hear the harp of Väinämöinen...

"Because Lani has written this excellent book, I have decided to no longer print out copies of my (own) Guide and will not be providing them with kanteles that I sell. I highly recommend (her) book for beginning players, as well as those more advanced..." Kantele maker Gerry Henkel

instruction book cover

My book is divided into two parts. The first part of the book contains lessons with color photos to illustrate each technique. The second part of the book contains 36 traditional Finnish folk songs for you to play on your kantele. You can see some sample pages by clicking the titles in the Table of Contents below. This book is 86 pages long and has a plastic comb binding so it will lie flat while you're using it. The e-book version of this book includes six videos to illustrate some of the techniques, and sound files for 13 songs so that you can hear how the separate parts are played as well as how a song sounds when all the parts are played together.

To order, click on the version of the book you wish to purchase.
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Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Parts of the Kantele
  3. Caring for Your Kantele
  4. How to Change Your Kantele Strings by kantele maker Michael King
  5. Tuning Your Kantele
  6. Holding Your Kantele
  7. Standard Finger Positions Click on title to see this page.
  8. Finger Exercises for 5 string kanteles
  9. Finger Exercises for 10 string kanteles
  10. Playing Chords
  11. Hammering Technique for Chords
  12. Five String Chord Charts (D/Bm and F/Dm)
  13. Ten String Chord Charts (D/Bm and F/Dm)
  14. Thumb Plucking Click on title to see this page.
  15. How to Play the Harmonic
  16. How to Use a Bow: Three Techniques
    • Basic Bow
    • Bouncing Bow
    • Bowed Drone
  17. The Slide
  18. Push/Pull Technique
  19. Using a Pick
  20. String Dampening Techniques
  21. The Tremolo

Traditional Finnish Folk Songs

Songs in the Keys of D/Bm

  • Ootkos Kuulu Meidän Pässiä (5/10 strings)
  • Tuuti, Tuuti (5/10 strings)
  • Maa Oli Musta (5/10 strings)
  • Keitä Te Ootte (5/10 strings)
  • Karupeijaispolska (5/10 strings)
  • Kakkuri (5/10 strings)
  • Pienet Linnu (5/10 strings)
  • Kulkurin Valssi (5/10 strings)
  • Tikan Tanssi (5/10 strings)
  • Niin Kauan Minä Tramppaan (10 strings)
  • Lemminkäinen (10 strings)
  • Keskeltä Merivesi Lainehtii (10 strings)
  • Pielisjärvi Polkka (10 strings)
  • Olemmehan Suomalaiset Tarkka-Ampujat (10 strings)
  • Jos Meidän Kaivosta Vesi Loppuun (10 strings)
  • Juolmalaulu (10 strings)
  • Aikoja Entisiä (10 strings)
  • Honkain Keskella (10 strings)
  • Joulupuu on Rakennettu (10 strings)
  • Tulantei (10 strings) Click on title to see this page.
  • Olin Minä Muinoin Paimenpoika (10 strings)
  • Älä Itkelele (10 strings)

Songs in the Keys of F/Dm

  • Paholaisen Marssi (5/10 string)
  • Waltz from Lapinlahti (5/10 string)
  • Churchbells of Konevitsa (5/10 string)
  • Rykälinnun Laulu (5/10 string)
  • Käin Minä Kaunista Kangasta Myöten (5/10 string)
  • Hyvää Iltaa Nyt Kullalleis (5/10 string)
  • Velisurmaaja (5/10 string)
  • Vakha Vanha Väinämöinen (5/10 string)
  • Yksi Kaksi Kolme Neljä (5/10 string)
  • Koivumetsän Siimekses' (10 string)
  • Pikku Lasse Pakkasessa (10 string)
  • Herra Petteri Kamarissa (5/10 string)
  • Väinänöisen Polvenhaava (10 string)
  • Ei Tämä Tytö (10 string) Click on title to see this page.