Basic techniques for playing the kalimba

A kalimba is a small musical plate that produces a gentle, ancestral sound derived from traditional African instruments. Playing the kalimba can be a delightful and relaxing musical experience, and it's something anyone can learn to do. Follow these simple steps to get started.

Understanding the structure of the kalimba

A kalimba consists of a main surface and a neck, usually made of wood, the whole formed by metal rods or sticks to which seeds, beads or precious stones are attached. The main surface is covered with small holes for the determined notes, and highlighted by strings that act as tweezers and produce sounds each time they are pressed.

Be ready to play

Before you start playing a kalimba, choose a quiet room so you won't be distracted by other sounds. It's also important to sit in a comfortable position and concentrate completely on your learning. You'll have plenty of time to play at a higher volume later.

Start with the lowest tone

In your first playing session, start by touching the lower notes or shorter stems. Practice short jumps and more complicated changes. Move slowly and combine several notes one after the other to create a melody. Start with the basics and build on them.

Listening to sounds

You'll find it much easier to understand how to play correctly if you take the time to listen to the sound of the kalimba. Concentrate and try to understand how the notes respond to each other and can describe melodic phrases and feelings.

Further information

Once you've understood the basics of kalimba playing, you can start exploring the instrument's sonic potential. Try out different melodies and experiment with different movements. You can also learn songs and play them, changing the melodies and improvising. Feel free to watch videos of experienced players, find tutorials and discover new techniques to enrich your playing and learn more about the kalimba.

Once you've gained confidence by understanding the basic techniques of kalimba playing, it's important to practice kalimba regularly. You'll be able to perfect your skills more quickly and have more fun creating unique melodies that stand out from the crowd. Good luck!