Online Lesson Download: How to Play Nhemamusasa on Mbira

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How to Play Nhemamusasa on Mbira with Joel Laviolette

In this lesson Joel Laviolette will show you step by step how to play all of the phrases of Nhemamusasa.

Nhemamusasa is one of the first songs that people usually learn on Mbira, even in Zimbabwe. Nhemamusasa, like every Mbira song, can have a lot of different meanings. Some people say that Nhemamusasa means building a temporary shelter out of sticks; so it is kind of like a "welcoming" song. That's how Joel introduces it when he performs with his band, Rattletree. Another story associated with it is about a rhinoceros destroying the area, so the song is signaling that trouble is coming.


  • How to hold the Mbira
  • How to play the basic notes
  • Break down the phrases of Nhemamusasa
  • Learn parts one hand at a time
  • Learn how to put the parts together
  • Tips on how to get the music inside you
  • Understand the 6/8 rhythm and how it completes the melody
  • Difference between Kushaura and Kutsinira
  • Run Time 14:45

Get more lessons, music and musings from Joel at his Patreon page here!

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