Is The Hugh Tracey Kalimba Worth The Price?

“yes!” is the verdict of Kalimbacam’s glowing YouTube review of the Hugh Tracey Alto Kalimba

Top: Hugh Tracey Student Karimba on “TM” body. Right: Hugh Tracey Alto Kalimba. Bottom: Hugh Tracey African-tuned Karimba


For the last two years, people have been asking me in emails: “So, is the Hugh Tracey kalimba really worth it? I can get a 17-note kalimba made in China for much less.”

Of my own personal kalimbas, 8 out of the 10 that I commonly use for performances are Hugh Tracey instruments. Obviously, it’s clear to me that if you are at the performance level, the Hugh Tracey kalimba is worth it.

But I have to admit that I was quite pleased to hear KalimbaCam come out with a solid “Yes!” to the Hugh Tracey Alto kalimba in his review on YouTube.

KalimbaCam is a kalimba expert in Australia who posts “how to play kalimba” videos and reviews various kalimbas on YouTube. He has 39 videos, and is an interesting up-and-coming player in the kalimba world.

And here is his review of the Hugh Tracey Alto kalimba:

KalimbaCam gives a big “Two Thumbs Up” to the Hugh Tracey Alto Kalimba.

While I sent Cam the “44 Beginner Songs Book” and he shows it in this video in addition to the Alto Fundamentals book, that book does not come with the Alto kalimba. I do send the Fundamentals book along with every Hugh Tracey Alto kalimba I sell (excluding wholesale orders).

Here are some of the highlights from the review:

  • The Alto Fundamentals Book is “a really great guide for learning to play the kalimba.”
  • “The Hugh Tracey kalimba is one of the most famous kalimbas, that has been produced since 1954.”
  • “As to the sound of this kalimba, it probaby has the best resonance I’ve heard out of all the kalimbas I have played. It has a beautiful soothing sound that every kalimba should possess. And this is the first kalimba I’ve come across that doesn’t have a buzzing issue, even on the highest keys.”
  • “It’s the first kalimba that stays in tune for a very long time.”
  • “It is overall a very good option for a permanent kalimba.”
  • “It is a great instrument that definitely deserves the good reputation it possesses.”
  • “This is very much worth it.”

Thanks, Cam!

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