You can now buy mbiras in many tunings on this website, and we ship to the entire world.
Buy an mbira
Buy an mbira with First Mbira Lessons Set of Videos (DVD or Download)
Buy a deze (mbira resonator)
Contact us if you need help choosing an mbira. Important things to consider are the size of your hands, and the tuning you prefer (or that is played by others where you live). If you plan to learn from MBIRA’s sets of video lessons, you’ll want a B pitch nyamaropa tuning mbira.
Mbira Makers we sell
MBIRA is currently ordering regularly from mbira makers Fradreck Mujuru, Josephat Mandaza, Leonard Chiyanike, Charles Ruhukwa, Gift Rushambwa, “Simboti” Rinos Mukuwurirwa, Stanley Mujuru, Fradreck Manjengwa, Edison Chivese, Munashe Chivese, Tirivangani Chiongotere, Zvidzai Chirikure and Romeo Mhondiwa. See photos of these (and more) mbira makers at work.
Tunings usually available
- Nyamaropa in several pitches: MBIRA workshop (around B), B flat (“old Magaya Standard”), G (“marimba tuning, Western tuning”), “medium low” (around G#) – and we can special order other pitches of nyamaropa tuning (Contact us to special order)
- Mavembe (Gandanga)
- Nemakonde (low Mavembe/Gandanga)
- Mazingizi (an octave lower than katsanzaira)
- Nyamaropa Dongonda (right keys an octave lower than usual, MBIRA workshop pitch on the left)
- Mavembe/Gandanga Dongonda (right keys an octave lower than usual)
- Katsanzaira Dongonda (right keys an octave lower than usual)
- Muchenje Dongonda (right keys are the same as Dambatsoko, left keys are an octave higher than Dambatsoko tuning)
- We also have F pitch nyunganyunga mbiras (karimbas).
Special order mbiras
You may special order other tunings, or get on the waiting list for a tuning, size, and/or maker that is out of stock, by contacting us.
B to B flat
Note that many of our B pitch nyamaropa mbiras can be tuned down to “Magaya Standard”, or B flat pitch. We will do this for you for an additional $50, but please confirm with us first that the specific instrument you want is suitable for this tuning shift. Contact Us.
Who gets the money
Most of the proceeds of mbira sales go to the Zimbabwean mbira maker. MBIRA’s mark-up is $50 to cover our expenses tuning and fixing up mbiras after their long journey in the mail (often with poor packaging), keeping mbira descriptions up-to-date on the website, and doing the bookkeeping.
Get a deze (resonator)
MBIRA sells Zimbabwean-made 14-inch and 16-inch diameter fiberglass dezes (mbira resonators) on this site. Order a deze. We also sell Zimbabwean-made gourd hosho (rattles) and magavhu (leg rattles), which ship well inside your deze if you order them at the same time..