Understanding kalimba playing techniques for Indian music musicians

The kalimba is a classical Indian notched musical instrument made from a piece of wood, a splint and a metal tube. It's a relatively easy instrument to learn, but musicians who use it need to know the basics of all kinds of playing techniques in order to get the most out of their instrument. This article presents the main kalimba playing techniques for Indian music musicians.

Basic techniques

The first type of technique that kalimba players need to know is basic technique. The aim of this technique is to locate and find the correct notes on the instrument. Each note corresponds to a particular notch on the neck, which means that the player must learn to distinguish each note and read its respective place on the neck. They must also learn to use their fingers to pluck or strum the correct note.

Folding techniques

The bending technique is another playing policy, allowing the player to work on double-stringing, i.e. playing a pitch and an adjacent octave at the same time. This technique is used in various types of music in India, and is particularly popular with professional kalimba players. So it's crucial for players to learn how to bend frequencies with their fingers and create rich, full sound effects.

Slip and scrape technology

Sliding and scraping are two other essential principles of kalimba playing. The sliding technique involves using a single hand to pluck several notes in unison, while the scraping technique involves sliding the fingers along the entire length of the neck to produce a rich, varied sound. Both techniques are essential to the production of Indian music, and are therefore very important for kalimba players.

Rounding and syncopation technique

The rounding and syncopation technique consists of practicing half-soupirs and roundings. This technique is very popular in Indian music, as it adds another dimension to the piece being played. What's more, it gives the goldsmith a softer, more subtle sound than simply pinching or scraping the notes. Experienced music lovers will soon be able to use these techniques to add more variety to their kalimba playing.


Although the kalimba can be a relatively easy instrument to grasp, players need to give themselves time to learn and master playing techniques, including basic, bending, sliding and scraping techniques, as well as rounding and syncopation. Those who want to play Indian music professionally should concentrate on these techniques to develop their skills and produce effective musical pieces. With a little time and effort, anyone can master the kalimba and produce professional-quality Indian music with a minimum of fuss.