Chromatic Mallet Harp Demo & Review: An Amazing Xylophone with Full Piano/Keyboard Layout


The Chromatic Mallet Harp may very well be the only xylophone a musician ever needs. This is AJ from Didge Project here, and I have been playing the Chromatic Mallet Harp now for over a year and I am very excited to make it available to the public. Throughout the past four years or so, I’ve been spending a lot of time playing handpans and RAV Drums, which I still love to this day. However, I have found that as a trained pianist, I am always desiring to be able to play in any key on a single instrument and to be able to transpose any chord changes onto my instrument. With handpans this is quite limited, as you are basically relegated to the scale that the pan is in and the chords that you can create with it. Now there are some “mutant” handpans on the market now, which give players more harmonic options by having a wider variety of notes to choose from, however, the Chromatic Mallet Harp is a much more elegant solution to this issue.

For example, if I am playing with a group of guitarists and they are playing in one key, say A minor, but then all of a sudden to change the key to say, C minor, by using a capo and going going up a few frets, I can easily transpose the chord changes, either by writing them down or by doing the transposition in my head. Once I figure out the new cord changes, I can continue playing along in the new key with no need to change instruments. This would not have been possible on a handpan.

Top-down view of the Chromatic mallet harp

There are many other benefits to this instrument as well, including that quintessential Mallet Harp sound. As many of you may know from our portable 11-note A minor pentatonic model that we have been selling for a while, the sound of these mallet harp xylophones is just incredible. For an acoustic instrument to get that quality of sound with such simple materials is pure genius.

So again, I’m very happy to welcome the Chromatic Mallet Harp to the Didge Project family and I invite you all to check out the video and enjoy. For the full specs on this instrument and ordering info visit the Chromatic Mallet Harp product page.

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AJ Block is the director of Didge Project and is active as a didgeridoo teacher and performer. In addition to didgeridoo, AJ has spent years studying music traditions from all over the world including jazz (trombone and piano), western classical music, Indian Classical Music, guitar and world percussion. AJ has developed a number of programs for Didge Project including The ABCs of Didgeridoo, The Didgeridoo Skills Course, and Circular Breathing Mastery. He is also the author of Didge For Sleep, a didgeridoo learning method designed specifically for people with Sleep Apnea. As a performer AJ is the leader of the Didge Project Music Collective and a member of Dream Seed: A Shamanic Sound Journey. AJ is a founding member of Sacred Arts Research Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of sacred art traditions through education, ritual and study. As a student of spiritual teacher Maestro Manuel Rufino AJ is an active member of the Golden Drum community.