Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Kalimba Techniques
6: Using Your Right Thumb and Index Finger

When it comes to playing the kalimba, there are no rules - only rules of thumb.

I used to play just with my two thumbs. Some people play with two fingers on each hand. Some people play with all their fingers and thumbs.

One of the traditional African lamellaphones is the mbira, and people usually play the mbira with the left thumb and the right thumb and right forefinger (index finger). To do this, make the "OK" sign with your right thumb and forefinger . Now put your right thumb down on a kalimba tine. If you are angled so the right thumb is going down, the right forefinger can actually play at the same time, but with an upward motion. Your finger's nail will catch the underside of the tine.

This is a bit difficut to do on the same tine, so instead, try moving your thumb and finger to adjacent tines.

Using R Thumb and Finger