Instruments that can be played on the sofa?

Does anyone know of an instrument that can be played comfortably whilst leaning back on the sofa, maybe even reclining?

I cant think of any super comfortable instruments except for maybe mbira or kalimba.
Only problem is you need fingernails to play those properly. Looking for something else. It can be electronic or accoustic. Tannerins looked kinda cool but they are not available to buy, ou have to make one yourself.

As for sequencers, all the handheld softwares which use gamepad for writing music are perfect for sofa time (LGPT, LSDJ, PSPSEQ), but what about actual instruments?
My searches so far have yielded things like autoharp but there must be something better out there.

guitar - left hand too uncomfortable

keyboard / piano - has to sit bolt upright

drumpad - sits bolt upright

mbira - perfectly comfortable but needs fingernails

tannerin - not available to buy

thummer - not available to buy (looked good in folded position)

If you find a solution for a “keyboard stand” on a sofa,keyboard can be ideal🤔

skin flute


The Korg Volcas and Pocket Operators are fun little things to play with, build some loops, sample them and so forth. It depends how far you stretch the term instrument. Korg Elektribes are deep little all in one solution to music making while chilling.

Ok ok…all jokes aside. Try the Orba maybe


A real instrument have Velocity support

vuvuzela, kazoo, jew’s harp, maracas, tambourine…
…depending if you want to make mellows or drums or noise!

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I have a couple of dan moi. They are great but your arms get tired after a while, holding it up to your mouth and twanging it (‘eh yo!’ cue skin flute jokes). Same with guitar while seated in a sofa, not really doable, left hand gets all uncomfortable.

mbira and kalimba seem to be the only instruments around where you can chill in the sofa and practise.

Dirtywaves M8, mate.


For an accoustic instrument a steel tongue drum is comfy to play easily everywhere (I have a Zion Drum, but there are lots of makers all over the world).

For a synth the Teenage engineering OP-1 is nice, really fine, but the prize is alway going up…

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Perhaps the application EōN by Jean-Michel Jarre with good headphones could make the deal.

handpan/rav vast


I love this – OvalSynth.

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I like the sound of the steel tongue drum when people play it with thier hands rather than beaters and do a kind of palm muting to vary the sound while playing. Sometime when every note sustains there can be a dissonant sound, same with kalimbas and mbiras.

Found a kind of indian tambourine that sounds pretty cool and looks good for sofa play too.

Got my eye on these ones so far:

meinl sonic energy steel tongue drum and mini steel tongue drum


meinl sonic energy 21 key kalimba (the one with ‘wah wah hole’ looks cool too).

hokema sansula

That m8 thing looks awesome mate. I use PSPSEQ on psp slim. That also has synthesis engines and can play on a separate display. So comfortable to use, plus you can record sound and use it on computer with gamepad using an emulator, ppsspp. M8 looks like an upgraded modern cross between PSPSEQ (for the synthesis) and LGPT for the way music and ‘screen map’ is displayed. Thats exactly what I had dreamed of for ages. Not too sure about the keyboard keys instead of D-pad and buttons though.

OP1 looks pretty sweet. No sequencer though, so the focus is on live recording which is quite cool in a way but it would be good to include a sequencer with it.

mbira and kanjira videos

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Guitalele is a perfect instrument for this:

It has the flexibility of a guitar and size of a ukulele. Only difference to guitar is the size and that it’s tuned 5 semitones higher. You can use regular acoustic guitar strings on it. I’ve owned one for quite some time and can tell that it’s really comfortable to play even when lying straight on your back in bed. Easy to grab and just get jamming. Also the sound is decent and I’ve used it on some studio recordings.

Regular acoustic guitar feels too big to my small hands and ukulele feels too restricting, but this one works well!

Guitarleles are pretty nice. I have a small electric that tunes to ADGCEA called a lapstick but it has no body to rest your hand on so I found it quite difficult to play and to slide. Guitarleles seem like they would be better because they have a body to rest on your knee and rest your hand on but no pickups for effects though.

I think im probably going to try a kalimba because i was no good at guitar anyway. If I like it after a while I might get a mbira from africa. Everyone has a guitar but it’s a difficult instrument to play well. It hurts my left hand. I stayed as a noob on guitar even though I practised quite a lot. Kalimba seems more chilled. Always locked to one scale though.

I like the design of chromatic harmonicas too but Im not such a fan of the sound. Also melodica, same deal.

All these instruments seem pretty doable for playing on the sofa but kalimba and mbira seem to be the best for the sofa in my opinion.

I like the idea of doing a live show with dusty sofas on stage, everyone seated and chilling but probably wont ever be such a kalimba pro that i can do that. Should be fun anyway though. Tempted by those gas tank drums as well.

why not an electric kalimba?



this would render most instruments playable while reclining


I thought that was a bag of some unholy mess in the center of the mattress… but, its just a M A S S I V E cat.

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