Handmade Music Clubhouse

Cigar Box Guitar Headquarters - CBG HQ

Thumb Piano Concerto


Thumb Piano Concerto

Thumb Pianos, Kalimbas, Mbiras and anything Lamellophone.

Members: 32
Latest Activity: May 6, 2018

Welcome to the Thumb Piano group!

In African music, the mbira (also known as Likembe, Mbila, Thumb Piano, Mbira Huru, Mbira Njari, Mbira Nyunga Nyunga, Karimba or Kalimba) is a musical instrument consisting of a wooden board to which staggered metal keys have been attached.

It is often fitted into a resonator. In Eastern and Southern Africa there are many kinds of mbira, usually accompanied by the hosho.

The Mbira is usually classified as part of the lamellaphone family. It is also part of the idiophones family of musical instruments. In some places it is also known as a sanza.

Discussion Forum

kalimba building basics

Started by Bertalan Somogyi Mar 25, 2013. 0 Replies

I wanted to build a cb kalimba, so I cut some bicycle spokes, some aluminium bar, some hardwood, and made some, It sounded horrible, damp, noisy, lots of unwanted harmonics, etc. So, I thought, maybe…Continue

Tags: cigarbox, tines, building, kalimba

kalimba tines

Started by Rich Pierik. Last reply by Rich Pierik Mar 2, 2011. 3 Replies

Well these little instruments fascinate me. It is only now that I have awaken to realise that this instrument largely defines the character that I have associated with African music.I have started a…Continue


Started by Henry Lowman. Last reply by Henry Lowman Sep 8, 2010. 1 Reply


Kalimba Gatherings

Started by Alan Roberts May 17, 2010. 0 Replies

Zimfest is the largest annual gathering in North America of students, teachers, performers, and fans of Zimbabwean music. This year, it will be held in Corvallis, Oregon.   Zimfest 2010 will be held…Continue

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Thumb Piano Concerto to add comments!

Comment by Randy S. Bretz on February 24, 2011 at 7:40pm
Comment by Alan Roberts on February 12, 2011 at 7:01am

Hey, Ted.

Looks like Tinashe is playing a Hugh Tracey kalimba, not a mbira. I wonder why that is? A kalimba has a built-in soundbox, and Tracy's have a western tuning. Notice how some of the tines are painted. I do that too (makes it easier to tell what key to play), but mbira have overlapping tines and are tuned... well, complicated.

But he's a fine musician whatever he's playing, and thanks for bringing him to my attention. I'll have to listen to more of his music, and play along.

Comment by Ted Crocker on February 12, 2011 at 12:23am
Comment by Ted Crocker on February 11, 2011 at 9:58pm
Comment by Alan Roberts on January 10, 2011 at 12:32am

Hey Dan!

What does the back look like? I drill two holes on the back where the index fingers would go. Opening and closing these holes can give a nice vibrato,

Comment by Dan DeBruler on January 9, 2011 at 2:10pm

Cherry and Ash single-octave kalimba. Made this one for the family of a brain injury survivor.


Comment by steve "roots" howard on April 29, 2010 at 7:51pm
Home Depot electrician wire pulling reel for $9.95 for 25 foot. Real convenient to work with on reel. Pull out length and put in vice and bend till it breaks.
Comment by Diane in Chicago on April 29, 2010 at 2:34pm
Oooh! What is the tine material, please!
Comment by steve "roots" howard on April 29, 2010 at 11:42am
Cigar box kalimba with tines heated and smashed on ends

Comment by steve "roots" howard on April 29, 2010 at 11:40am
My first gourd kalimba about 4 years ago

Members (32)


© 2023   Created by Ted Crocker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service