Start on Kalimba - Easy to learn instrument - Pawpaw™
Learn Kalimba

Starting your Kalimba journey - The Easy instrument to learn

There you have it, you fell in love with this  small wooden piano,  you already have it in your hands, or you will soon be getting one.

Now, we will have to tame this original instrument and discover its secrets. Its 17 steel Keys (or keys), if you have chosen this model, will amaze you with the crystalline and pleasant sound they emit, but also by their ease of use.

You will see that learning this little African instrument is not very complicated, even for a beginner and with the help of good guides, you will quickly be able to play some nice melodies which will be the most beautiful effect on those around you. .

And what a pleasure to be able to impress your friends with an unusual object! Can you already imagine carrying it everywhere with you to liven up dinners, entertain your co-workers during breaks or why not, delight passengers in public transport?

Its relaxing music will delight all who will listen to you and will also be a good way to soothe you, relax and free you from the stresses of everyday life.

Enjoy playing and have fun!

Now let's see how you can slowly learn to master your instrument.


Two pretty kalimba placed on the table

Familiarize yourself with his kalimba

Start with the tuning

Before you start playing, you will need to tune your instrument. If you are already familiar with music and tuning techniques, you will have no trouble making settings on your small wooden piano.

If you are new to the world of music and it's your very first time, don't panic! This process is not rocket science, you will only have to familiarize yourself with the tuner and the notes of English music. Some tuners display French notes.

To help you in this step, consult our complete guide which will allow you to easily tune each of your notes. 
How to Tune Kalimba 17 Keys, 10 Keys and 21 Keys.

Use a small mallet to tap the Keys and make them go up or down until you get the desired note.



Play Kalimba


Getting to know the instrument

Your thumb piano is now well tuned and sounds just right. You can already have fun pressing the keys to locate the location of each musical note.

It is not essential to know music theory to play this instrument, even music novices can easily and quickly learn to play melodies quite satisfactorily. You will find that the simplicity of learning is both fun and stimulating.

If you've already got into the habit of strengthening your thumbs on video game controllers or smartphones by sending text messages, you will quickly acquire the skill of juggling with percussion Keys.

Hold your instrument between your two hands and imagine that you are holding your phone. But instead of sending messages to your friends, you are going to send them beautiful musical notes.

Now let's get down to business and find out how to play your first songs with your small wooden piano kalimba.


Learn to play alone from the Kalimba

How to  learn music on your own,  when you are completely new, do not know where to start to play your first songs, and with an unusual instrument in addition?

Generally, music schools offer to teach the practice of piano, guitar, violin ... In percussion, you will find drums lessons, but find a teacher of kalimba will be extremely difficult, they do not run the streets.


Fortunately, the magic of the internet is here and you will find many courses and tutorials on the web!

You have already understood that you only need to squeeze the reeds with your thumbs to produce notes, the goal now is to learn how to play them in the correct order.

There are three ways to do this:

  • Partitions
    The scores use music theory and are therefore reserved for people who are already musicians. If you don't know how to read them, that's okay; the following two solutions are for you.
  • Simple tablatures
    A tablature is much easier to read for novice musicians than a sheet music. It is a kind of map showing the note numbers and their location on the instrument. So you know which key to press to produce the note you want.
    You will find many tabs on the net for you to practice. Start with the simplest ones, such as nursery rhymes, and then look for slightly more complex tabs as you progress.
  • Video tutorials
    We've saved the best for last with the easiest learning method: video tutorials.
    Here, no need for knowledge of music, nor to know how to read a map. You play the melody along with the video, the notes are animated and fall on the Keys for you to press.
    By practicing regularly with this technique, you will memorize the notes very quickly and will be able to easily play all kinds of themes.
    Nothing could be easier with these tutorials than learning music on your own!


We advise you to play a minimum of 10 to 15 minutes each day in order to assimilate everything you learn as well as possible. If you play too long, your thumbs can hurt quickly. It's normal, it's the job that comes in, like the guitar. With practice, this inconvenience will subside.


Keys Kalimba

How to start? Quick Start

Many musicians prefer to improvise or play their music favorite by following the free tabs found on Youtube, rather than learning theory.

For example, this recovery au Kalimba from Yann's "Nursery Rhyme from Another Summer" Tiersen contains music ET the tablature that accompanies it. 

With the notes engraved on the Keys, it is intuitive to learn the Kalimba, just follow the scrolling of the notes.

In addition, the red strips included with your Kit serve to differentiate the notes in a more obvious way.

Follow the News Pawpaw at the bottom of the page to stay abreast of new releases Kalimbas, guides and more! 

Do you dream of becoming a musician?

La Kalimba  has been modernized and is used around the world. Perhaps its practice will trigger in you a vocation as a musician?

After a promising start thanks to the learning techniques seen previously, and with regular training, you will improve your skills and increase your skill level; you will be able to play more and more complex pieces.

Little by little, you will discover all the sounds, all the nuances that can be produced with this little instrument so simple, and yet magical.

Some film scores are composed from this cousin of the xylophone from Africa. Perhaps you will become the brilliant composer of our next hits?

In any case, at Pawpaw.chyou will find kalimbas quality at a low price!

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