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I went to Hollywood yesterday so I made the customary trip to GC. I was hangin out in the drum room with my friend and I found this little thing.








For size comparison (FF is in an MXR sized enclosure)


This thing is pretty fun to play. It sounds like a little wind-up music box. I think I might try to put a little Piezo on it and see what it sounds like.


They have a little acoustic version too but this one is more comfortable to hold and sustains for days LOL.


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You do know what those are ?? I lived in Africa in the mid-sixties for four years....had a couple of the original style ones. You might try using it in recordings...Anyways, nice toy / instrument...

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It's not a toy!


Well, in the same sense that an ocarina, a penny whistle, a ukulele and so on are not toys.


They feature prominently in music from a large part of the African continent - especially from places such as Mali. They're easily made and are almost indestructible!


All of the ones I've seen 'in the flesh' have had the soundhole. I've never seen a solid one before.


A few miles from where I live is a museum (the Horniman Museum) which has one of the greatest collections of musical instruments from all over the globe. Downstairs they have a 'Hands-on' room where kids - and adults too, for that matter - can pluck; whack; strum and otherwise play a variety of instruments. I think there were 3 kalimba there the last time I visited. They also sell them in the museum's shop.


Gratz the cool toy! What key is it in? Could it be used like a tuning fork???


They come in all sizes and, therefore, 'keys'. None of ones I've played had a regular 8-note scale; obviously the length of the 'tines' determines the note produced and these tines can be adjusted individually to fine-tune the instrument.


In fact the biggest drawback to the ones in the 'hands-on' room I mentioned above was that the bar(s) which tightened the tines to the body of the instruments had, in each case, loosened-off so it was impossible to know exactly how they should actually be tuned.


I'm sure someone on here will be able to shed light on the matter!



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I don't know what key it's in. I don't really know about keys. I'm self taught haha.


I'm sure if you tuned it precisely enough you could use it like a tuning fork. As it is, I could probably tune more accurately by ear/ memory.


I call it a toy because it seems like they dumbed this thing down a little so kids can play it. I still think it's pretty cool and it's fun to play though.


They had an "acoustic" one but it was really just a hollow piece of wood with a hole in it. The wood was really thick and it was pretty obvious that even though it had a soundhole the sound was not enhanced or projected in any way. So I got the solid body for that rockin sustain haha.


I want to somehow make it electric. The wood is really resonant. I'm thinking about putting a cheap little piezo transducer from radioshack on the back.

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Sorry to ruffle your feathers, Pippy. Menfolk often refer to their things as "toys". I have a shop full of power tool "toys", for instance.




I think it's pretty danged cool that it can be tuned!


Drop D music box tunes, anyone???



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I have one of these.... who am I to judge??




Good grief ChanMan...you're a braver man than me!


I had one of those as a kid and almost broke my teeth trying to get the hang of it! LOL!


(And no feathers were ruffled in the slightest, I assure you! I was just speaking up for the little 'un!)



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