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Thumb Piano, kalimba, mbira Round Back

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                                       Thumb Piano,kalimba, Or mbira,


Description: Thumb Piano, Large mulberry wood with rosewood Sound board , 5" x 7", 17 steel keys and two vibrato
holes on the back. The metal keys are mounted on a wooden box that acts as the resonating chamber. The thumb piano originates in Africa.
Various kinds of thumb pianos have existed in Africa for about 3000 years. The keys were originally made of bamboo, but over the years metal keys have become more common. Thumb Pianos are known by different names in the regions of Africa. Names include Mbira, Mbila, Mbira Huru, Mbira Njari, Mabira Nyunga, Marimba, Karimba, Kalimba, Likembe, Okeme, and in the Caribbean Islands Marimbula.
There are quite a variety of thumb pianos from which to choose. Explore and have fun!

Tunnings: : When you first receive your thumb piano, it will not be tuned. If you would like to tune it, you may follow the recommended tuning as shown. Many different tunings are acceptable, you can even change the tuning to suit your mood. Tuning the thumb piano is easily done by adjusting the length of the keys. Use a flat regular screwdriver to push the key further into the bar to increase the pitch, or push it out to decrease the pitch you may need to loosen the tension screws after tuning all of the keys.

How to Play: To Play, rest the thumb piano on the fingers of both hands and hold it between your palms. If your thumb piano has vibrato holes on the back, cover them with your fingers. Then pluck keys, in a downward motion, with your thumbs. As your skill improves you can pluck the keys down with your thumbs and upward with your index fingers. You can change the sound as you play by covering and uncovering the vibrato holes.



Thumb Piano is an African instrument and related to the Kalimba. It was considered in olden times that the Thumb Piano was to project its sound into the heavens and was even thought to draw sown feelings to the earth. Few of them were evil spirits so the people would stop playing the music until the spirits had deceased from the area. The piano is made of rosewood; the sound board is made of spruce, and comes in assorted tunings. On the back it has two holes that vibrate and the fingers change the sound by moving them to and from the holes.Many times, Piano is played solo and tuning is not significant as playing with a different musician. If playing with another musician then you may want to take note of the tuning. The lower keys have a lower pitch while the shorter keys have a higher pitch. All the keys can be tuned by adjusting the metal piece inward or outward. The low keys are located toward the center of the instrument and the short keys are locates on the outside of the instrument. The Thumb Piano has a very melodious sound, and is a well made instrument. It is sometimes used as a backup for other instruments or lyrics. Each note of the thumb piano is a separate idiophone, and in orchestra terms it is in the bar family. Current distinction of the instrument may have more than the traditional 15 tines, with as many as four chromatic octaves, which makes playing more intricate music possible. They may have hollow resonating chambers for amplified volume, and procedures for readily tuning the tines to various scales (tines are the medal keys that are needed to play the instrument). While the keys on the thumb piano are dissimilar from the piano or guitar, their array is quite perceptive, and is thought to be an instrument rapidly learned.


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Review by kot-paket
Good (Posted on 4/9/13)

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