Kalimba : how to choose your instrument ? | Compare!

African instrument, the kalimba is an ideal discovery for all percussion lovers.

Find in this article a comparison of the best kalimbas and advice on how to choose yours.

Kalimba 17 keys with integrated microphone

All the opinions of music lovers who bought this instrument on Amazon are unanimous: it is an excellent kalimba.

This 17-key kalimba has an unbeatable quality/price ratio. This makes it a perfect gift for a beginner as well as an expert.

In addition to the kalimba having a 6.35 mm interface for connection (by the way, it’s a standard size that allows you to plug it on most stages) and an integrated microphone, you get :

  • a bag to carry the kalimba
  • a connection cable
  • a shell for the instrument
  • instructions for using the kalimba
  • stickers…

The instrument is made of natural koa. Real visual success, this confection ensures ideal sounds. The magnificent music which results from your action on the kalimba is a melody for your ears.

Professional Kalimba Moozica with 17 keys

Many kalimbas sold on Amazon are offered by the brand Moozica. She is a true expert of this African musical instrument.

Like other Moozica products, the kalimba comes with several very practical accessories that will serve to protect and transport the instrument.

In addition, a small guide for beginners will allow you, if you are not used to playing the kalimba quickly.

The kalimba is made of koa. With its 17 keys, it offers a wide range of sounds. If it is a percussion instrument which accompanies very well other instruments or a track, it is also able to hold the audience in breath alone.

Of course, before reaching this feat, you will have to perfect yourself on the kalimba!

Kalimba 17 keys made of Koa and Spruce

Here is another model of Kalimba which has all the qualities to please, and especially for beginners.

Indeed, with the instrument, you receive a user manual and some learning scores. Indeed, even if you are a great music lover, it is always good to start with the basics.

The kalimba is not a complicated instrument to learn, especially if you have a natural sense of rhythm or if you have been working on it for years.

The kalimba measures 17.5 x 12.5 x 3 cm. Red and beige in color, the instrument has 17 keys.

The difference in sound of a kalimba in koa is very light with a mahogany instrument. The coloring seems warmer, but only an expert ear can feel it.

This kalimba, with its attractive price, is one of the best selling instruments on Amazon.

Kalimba with 17 mahogany keys

This kalimba is offered by another brand, Asmuse.

When the previous products were in koa, this one is in mahogany. The tones, even if they are very close, vary a little with this type of wood.

Handcrafted, the instrument is very beautiful. It can be played with your thumbs. If some experienced players play kalimba barehanded, we strongly recommend that you use the thumb picks provided with the instrument.

If we have a preference for the kalimba in koa, a noble wood with warmer notes, this model remains a very good choice for those who prefer mahogany.

What is a kalimba?

The kalimba is an African musical instrument with a wooden soundboard and metal keys. The 15-key kalimba is an instrument that comes from African ethnic groups in southern Africa. In the classification of musical instruments, the kalimba is in the category of lamellophones or plucked string idiophones.

Kalimba is one of the names used for this 15-key African lamellophone. Other linguistic varieties are Nyunga nyunga, Nyonga nyonga and Karimba. Karimba translates as “small wooden xylophone” and Nyunga nyunga translates as “something small that causes fun problems”….

Variations of kalimba can be found all over Africa, for example in Zambia where Kankobela is played which has 7 to 12 keys. In Congo they play the Likembe which has 8 keys in pentatonic chord.

How to choose your kalimba?

To choose your kalimba, the first element of comparison is the number of keys. In this comparison of kalimbas, you mainly have instruments with 17 keys, but the 15 keys are also very popular.

If the price of the kalimba is obviously another criterion, we prefer to advise you to compare the materials. As we saw earlier on this page, the tones are different from a koa or a mahogany. A good idea can be to try both and even vary between the two.

For example, for southern music, warmer colors of the koa will be quite appropriate.

In addition to choosing your kalimba, don’t forget to look at the accessories offered. A guide to begin this instrument is a good thing if you have never played the kalimba before. Storage and maintenance equipment is never too much to ask for.

Discover the kalimba in video

There is no shortage of kalimba or mbira videos on Youtube. As you can hear, kalimba music is relaxing and restful.