Playing kalimba can be so much fun. If you never had experience playing this incredible instrument, you can find one and try it yourself. But one of the main qualities of the thumb piano is that even a great instrument is quite affordable.
This is why it is a perfect opportunity for every kalimba lover out there to try out something new and different. While most players already have a decent instrument, most of them are relying on their acoustic properties.
Instead of trying to make the instrument louder, you can simply get one with a built-in pickup that will allow you to run it through an amplifier or a speaker.
Here, I will cover some of the electric kalimbas you can find online since it is so much easier to simply get a new instrument instead of trying to find a way to install the pickup by yourself.
Moozica 17-Key EQ Kalimba
- ♫ 【Build-in Hi-Fi Pickup】 17 key kalimba with built-in pickup and...
- ♫ 【Beautiful Sound, Different Kind Of Melody】 This musical instrument...
- ♫ 【Solid Koa Wood Material With High-gloss Finishing】 Use Selected...
- ♫ 【Perfect Gift For Musicians】Can be connected to an amplifier/effect...
The construction of this instrument is incredible. The manufacturer used Acacia Koa for the body of the kalimba, and stainless steel for tines. You can easily see why this instrument managed to get on this list, and it is both artistic and great sounding.
The resonating box has a clear, see-thru finish that allows you to admire the beauty of the wood used to create it. Moreover, instead of using stickers for marking each tine, the company engraved letters and keys to allow easier navigation.
When it comes to the electric part of the instrument, there is a 6.25 mm output that allows you to use a regular cable to amplify the sound. This will allow you to easily plug it into the regular amplifier, speaker, or any recording system.
Another interesting feature is a little finger rests added on the top side of the kalimba. These will allow you to play the instrument comfortably for as long as you want.
Moozica kalimba comes in a package where you will also get a waterproof bag or a case, learning instructions, tuning hammer, and a cable.
The entire package is around $60, and with so many accessories and equipment, the price is more than generous. The instrument is great for both beginners and more experienced players.
Apelila 17 Key Kalimba
- Solid Mahogany Wood - Made of high grade single board mahogany, mahogany is...
- International standard C tune - 1(D), 2(B), 3(G), 4(E), 5(C5), 6(A), 7(F),...
- The note on the keyboard is carved on the keys, so it is not easy to...
- Very little size and come with the carry bag so that you can carry it every...
Another excellent model you can try out is by Apelila. If you are not looking for something flashy and shiny, Apelila might be a perfect choice. It seems that the idea behind their kalimbas is simple but effective.
The kalimba you can check out has an incredible finish but with a lot less lacquer which might be something players will enjoy. As with the previous entry on the list, letters and numbers are engraved on each tine.
This is perfect for anyone who hates stickers and having to put them on. The model comes with a bag, polishing cloth, tuning hammer, and thumb protectors.
If you are one of the players worrying about their nails, or you are in the process of growing them out, these protectors might come in handy.
Since there is no hard shell case available, the price is significantly lower, and you can get it for around $25. The kalimba is in the key of C, and you will also get a basic course book in the package.
The resonator of the instrument is made of solid mahogany, and tines are using carbon steel. You can also pick the color you like since it’s available in many charming colors.
EastRock Kalimba With 17 Keys
- ♫【Top Material】17 keys Kalimba thumb piano is handcrafted with...
- ♫【Tone】The thumb piano with Natural air-dried mahogany veneer...
- ♫【Build-in Pickup】17 key kalimba with built-in Hi-Fi pickup and...
- ♫【EVA Case】The Advanced EVA kalimba boxes can effectively protect...
The first thing you’ll notice about EastRock kalimba is the similarity to the Moozica model. Firstly, there is a similar thumb rest that will allow you to comfortably play the thumb piano.
But the wood on this instrument is mahogany, and there is a lot less lacquer on the box. The main advantage of the kit is that you will get so many necessary accessories.
Besides the protective case, you will get a cloth bag, polishing cloth, protectors for your thumbs, tuning hammer, instruction manual, and even an additional set of stickers.
Even though there is an engraving on each tine, you can still place stickers on them to allow easier navigation. Similarly to how some models have every third tine painted, you can create this by yourself.
Furthermore, if engraved letters are not enough, you can simply use stickers to make everything apparent.
