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Immediate access over 400 lessons!

Free access for Zimbabweans:

Mbira header

Welcome to the Learn Mbira page! Whether you’re an experienced mbira player or are just now discovering the beautiful complexities of this incredible music, you’re in the right place!  This is a welcoming community for mbira players all around the world! This is the website where the lessons are stored, but you sign up for access over on Patreon:

Here is a partial list of the songs that you can learn here:
Buka Tiende
butsu mutandarika
Chamukwenjera Chakoromoka
Guitar Lessons
Imbwa Yangu Machena
Kanotamba Mubani
Kari Mudande
Kariga Mombe
Kuenda Mbire
Mapiye Mana
Muchanwa Muteyo
Muchenjedza Mutonga
Mwana We Shumba
Nyamaropa Tuning
Svosve Harina Munda
The song with no name
Vari Mugomba

I also have fun teaching the theory and concepts behind the music, Shona language and singing, Zimbabwean style guitar, matepe, hosho, marimba, and other instruments!

How it works – You get immediate access to all the lessons – including hundreds of lessons in the archives when you join.  Full access is $20 per month.  I understand that not everyone can afford that, and it is important to me that mbira lessons are accessible to anyone that needs them.  We offer two subsidized tier levels at $5 and $10 per month.  You get the same access to the lessons at that level, but please only choose that level if you truly can not afford it.  Please note, you are charge on the day you join and then on the 1st of the month, so for example if you join on the last day of the month, you will be charged for that month and then again on the 1st.  This is not something that I control, so it is best to join at the beginning of each month. Please email me at [email protected] if you plan to join at that level. 

Scholarship fund:  If you have the means, please consider joining at greater than $20 per month.  These extra funds help support those that are taking lessons at the subsidized rate.  It takes a community to keep this sustainable!  Thank you for your support.  

In Depth Teaching – This community is NOT simply about showing you notes to play. I do my best to show you the reasons for playing certain variations and I guide you through the building of those variations from the ground up. This community is about going deep in to this music and really exploring the “why” for a lot of the variations around this music.

Context is everything-especially in mbira music. In these videos we also look at mbira singing, Shona language, matepe, guitar, marimba, hosho, studio musings, video field recordings from Zimbabwe, and more.

Thanks to you we have a growing global community of mbira players and we have shared well over 600 hours of video lessons!

Here are only a few of the videos that become instantly available when you join:

Introduction to Mbira with Nhemamusasa – This is a 23 video course (3 hours of content!) on the song Nhemamusasa. It starts you right at the beginning, teaching you how to pick up your mbira and progresses all the way through learning the basic kushaura mbira part, several variations, and a high line. 

A sampling of some of the other songs we are going deep in to – Muchanwa Muteyo, Kariga Mombe, Mbavarira, Nyamamusango, Vari Mugomba, Karingezuva, Svosve Harina Munda, Mapiye Mana, Bangidza, Marenje, Chipembere, Buka Tiende, Kuenda Mbire, Shumba, Mbirimo, and many more!

Shona Guitar – Joel’s first instrument was guitar. He even went to college to study Jazz guitar at University of North Texas. Join him as he dives in to some of the really great Zimbabwean guitar styles.

Matepe – Intro to Matepe with Muchenjedza Mutonga, Kanotamba MuBani, Marume, matepe theory, and ongoing deeper lessons based on matepe players input.

New Music (Mbira, Electronic, Marimba & more) – Joel is a working musician in Austin, TX with several bands and projects that excite him. He regularly shares new or unreleased songs here before releasing them on Itunes, Amazon, etc. As a patron you get to hear the new songs first as a bonus perk, and get access to a lot of his process behind-the-scenes as he is making music.