Skip nav

Hugh Tracey Kalimba

January 28th, 2014 by Fitz, Music Synths, Gear, & Tips, 0 Comments


I took the plunge and bought an alto kalimba from Kalimba Magic. A kalimba (or thumb piano) is a small african instrument that is played by plucking tines aligned across a resonator board. It comes in several forms but I opted for the most famous, the Hugh Tracy alto in the key of G.

I’ve really taken to this little instrument. For years I’ve wanted something portable and acoustic to play. I’ve tried flutes, ocarina, and a few others but nothing really stuck. This kalimba does the trick for me. I haul it to work to play on breaks and like to lay in bed plucking away at it. It’s got a compelling sound and is quick, easy, and very fun.

The version I purchased comes complete with a guitar pickup. It works well enough but i find I can’t get the cool wah wah sounds (made by covering up the holes on the back) to work so I’ll probably just mic it when I record it.

Oh, and one tip: I can’t find a case for it so save the box it comes in for transport.