The kalimba also has an audio jack, and you can simply plug it into the amp to start playing. Finally, the price of the kalimba is in the medium range, and it’s around $35, which is significantly lower than the first entry on the list.
Muspor EQ Kalimba With 17 Keys
- Built-in pickup, you can connect to the instrument speaker to play music,...
- Wonderful Sound: Without any music basis, you just move your thumb to get...
- Premium Materials: Handmade with premium mahogany wood and ore metal tines,...
Probably the first thing you’ll notice is the etching on the resonator of this model and beautiful design. The company offers vivid colors on a well-made instrument. But what will catch your eye is a gorgeous deer antler engraved below the soundhole.
These kalimbas have seventeen keys, and they are in the key of C. The resonating box is handmade using mahogany, and tines are made of mineral steel.
Since the instrument is affordable, it is perfect for both beginners and ones with a bit more experience. If you order the package, you will get almost everything you need to start your kalimba journey.
Besides the instrument, you will get a tuning hammer, songbook, cloth, thumb covers, and stickers.
Playing Muspor kalimbas feels great, and there is no doubt that you will enjoy using them. Needless to say, this model is an electric one, and you can plug it into the recording device, speaker, or amplifier.
Finether Koa Kalimba With 17 Keys
- Kalimba Thumb Piano Body with the pickup jack, you can use the Audio Line...
- Kalimba Instrument: This thumb piano with great quality and easy for all...
- Finger piano made by solid koa wood body and carbon steel keys ,which...
- Size: 7.3 * 1.4 * 5.2 * 4.6 inch , package include tuning tool and carry...
Another fine example of medium-priced electric kalimbas is Finether. The kalimba has a standard shape and a clear finish. But don’t let the modest look fool you since this is an excellent instrument for all skill levels.
The instrument is equipped with a pickup jack which makes it easy to plug into the speaker or an amplifier. When it comes to materials, the wood used for the kalimba is Koa, while the tines are using standard carbon steel.
If you pick the Finether model, you will also get a bag, tuning hammer, cleaning fabric, stickers, and songbook. Furthermore, you will also receive an audio cable and thumb protectors which means that you’ll be ready to play as soon as you receive the package.
The kalimba uses standard tuning, and it is in the key of C. It’s a great instrument and it is worth checking out. The price for this model is around $30.
Hywot Mahogany Kalimba With 17 Keys
- ★ High-quality Materials --- Kalimba's sound box is Handmade with single...
- ★ Build-in Pickup or Not--- You could made creative sound effect with the...
- ★ Portable Piano --- Kalimbas Mbira is palm size and comes with a...
- ★ Multiple styles --- Thumb piano is the best traditional African musical...
While most kalimbas have accepted a similar design, there are others who aim for something more. Hywot is one of the companies that can offer a unique design for a great price. If you were looking for a thumb piano that can give something more, these are the ones you need to check.
The basic design of the instrument is similar to other models on the market. You will get seventeen keys, and it is in the key of C. Materials used for Hywot kalimbas are either acacia or mahogany, and keys are made of carbon steel.
But the main quality of these models is in the finish. The company offers a variety of models with unique and beautiful designs. Each of the kalimbas is almost like a painting, and some depict stunning landscapes or cartoonish animals.
Not only that you’ll be able to choose the painting you like, but you can also find a model without a pickup (if that’s something you desire).
Either way, Hywot kalimbas are a great change from the usual clear finish you can find on most instruments. But even if you are not a fan of the art style, you can get a model with a standard finish.
Alician EQ Kalimba 17 Keys
The next entry on the list is Alician kalimbas. These offer a more standard design, and they come with a pre-installed pickup. As you can expect, the kalimba is in the key of C, but you can rearrange the tines to your liking.
If you remember children’s drawings, you probably know how they draw sun and clouds. Here, the soundhole is engraved to look like a sun, and there is a little cloud in the corner. It’s a cute addition to the regular design which will make the instrument especially attractive to younger audiences.
The company opted to use acacia wood for the resonator, and stainless steel for the tines. If you ever wanted to help your children learn more about the music, this can be a great way to do so.
But this doesn’t mean that there is an age limit for this instrument, and even experienced players can enjoy playing with it.
Besides the kalimba, you will also get other accessories like bags, stickers, tuning hammer, cloths, and a cable.
Hugh Tracey 17-Key Kalimba
- Features: the presence of the resonator holes, piezo pickup, audio output,...
