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Thread: Kalimba - aka - Thumb piano

  1. #1
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    Kalimba - aka - Thumb piano

    Fun little instrument for anyone...

    I used a cigar box, but a home-made box would work as well...build one for yourself, the kids or grand-kids, gift-giving or what-ever, just get out in that shop and create
    The keys can be anything you can imagine, but spring steel seems to be the favored material...Mine here uses tines from an old leaf rake, I've seen where some folks use the metal from an electricians snake, bicycle spokes, umbrella ribs, hacksaw blades, even those windshield wiper inserts etc. etc. let your imagination run wild LOL

    As far as tuning goes, it's just a matter of loosening the hold down screws and moving the tines in &/or out of the holder and then re-tighten.
    Mine's set up with a piezo pick-up & jack port to plug in to an amp, D.A.W. or even straight into the PC...great to add effects such as reverb, distortion etc. what ever floats your boat. Not necessary to play, it's just an option.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    And since I can't play this thing any better than my sorry guitar playing, here's a little sample of how they should sound http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8uI59vXP_c
    The perception of perfection is perfectly clear to everyone else

  2. #2
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    that is neat ken,, why are some of the strips color coded?
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  3. #3
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    Not positive Larry, but I believe it's because he has it set up with different keys{IE: key of C, key of Am etc.}
    The perception of perfection is perfectly clear to everyone else

  4. #4
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    Great instrument for texters!: rofl:
    ++++++

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carol Reed View Post
    Great instrument for texters!: rofl:
    great observation!
    The perception of perfection is perfectly clear to everyone else

  6. #6
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    Nicely done Ken. I've had one of these on the TODO list for an embarrassingly long time (8? years I think) since I saw one at a buddies house.

  7. #7
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    Cool! So do we get to hear the tone of yours? Just curious how well the piezo picks up the sound.

    Nice job btw!
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  8. #8
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    Very neat, Ken.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cook View Post
    Not positive Larry, but I believe it's because he has it set up with different keys{IE: key of C, key of Am etc.}
    They've mainly there as a point of visual reference, sort of like the fret markers on a guitar neck. Since each tine can be tuned to different notes, they really don't have anything to do with the key signature itself.
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  9. #9
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    I hope sharon doesn't go looking for that old rake that's laying around...
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  10. #10
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    Very nice. You can also make them from grounding bars. I went so far as to buy a few, but never put together the box. Didn't think about using a cigar box.
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Inst...t-screw-lamel/

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