Moozica RS Series 21-Key Rosewood Flatboard Kalimba

Much like a ukelele and steel tongue drum, picking up a kalimba (aka “thumb piano”) is an easy and fun way to pluck out some soothing tunes whenever the urge strikes.

There are tons of great kalimbas sold online — often in 21-key, 17-key, or 15-key configurations — so as long as you check the reviews before buying one, you’re probably fine. However, my vote goes to the Moozica RS Series 21-Key, a beautiful instrument with a glossy flat board made from solid rosewood.

The fact that the board is solid all the way through rather than having a hollow cavity is a matter of personal preference, at least in terms of sound. This video demonstrates the difference:

This one’s worth watching too:

So basically…

  • Flatboard = bright, clear, and gentle
  • Hollow = warm, round, and full

Although I usually prefer the sound of the flatboard, the lack of a sound hole means that it sometimes needs a little help in the amplification/recording department. If you think you’ll be using your kalimba for performances (live or prerecorded), you may want to pick up the version that comes with a pickup receiver ($70).

For those of you who intend to play music for yourself alone — or you’re looking for a nice gift for someone else — you can buy the receiver-less kalimba for $55 on Amazon.