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A thumb piano is an easy and fun instrument to make.
And an easy and fun instrument to play.
I think it's called a "Kalimba" in Kenya.
It consists of a number of usually metal (although sometime wood or bamboo) keys bent over a pair of frets and under a bridge. It is tuned largely by varying the length of the key on one side of the bridge.
Tuning has presented an interesting debate in our house. Since it is mine, I've chosen to tune it until I'm happy with it. I don't think it is any sort of pentatonic scale or order. I just like the way it sounds.
I may make another that is less melancholy or another with a sounding box and a hole.
Here's my part list:
© 2001-2010 Jeffrey D Gifford