- Tuning: pentatonic B - major
- Material: wood kiaat, steel; Size: 184x130x50 мм; 17 reeds
- Audio input Jack 6.3 mm
If you read anything about kalimbas, you probably heard about Hugh Tracey. He was an English ethnomusicologist, and he spent most of his life recording and learning about African music with his wife.
But Tracey did one more important thing. He is the designer of the kalimba, and we have so many different models today because of him.
Originally, he saw African mbira and decided to create a western version of the instrument which he named kalimba. Hugh Tracey kalimbas are the real deal, and they are probably among the best ones you can find.
Naturally, the price of these beauties can be a lot higher compared to other brands. This specific model you can check out is made of kiaat wood with steel tines. As you can expect, there is also a piezo pickup located inside the resonating box with an audio output.
Even though you won’t get a lot of goodies like with other manufacturers, there is no doubt that this kalimba is worth it. Not only that you’ll get an incredible instrument, but you’ll also buy a piece of history.
Finally, this very model is in the key of B major pentatonic.
Cega 17 Key Kalimba
The main reason why Cega kalimbas are so exciting is because of the soundhole. The rest of the instrument looks familiar, and you will get a standard shape of the resonator box, which is made of mahogany.
There are also armrests to ensure a comfortable grip, and they are even more emphasized. However, you can find models without these as well. Furthermore, there is a nice choice of colors, and each offers something unique and beautiful.
But the thing you’ll notice at once is the soundhole. As we mention, here, the shape is different compared to other kalimbas and it’s shaped like a deer head with antlers. Around the hole, there is laser engraving with the brand name at the bottom.
You can get Cega kalimbas both with and without a pickup, and the instrument is in the medium price range.
For $30, you will also get all accessories you’ll ever need like tuning hammers, polishing cloth, and everything else you can expect. These are one of the prettiest kalimbas you can find, and you can check them out on the link below.
Gecko Kalimba With 17 Keys
Gecko has been one of the major names in the world of thumb pianos. The reason for the popularity of the brand is due to the fact that their instruments are incredible. If you are a beginner, you can get a Gecko kalimba.
But even if you are an experienced player, Gecko is still a great choice. The company is creating many different types of kalimba, and it’s no surprise that you can find models with a built-in pickup.
This specific model is made of mahogany, and the design is similar to Hugh Tracey’s models. The company uses high-quality materials, and each instrument is designed with special care and dedication.
Once you see their models, it’s rather obvious why many players are sticking to this brand. As you can expect, the prices can be a bit higher compared to other entries on the list, but there is no doubt that these kalimbas are worth every cent.
Kevin Spears EQ Kalimba With 23 Keys
- Kevin Spears Pro Electric Kalimba Thumb Piano 23-key W/ Eq
- Hammer & Tuner For Kalimba Thumb Piano
Finally, if you want to try something new, Kevin Spears’ kalimba might be a perfect choice for you. What is different about this model is that it has 23 keys! Unlike the majority of kalimbas, here you will have even more space to experiment.
But that’s not all. There are so many things happening with this instrument, and not everything is as obvious. The kalimba also has several other innovative features.
Firstly, you will get a built-in speaker which will allow you to plug it into a speaker or an amplifier. Furthermore, The kalimba also has a preamp, as well as built-in EQ. But that’s still not everything.
The model also offers a volume control for amplification. You can try out this model with different pedals and effects, and the number of keys will allow you even greater tonal possibilities.
You can also adjust the instrument to any key you like and up to five octaves! The lowest note you can use is C1, while the highest one is the G5.
Kevin Spears kalimba seems like an ideal opportunity for any kalimba enthusiasts who just need more.
We all know that kalimbas appear in all shapes and sizes, and you can even find ones that have a built-in pickup. This way, you can just plug them into the amplifier or speaker and start playing.
Since this is not a standard option for the thumb piano, you might need to search a bit to find the one that’s perfect for you. Hopefully, this list will help you find the one you like the most.
Getting a kalimba with pre-installed pickup doesn’t need to cost you a fortune, and you can find models that are around $20 to $30. Of course, if you want something more, you can go for a legendary Hugh Tracey kalimba, that will undoubtedly satisfy your every need.
If you found this article useful you may want to save this pin below to your Kalimba board