How To Read And Write Kalimba Tablature

Are you a Kalimba enthusiast who knows pretty much every musical instrument there is, including the most obscure of them all? Or perhaps you're just hearing the word "Kalimba for the first time." Whichever group you fall into, keep reading to know more about the Kalimba Tablature. 

What is Kalimba?

The Kalimba is a small musical instrument made from wood. It has metal tines that are plucked to generate sound. The Kalimba is played by holding it in your palms, much like a large phone, and then playing it by using your thumbs and forefingers. 

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The Kalimba Tablature 

The Kalimba Tablature is a system of reading and writing music for the Kalimba, much like the staff notation for the piano.

This tablature is a more extended depiction of the Kalimba, and it reads from the bottom to the top. The Kalimba Tablature is designed to make it easy for your thumbs to follow through with the written music as you play. This eliminates the problem of wondering what finger is supposed to play what note and from what side. 

One of the most significant selling points of this tablature is that it is flexible enough to work for any Kalimba at all. What's not to love about a new music sheet for playing your Kalimba? The only thing that's left is learning how to read the tablature. 

Music Basics of the Kalimba Tablature

There is a lot of boring stuff about music that no one really tells you. One of them is how boring learning to play can be with all those notes and half notes you'd need to learn. Is the Kalimba different? No. 

Before you consider diving into the deep end of reading Kalimba notes, you must have the basic knowledge of notes, bars, and measures. The Kalimba Tablature works on the same note symbol principle as the staff notation. 

Here's a little crash course on the notations. In music, a measure is the smallest unit in the recurring cycles of music. The length between the beginning of a measure and its end is known as a bar. In the Kalimba Tablature, the bars are dark-tinted horizontal lines next to the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. The numbers 1 to five indicate 4 measures which place one measure between 1 and 2. 

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Within each measure is a note, and these notes are the metrics for each measure. Each measure is the same amount of time, so if a measure has too many notes, then the notes are played fast to meet up with the standard time. The fewer the notes, the slower they are played and vice versa. 

All of this information about timing is shown in a music fraction known as the time signature. 

An example of 3/4. The 3 above shows that you play three beats for every measure and the four below indicate that a quarter note is played with one beat. 

If you choose to play more than one note at a time, it is known as a chord. A chord is a harmonious sound made by blending different notes at the same time.

Learning to the Read the Kalimba Tablature by Playing old Favorites

If I could hazard a guess, I'd guess that my musical notations 101 class didn't make so much sense to you. It's not going to be easy to master the signs, what they mean, and when you should play it. But then again, practice makes perfect.

Don't go bust out that challenging piece you've been trying so hard to nail for the past three months. It'd be a whole lot easier for you to make any real strides in understanding the Kalimba tablature if you started with your favorite tune. When using the tablature on a tune you know so well, you could see clearly how the notations look like and flow. 

Startup with all your favorites and then slowly ease into the more challenging tablatures and try them out. If you start with some of your harder pieces, it'll put undue pressure on you, and that will make things more complicated?

Playing Simple Tunes and Complex Tunes 

Since most of your favorite tunes to play on the Kalimba would most probably be simple tunes, there isn't much to say on those as you must have mastered them. Just in case you've been practicing kindergarten level tunes, the simple tunes are easy to play. Just follow the tablature and read it accurately, and you'll be fine. 

Now that you can read the Kalimba tablature and play all your favorite tunes, it's time to advance to more complex tunes. 

By now, you must have figured out that the Kalimba tablature is simple to read. But though it is simple, you can still play complex tunes on it. 

When playing complex tunes, you might have to play several notes all at once. These complex chords might require a lot of maneuvering of your hands. It isn't going to be so easy to nail down perfectly. However, the pleasure of playing complex tunes on the Kalimba is the melodious sound that it produces. You might have to grow your nails for the complex tunes, but they are worth that small sacrifice. 

You mustn't understand the Kalimba tablature to know how to play one. People have been playing the Kalimba for ages without the aid of the tablature. However, Kalimba tablature is an easier way to learn how to play complex tunes.