• Jamie, from Mademyown

Kalimba

Updated: Aug 9

I came across a Makers’ Market which had a number of workshops – and the Kalimba workshop conducted by Roger&Sons caught my eye!


The market was held at Roger&Sons’ beautiful space (there were other maker brands at the market – I really wanted to get a temporary Jagua tattoo at the Jynk Ink booth but unfortunately had to run off for something else right after)

Our session was conducted in a workshop within the space – love the high ceilings and brightly lit space ❤

The steps to making the Kalimba were pretty straightforward: we were given the various parts, and had to assemble them with glue & screws (we had to drill holes for the screws to be inserted)

Somehow even with the simple instructions, I managed to get my wooden pieces stuck on a little slanted oops. Thank goodness this isn’t obvious when the whole Kalimba comes together (you’ll get what I mean later). I also apparently marked the spots for drilling a little bit off, and had to drill one of the holes a second time. Thankfully, this wasn’t an issue and didn’t show up either!

The most difficult part of making the Kalimba was inserting the tines (the metal pieces which play the note). We spent most of our time trying to insert them into the slots, because the tines start off as straight, and require some guidance to form a curve to go into the slot. The tension is what gives the tine the lovely tone (which later on needs to be tuned):

After partnering up with someone else, I finally managed to slot them all in!

Even though it looks complete (below), I had to spend some time at home tuning it to the right keys (by knocking the tines in with a little hammer).

After inserting all the tines, you can’t really see the errors / misalignments (mentioned above) 😀

I love the sound the Kalimba makes! It’s very soothing and dreamy, a little bit like the sound of a musical box. I tried to follow the keys to a piece, but it was quite complex as I have no musical background and the Kalimba notes looked even more complex with more lines (I even stuck little stickers on the tips to make it easier to read the notes).


It takes me quite some time to identify each notes that you can’t quite identify which song I’m playing when I try to, so here’s a friend of mine playing around with the Kalimba, but sounding a bit more legit (like she’s doing scales on it!):


Details of the workshop

Duration: 1 hour – managed to assemble the Kalimba at the workshop, but need to spend some time tuning the Kalimba at home

Price: SGD 66 – booked on the event ticketing portal they used


Level of fun: 2/5

The steps to assemble the Kalimba was pretty basic, but we did get to use a drill! Also, it was pretty satisfying to tune the Kalimba – whenever the right note shows up in green on the tuning app, it brings such a sense of satisfaction that I’ve hammered the tine in perfectly


Level of difficulty: 2/5

The assembling of the main pieces was easy (being more focused will help you avoid the mistakes & misalignments I had), but the inserting of the tines was challenging. We found it easiest when 2 people worked together – one hammering it in, while another holding a screwdriver to “guide” the tine upwards in a gentle curve while being hammered in.

The instructors were super friendly and always on hand to help and answer questions (including when I made my small errors)!

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