Starting to learn a new instrument can be a daunting task, especially if you’ve had no previous experience with other musical instruments. The kalimba is no different, and choosing the right songs to start learning can be the difference between developing a new long-term hobby or giving up before you’ve even started!
In this article, we’ll look at 5 easy songs to play on the kalimba and what makes them so great for beginners. Even if you’ve never touched a musical instrument before in your life, you should be able to pick up these easy songs in no time!
Here are the 5 easy songs to play on the kalimba:
- Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
- Happy Birthday (To You)
- Heads, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
- Auld Lang Syne
- Silent Night
So, let’s dive into each of the songs and find out what makes them so easy to play on the kalimba!
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
I’m sure most people will be familiar with this classic nursery rhyme. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is a song that many people are taught at a young age, and with good reason. The song is very short, making it easy to remember, and has a very simple, slow-paced melody line and steady rhythm, making it very easy to learn quickly.
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is, in my opinion, the easiest song you could learn regardless of instrument. This is especially true of the kalimba as the song can be played comfortably in C Major, which most standard kalimbas are tuned to.
Take a look at the below tutorial video and try it for yourself! You can also check out the Twinkle Twinkle Little Star kalimba tab to learn at your own pace.
Happy Birthday (To You)
Another World-renowned song. I’m sure you’ve both sung Happy Birthday and had it sung to you!
Happy Birthday is another very easy song to learn on kalimba due to its shortness and slower pace. What makes Happy Birthday different from Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is that it introduces a less steady rhythm, I.E. the timing between notes changes. This makes it ideal for learning to control your plucking.
If you’d like to learn Happy Birthday, you can either take advantage of the Happy Birthday kalimba tab or watch the tutorial video below!
Heads, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
With Heads, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes we have yet another nursery rhyme. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that nursery rhymes feature very heavily in lists of easy songs as they are designed to be simple for kids to grasp!
For this reason, it makes them very beginner-friendly songs, and Heads, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes is no exception!
With Heads, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes, things get a little harder as the song is designed to be played at a quicker pace. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t start off slowly though. No matter what song you are learning the best advice anyone could give is to start at a comfortable pace and slowly get faster and faster.
You can find the Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes kalimba tab here if you’d like to learn this song, or alternatively, the tutorial video is below!
Auld Lang Syne
Moving away from nursery rhymes now, we have Auld Lang Syne. If you’re not a fan of nursery rhymes this song could be the choice for you.
Auld Lang Syne is the classic poem written by Robert Burns and is, of course, well known as the song that is sung at New Year.
Although this is still classed as an easy song to play on the kalimba, it is a little more challenging compared to the songs above. Auld Lang Syne features a lot of different note durations and off-the-beat melodies so can be a great choice for developing your ear for timing.
You can learn the song using the Auld Lang Syne kalimba tab or via the tutorial video below!
The final song in this list is Silent Night, a Christmas classic that is great to play at that festive time of the year.
Silent Night sounds great on the Kalimba due to its soft style and relaxing melody and learning it on the kalimba is very easy too!
The song is mostly slow-paced and features some quicker runs which are great to practice with.
If you’d like to learn this song, here’s the Silent Night kalimba tab and the video tutorial below to help you on your way!
And there we have it! 5 very easy songs to play on the kalimba.
Each of these songs has unique qualities that will help improve your kalimba playing in different ways from working on tempo and timing to exploring various keys or tines of the kalimba.
So if you’ve just picked up your first kalimba, why not have a go at learning all 5?