The best ways to play the kalimba as a duo

The kalimba is a charming, melodious-sounding instrument that originated in Africa. This small wooden instrument is one of the most popular acoustic instruments in the world, and is also very easy for beginners to learn. The kalimba is ideal for playing alone or in a group, especially a duo. Whether with another kalimba or another instrument, playing in duet can be a very interesting way to explore music. This article will explore the best ways to play the kalimba as a duo.

Playing in Duo with another Kalimba

The easiest and most natural way to play a duet with another kalimba is to play the same piece, but at different recordings. The strokes or movements on your kalimba can be heard at the same time as those of your duet partner, creating the rich sound of two kalimbas played together. This is a great way to learn the kalimba, as it's easier for beginners to learn to play with the help of an audio track.

While playing the same piece at different recordings is best suited to beginners, playing duets can be far more complex for more experienced musicians. Indeed, it is possible to play two different pieces simultaneously and create complex and interesting polyphonic arrangements. One nuance you can add to your two-kalimba playing is to play unison accompaniments with another kalimba, which helps to enrich the sound.

Playing Duets with Other Instruments

Another interesting way to play duets is with another instrument, such as a guitar or flute. There are many ways of doing this, and each instrument offers a variety of possibilities. For example, if you play the kalimba with another musician who plays guitar, you can choose to write chords that accompany the main melody and create a rich and varied texture. Another option is to play a melody together, using different voices to complement each other and create an interesting musical pattern.

In all cases, communication is the key to successful playing with another instrument. Whatever style you choose, the important thing is for both parties to understand each other and work together in harmony. Defining movements, tones and rhythms together can be helpful, and rehearsing them often can help to become familiar with their nuances. It can also help to learn how to concentrate on the playing and actively listen to the other.


The kalimba offers a world of possibilities, whether played alone or as a duo. The easiest way for beginners is to play the same piece at different recordings. Once you've mastered that, you can move on to more complex playing and experiment with different melodies and arrangements. It's also interesting to play the kalimba in duet with another instrument. Whether you're just learning to play the kalimba or you're a seasoned musician, there's always something fun to explore when playing in a duo. Whatever your skill level, take the time to have fun with the kalimba and diversify by exploring new playing styles.

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