Old Chromatic Kalimba

the First Chromatic Kalimba


playing the old chromatic kalimba

I started developing the chromatic kalimba originally in 2003. This hand-made prototype took a long time to build, and was therefore never for sale. The chromatic kalimba is based on the African thumb piano (kalimba or mbira), but has a piano type layout instead of the traditional one. The tines are plucked by the fingers. The instrument is fully chromatic, with a range of more than 3 ½ octaves.

I have received quite some requests for this instrument throughout the years, and this lead me to design first the Linear Kalimba and now the new Chromatic Kalimba.


chromatic kalimba

the first chromatic kalimba

This instrument is not available for purchase right now. Instead, I can recommend the new Chromatic Kalimba

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  1. tyler says:

    Are you ever going to sell these chromatic kalimbas again? I have to have one!

    1. admin says:

      Hi Tyler, I have some plans to build chromatic kalimbas along the lines of the linear kalimba. But I would need to build some prototypes first so that won’t be until 2016 at the earliest. And the tuning will be fixed on it.

      1. Guillaume says:

        Hi !
        I’m very impressed by the chromatic kalimba and we are in 2016, so are you planning to build at least some of them ?

        Thanx a lot :)
        And please do it, it’s sounds awsome

        1. admin says:

          Yes the chromatic kalimba is definitly in the pipe-line, but it will be a while. I’m finally finished with the first batch of linear kalimbas, and starting on a protoype of the chromatic one, so bear with us. Thanks for your note!

  2. Tyler says:

    Yeah, I mean the chromatic Kalimba on this page makes all the other kalimbas look lame, haha. I can’t believe there aren’t more of these things around, it’s the perfect design. If you ever produce this version, I would buy it. Thanks.


  3. John Tan says:

    I am certainly impress by your chromatic kalimba.
    Would you be so kind to reply whether you be building them for sale now?
    And do you ship to Singapore?
    Thank You.

  4. Hunter Green says:

    Well it’s late 2016 I would love one of these the fact that it closes and has the handle and latches not to mention the piano style layout is perfect, I can’t believe no one else has made this style.

    1. admin says:

      Working hard on the Chromatic Kalimba; see my latest blog post. It is going to have 3 octaves from G2 – G5. However, not a lid – that would make it too expensive. But I will get some sturdy boxes for it.