Wild and fun! This is a great instrument for beginners. Playing it is very physical.
The pentatonic scale is also called the “no fault scale”. It starts out like “Do-Re-Mi”, skips “fa”, continues with “So-La”, and skips “Ti”. So, there are 5 notes. You can play in G major or E minor.
This is an excellent kalimba for people with little or no musical experience, but experienced musicians can really fly on this one, as the pentatonic scale lets you apply all your speed and shine almost without you having to think at all (yes, you remember the “blues scale” on guitar — this is it!)
The small sound board is well-suited for small hands or children. The small board also permits using the right index finger up-stroke method typically used in mbira playing. A nice trick to increase the volume is to hold it against a window or a table as a sounding board.
Listen to these sound clips:
Pentatonic Kalimba Instructional Aids: There are two books available for the pentatonic kalimba. Our first book, Playing the Pentatonic Kalimba, is full of patterns and shows you lots of tricks to help you improvise and write music for the pentatonic kalimba. Our second book, co-written with Kathryn Rambo, is the Pentatonic Kalimba Songbook which includes 33 arrangements of 29 songs in both tablature and staff notation.