Is The Kalimba Easy To Play?

2 min

521 points

Thanks to viral videos showcasing the kalimba on sites like Youtube and TikTok, the kalimba is now more popular than ever. With an increasing number of individuals seeking to learn how to play the Kalimba, one of the first concerns that many people have is, “Is the Kalimba simple to learn?”

The Kalimba is an incredibly simple instrument to pick up. The kalimba is often regarded as one of the world’s most simple instruments to master, making it an excellent choice for novices. The inexpensive cost, tiny portable style, and ease of making amazing music right away are what make the kalimba so appealing to novices.

It’s Uncomplicated

When compared to other instruments, the kalimba is a rather simple instrument. Unlike instruments like the guitar, piano, or violin, it does not require mastering a sequence of intricate chords, scales, or music theory to begin generating music. The kalimba, on the other hand, merely requires the player to pluck tines with their thumbs to begin making music.

Because the kalimba is frequently set to a major key, the resulting sound is generally fairly pleasant, which may be quite encouraging to novices. This is one of the reasons why so many people are drawn to the kalimba: they don’t have to learn music theory, only how to pluck the tines (keys) on the instrument.

It’s Quite Small

The tines/keys are connected to a tiny wooden or acrylic block on which the kalimba is built. Unlike guitars that go across your body or pianos that need you to sit in front of them, it is played while holding it in both hands. Beginners will find it very easy to use because of its small size. It’s easy to transport and doesn’t take up a lot of room in your home.

Many people find it difficult to go up and down a lengthy set of piano keys or a long guitar neck, especially if they have short arms or small hands. The kalimba’s size makes it more accessible to folks who might be intimidated by the bulk of other instruments.

The Tines are Simple

There are only so many “tines” (keys) on the kalimba. Kalimbas are often sold in sets of 6, 8, 12, or 17 tines (but there are several variations with even more tines!).

As previously stated, the restricted number of tines, all tuned to the same key, makes it very simple to play notes and chords that sound instantaneously pleasing to the ear. On the other hand, if you don’t have many tines on the instrument, you won’t be able to perform highly intricate tunes on it. If you want to perform difficult classical music on the kalimba, for example, you’ll probably have to remove notes or change the tune itself to make it work.

While this may be irritating for those with a lot of expertise playing instruments, it’s a breath of new air for novices who don’t know anything about it and want to start from scratch.

In Summary

Fortunately, learning the kalimba is not difficult (while mastering it will, of course, take much time and practice.)

The kalimba is an accessible and straightforward instrument to learn for everyone, regardless of past musical expertise, due to its simplicity and uncomplicatedness, tiny size, and affordable price point. Look for free kalimba lesson materials online, such as on YouTube, or look for private kalimba classes in your region. Best of luck and have fun!

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521 points