Recently, we have gotten questions regarding playing Bold Musik Kalimbas and if you need fingernails to play them. Although it helps, you do not need them. I have a tendency to bite my fingernails and now play the kalimba with the pads of my thumbs. I have found that it can irritate the skin over long periods of playing until calluses are built to toughen the contact points on the tips of your thumbs.
A suitable alternative to toughening the thumbs are kalimba picks. These can be helpful whether you have nails or not. Long nails can help with precision in the notes you are playing, however, nails can break easily if the notes are played too hard.
Personally, I still play with the pads and tips of my thumbs but am looking to get a set of kalimba picks soon. Playing experiences can vary from person to person and finding what feels most comfortable can greatly increase your BOLD kalimba skills. Most kalimba pick sets cost $3.00-$5.00 but are worth much more for the avid kalimba player.
Until next tine, :)