Kalimbas in tablature notation: discover how to use tablature notation to play the kalimba

Wondering how to play the kalimba better? Tablature notation is a great way to learn to play new songs with precise notes and complete information. Tablature is a visual and intuitive way of reading songs and sheet music. Tablature for Kalimbas is a powerful tool that can help you improve your playing. Find out how to use tablature to play the kalimba!

What you need to know about kalimba tablature

The situation is as follows: the kalimba is a very easy instrument to play. It has a grid, and if you know the names of the notes associated with each tine, these notes can be read directly from the grid, so you can play music without needing to know how to play music or read a score. However, if you want to learn to play specific songs or invent your own melodies, tablature notation is indispensable.

Tablature for the kalimba is a way of presenting information using a grid of notes. Each line of the grid corresponds to a tine on your kalimba, and each number indicates which note or tine should be played. It provides much more information than the standard grid. For example, it indicates when each note should be played (e.g. struck or held), which finger should be used, and so on. Thanks to this additional information, tablature makes it possible to play more complex and interesting melodies.

How to read kalimba tablature

Tablature for the kalimba is a little different from other forms of tablature, as it is a thurified string instrument. The first thing to do is to identify the notes on your grid and record them on a sheet of paper. Notes are generally identified by their letter (e.g. C corresponds to the 1st tine on the grid). Then you can start reading the tablature scores, which are generally presented in the following format:

  • Each line corresponds to a tine on the grid.
  • Each number corresponds to a note to be played
  • Special symbols indicate various types of sounds to be produced (e.g. ^ means press, * means the thumb must be moved upwards).

Once you understand how to read the tablature, you can start playing some of the classic kalimba songs, such as Malelane, Fana di Kalimba and Kumbaya.

How to learn tablature notation for the kalimba

Learning tablature notation for the kalimba is easy enough, you just need to keep abreast of new lyrics, chords and melodies that require deeper memorization. However, tablatures for the kalimba can help you learn faster and easier, as they show you exactly how to play the note and which finger to use. Tablatures are also a handy way to read sheet music and customize your favorite songs to suit you.

Once you've learned to play songs using kalimba tablature, you can even create your own songs on exotic instruments like the mbira and marimba. You can also share your work with kalimba-playing friends and the rest of the world. Not sure where to start? There are many tutorials on the Internet that explain how to master reading tablature for the kalimba.


Tablature is a powerful tool that can help you play the kalimba more effectively. It makes it easier to read sheet music and record more complex material. You can learn to play specific songs and create your own patterns to enrich your music. Tablature is an invaluable tool for learning and playing the kalimba, and with a little practice you'll soon be playing your favorite tunes!