitches. The keys can be adjusted by tapping them in or out to adjust their length, and therefore their pitch.
Easy to tune (especially if you have another instrument). Learning to play chords with the melody or just thumbing out strange combinations. I'm glad I bought this very reasonably priced instrument.
I am impressed with the quality of this kalimba at this price point. The woodwork is beautiful and you can tell a lot of attention was paid to the detail. The keys are secured tightly and it sounds great right out of the box. Was happy to get the User Guide. It gave me a place to start learning.
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