Have you recently purchased your first kalimba, and are looking for easy songs you can show off to family or friends? Or maybe you’re just looking for beginner-friendly songs to build your skill?
Although kalimba is still a relatively niche instrument, there is a large amount of music already written for it, and that includes classic songs that most people already know.
In this article, we’ll go over some classic songs that beginners can master quickly, and showcase the beauty of this wonderful instrument!
Before we begin, we’ve specifically chosen songs that are tuned to the key of C Major, which is what most standard 17-key kalimbas come in. If you’ve retuned your kalimba since purchasing it or you purchased a kalimba that wasn’t in the key of C, you will need to retune it before playing any of these songs.
If you haven’t retuned your kalimba or you’re not sure what key it’s in, don’t worry! Chances are, it’s already set up perfectly to play each of the kalimba tabs mentioned here.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
1. Can’t Help Falling In Love – Elvis
I chose this classic song first for a couple of reasons:
- There are very few notes.
- The melody is slow, giving you more time to find the right tine to pluck before it arrives.
- The same channel has a more difficult version available to practice as your skills.
But there’s one more benefit, and this one’s for the men out there…
The next time you go out somewhere with your girlfriend or wife, preferably outdoors – a hike, park, whatever, bring your kalimba along.
Wait for the right moment, whip out your kalimba, and play this song. If she doesn’t start crying, she’s not the one, bro.
2. Ode To Joy
This is another simple melody that just about everyone knows.
It’s also a very simple song for beginners to pick up, because all the notes are right next to each other.
The video above admittedly has a few mistakes in it, but there wasn’t really any videos for this song available. Therefore, I made a tab myself in Kalimbist which you can view by clicking here.
The melody is in green, and the chords are in yellow. As a beginner, you can safely ignore the chords, and then practice adding them in once you’ve added the melody.
3.You Are My Sunshine
If there is one song that fits the definition of ‘timeless’, it might be this one. It dates back to the 1930’s and has been recorded so frequently, that it is considered to be, “one of the most commercially programmed numbers in American popular music.”
Let’s be real here. Your grandma probably sung this to you while you were a baby and you’ll probably do the same to your grandchildren.
But if you’re too shy to sing, here’s the tab to play on your kalimba instead!
4. Somewhere Over The Rainbow
There’s something about this song – on kalimba specifically, that helps you forget all the troubles of the world and bring forth a sense of inner peace.
Fortunately, it is another one that while, is a bit more challenging than others on this list, can still be learned by beginners with a bit of practice.
5. Pure Imagination – Willie Wonka And The Chocolate Factory
Everybody’s seen Willie Wonka And The Chocolate Factory at least once, right?
This is one of those songs where even if they don’t know the name of it, people will often have no problem recognizing the melody, from somewhere in the back of their mind.
Note that the above video goes a little bit fast, and also includes chords. Usually, the note that makes up the main melody will be the highest-pitched note of the tab, and the others can be safely ignored until you’re ready to play them.
Although it is only 5 songs, this is a nice little repertoire for a beginning kalimba player!
Note that thousands of tabs have already been published for kalimba, with more being released every day. I highly recommend reading over this article for more information on how to find tabs and sheet music for kalimba:
Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy playing these songs!