How to Read Kalimba Tabs


The kalimba, also known as a thumb piano, is a unique instrument that produces a beautiful and distinctive sound. If you’re new to playing the kalimba, one of the first things you’ll need to learn is how to read kalimba tabs. Kalimba tabs are a form of sheet music that is specifically designed for the kalimba, and learning how to read them will allow you to play a wide variety of songs on this wonderful instrument.

Check out our free Kalimba Tabs resource

How to Read Kalimba Tabs

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to read kalimba tabs:

  1. Understand the Basics: Kalimba tabs are made up of numbers that indicate which tines (or keys) to play on the kalimba. Each number corresponds to a specific tine on the kalimba, with the lower numbers representing the higher pitched tines and the higher numbers representing the lower pitched tines.
  2. Identify the Notes: Before you can start playing a song on the kalimba, you’ll need to identify the notes that are being played. Most kalimba tabs will include a diagram of the kalimba that shows which tines correspond to which notes. This diagram will help you to identify the notes in the tab and play them correctly.
  3. Learn the Rhythm: In addition to the notes, kalimba tabs also include symbols that indicate the rhythm of the song. These symbols can include dots, dashes, and other markings that tell you how long to hold each note. Pay close attention to these symbols and practice playing the rhythm of the song along with the notes.
  4. Start Playing: Once you’ve identified the notes and learned the rhythm, it’s time to start playing the song. Start by playing one measure of the song at a time, using the kalimba tab as a guide. Practice each measure until you can play it smoothly and accurately before moving on to the next measure.
  5. Practice, Practice, Practice: As with any instrument, the key to mastering the kalimba is practice. Make a habit of practicing every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes at a time. Over time, you’ll become more comfortable with reading kalimba tabs and playing a variety of songs on the kalimba.

In addition to these basic steps, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you read kalimba tabs more easily. For example, it can be helpful to practice playing the notes with your eyes closed, using your sense of touch to guide your fingers. This will help you to develop a deeper understanding of the kalimba and improve your overall playing ability.

Another helpful tip is to practice playing along with recordings of the song you’re learning. This will help you to develop a better sense of rhythm and timing, and will also allow you to hear how the notes sound in context with the rest of the song.

Overall, learning how to read kalimba tabs is an important step in becoming a proficient kalimba player. With a little bit of practice and dedication, you can quickly master the basics of reading kalimba tabs and start playing a variety of songs on this unique and beautiful instrument.

Video Text:

Good! So hello again and welcome! So we are now in Episode 3 of our mini course in Kalimba. So first we’ll use tablatures, shall we? How do we read the tablatures? For this demonstration we’re going to use the GECKO Basic Book so basically if you’re reading your tables start from bottom to top left goes right that’s what the tablature looks like and you can see at the bottom there are actually numbers so you know where to start ok it also shows you how many parts We’ve got this four part song okay. So we’ll notice at the bottom there are messages, okay. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Because this is actually a representation of your kalimba see lowest C just like your lowest kalimba is also C, right? And D…D basically this is a “paper version” of your kalimba so to speak and as you can see on the side, this is actually music notes. It’s actually very simple if you put it on the right side you can see and look at the line here it means you’re going to play this together. This is one, together, one, together, one together. So what are we here for just so you know how to read it even you read it from bottom to top If you see keys aligned together that means you need to press them together, okay? Now for the timeframes I will only show you what the notes symbolize okay so this represents your time. How long note. Now since kalimba no they have preserved, for example, it’s a four count. So example two, three, four don’t do this to hold it. you just count in your head and then go now for the numbers that’s how they write the numbering numbers but I find this too complicated and then this version if you’re going to look there are the numbers on top of each other this is how they write the notes you play together like this, look in the bars Suggest a specific time frame how to play this is what I like. Where in they’ll write the lyrics so you know the timing of the song, right? This is easier now what I’ve noticed is that they don’t really put in what they normally do if it’s letters they only use to denote your chords while some people find it easier if you’re going to use letters instead of numbers and that’s also good for numbers or letters, I notice that a common way but Not the general way of how people use it rather than doing what is here on the guide people write the lyrics, then if it’s a chord or if you’re going to play the notes together they’re off that means they ‘re all played together or maybe you’ll see a dash (-) so if I saw – it means that they also played together. You may be wondering what does that mean? A circle only represents your key of Kalimba so if you see points on your song that just represents “Oh it’s higher B” “Oh, it’s higher B!” If it’s double I hope this quick tutorial was able to help you at least I succeeded clearer I hope so, with that being said, thanks for ending part 3 of our 10-part series of your mini course in Kalimba Ok, so it is said thank you for your time and God bless in you.

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