Check out my Youtube channel. Now and then I'm submitting new videos on kokles how-to!
Below you can see lots of first-step advices and video tutorials that should help you with leaning to play kokle. Also, if you're determined to learn, let me know and we can catch up on Skype to see if I can help you with that.
Bottom-left from the picture above, you can press on 1,2 or 3 and you'll see more advanced chords as well.
In the picture above you can see the table for 11-stringed kokle with GA-b tuning where as you can see G and A are the drone (bass) strings and "b" is B flat. Basicly those are the main notes or strings that make the difference between this tuning (GA-b) and others.
The digits (on the lines) show the placement of each finger on the strings - that`s how you make a chord. 1 is for thumb, 2 - index finger etc. (top-right of the picture).
Below the lines you see some letters - C, Dm, F etc. - these are the names (notes) of the chords. X-s are marked on the strings, that you don't use for the chords, unless you want them for the melody.
<HERE> you can see enlarged coloured drawing for printing. When the link opens, click on image to enlarge.
Below - some of my video tutorials on starting to play kokle.
Remember to always start learning slowly and step by step. If some of the movements in these videos are too fast for you, use the option to reduce the speet by 0.5 or 0.25 to get slow motion mode on youtube.
Below you can see an example on how to play the melody for Latvian folksong "Maltuves balsis".
You can see how to place the fingers to get chords Dm and Am and how to switch these chords.
<Here> you can hear the original of the song in mp3 (http://folklora.lv/kopas/trejupe/trejupe.mp3)
P.S. Sorry, I'm not much of a singer in this video :)
Trejupe - Maltuves balsis
ik pantiņš 2x
Tā sacīja jauni rudzi
Kur tā mūsu malējiņa
Tumsā gāju māli malti
Tumsā Dieviņš palīdzēj
Tumsā sēda mīļā Māra
Dzirnu galda galiņā
Kad ierauga malējiņ
Nu varēsi pagulēti
Baltā miltu kupenā
Nāc ar mani spēlēties
Izspēlēju rudzus, miežus
Pa vienai saujiņai.
Here's my translation for this song "Voices of the Mill"
This is what the youg rye said
Going into the mill
"Where is our miller girl?
The mill is not decoraed with flowers"
I went to make the flour for the bread in the dark
In the dark the dear God (Dievinš - pagan god above all others) helped me
In the darkness Maara (Earth deity) was sitting
At the end of the mill table
The mill is happy to see the miller girl
Now it can sleep again
In a pile of white flour
Come the grey stone (mill stone)
And play with me
I played through all rye and wheat
One handful at a time