Kalimba Thumb Piano, 12 KeysX8 Drums
Kalimba thumb piano, with wood soundboard. There are 12 steel keys and measures 7.5" L x 5" W x 2.3" H
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.
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.
I've played on a variety of kalimba types for years. The best ones are solidly built and nicely resonant. This one is both! Having a dozen keys is a plus because many out there are only 8 or 10. Ergonomically it's a win, with sweet rounding of the front corners. I may have to buy more for holiday gifts.