How to Create Kalimba Tabs


Creating kalimba tabs for original compositions can be a rewarding process, allowing you to play your own music on this unique instrument. Check out our Free Kalimba Tabs.


How to Create Kalimba Tabs for Original Compositions

  1. Understand Kalimba Basics:
    • Before creating tabs, ensure you have a good understanding of kalimba basics. Know the names of the tines and their corresponding notes. Familiarize yourself with the layout of your specific kalimba model.
  2. Compose Your Music:
    • Start by composing your music. Whether it’s a melody, a chord progression, or a full song, have a clear idea of the musical elements you want to include in your composition.
  3. Determine the Key and Scale:
    • Identify the key and scale of your composition. Knowing the key helps you map out the notes accurately on the kalimba. Common scales used include major, minor, pentatonic, and blues scales.
  4. Map Out the Melody:
    • Begin mapping out the melody on paper or using music notation software. Assign numbers or letters to represent each note in your composition. For example, you can use numbers 1 to 7 or letters A to G.
  5. Identify Kalimba Tines:
    • Match each note in your composition to the corresponding tine on the kalimba. Remember that each tine produces a specific note when plucked. Take note of the tines that will be used for each part of your melody.
  6. Create Kalimba Tabs:
    • Convert your mapped-out melody into kalimba tabs. Use numbers or letters to represent the tines. Create a visual representation of the kalimba, indicating which tines to play for each note in your composition.
  7. Include Chords and Harmony:
    • If your composition includes chords or harmony, incorporate them into your tabs. Indicate which tines to play simultaneously to produce the desired chords. This adds depth and complexity to your kalimba arrangement.
  8. Consider Technique and Timing:
    • Think about the technique you want to use for each note, such as thumbing, flicking, or using vibrato. Also, pay attention to the timing and rhythm of your composition. Use standard musical notation or add rhythmic symbols to your tabs.
  9. Test and Refine:
    • Test your kalimba tabs by playing them on your instrument. Make adjustments as needed, refining the tabs to achieve the desired sound. Pay attention to the playability and overall musicality of your composition on the kalimba.
  10. Share Your Tabs:
    • Once satisfied with your kalimba tabs, share them with others. You can publish them online, create tutorial videos, or share them within the kalimba community. Sharing your original tabs allows others to enjoy and learn from your compositions.

Creating kalimba tabs for original compositions requires a combination of musical knowledge, creativity, and an understanding of the kalimba’s capabilities. Experiment with different melodies, chords, and techniques to craft unique and enjoyable music on this enchanting instrument.

How To Make Kalimba Tabs From a Piano Tutorial

Video text:

Hi! I’m gonna walk you through my process of making kalimba tabs from a piano tutorial. Alright, first of all, I’m going to explain my logic on how I figured out that piano tutorials can be transcribed into kalimba tabs. There are 88 keys on a standard piano. It starts from A0 to C8. If you look at the kalimba, the key starts at C4 all the way to E6. Recognise the same pattern? So, by seeing this similarity, I figured out that maybe piano tutorials can be transcribed into kalimba tabs. So I started transcribing with a very simple song. Turned out it works. So I continued transcribing other songs with the same method too. I’ll slower the speed down to 0.5x so that I can read it properly. I’ll always have piano key tab pulled out to the side. Since the piano is played on both hands, one hand will always make up most of the melody for the song. So you need to figure out which keys are those. And then you need to try it on your kalimba if it sounds right and if it matches the song. The whole process require you to go over and over again see how the piano is played, how it sounds on the kalimba. It sounds simple but it’s kind of like playing a puzzle. You know, you match the song, you match the song to your kalimba if it sounds good, you proceed with the keys. If it doesn’t sound good you figure out what will sound good I hope you find this helpful because for someone who’s not good at arranging music through hearing, this is what works best for me. Trying out how the written notes from piano sounds on kalimba I like to work by dividing the song into smaller parts. Write down the keys, try how it sounds on kalimba, figure out the right tempo Only when that part sounds good, I’ll move on to the next. However, if I get really stuck, I’ll make notes of it (why and how it doesn’t sound good) and revisit it later.

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