Free Tablature for Karimba and Alto
Shumba Panzira NOT


When I visited African Musical Instruments in South Africa and met the people who make the Hugh Tracey Kalimbas, Christian Carver sat down to show me how to play "Shumba Panzira", the song that goes with the story The Lion on the Path. I went home and learned it from memory and then created my own variations. Only problem is, what I remembered was NOT Shumba Panzira, but rather something my mind made up, all the while thinking that it WAS the traditional African piece Shumba Panzira. I suppose this is akin to dreaming in a foreign language that you are finally getting good at.

Tab for NOT SHumba Panzira
First variation of NOT Shumba Panzira. 0:21 refers to the time in the video where this phrase starts.

Even though I don't know what this music is, I love it, and I play it when I am performing the story The Lion on the Path, and I also used it to demo the box karimba in the video above. A few folks expressed interest in learning that song which is NOT Shumba Panzira, so I wrote it out in tablature for the African-tuned karimba - it can also be played on the Alto kalimba but you won't be able to play as fast because there will be several spots that require you to play several notes in a row with the same thumb.

The music in the video unfolds with continuous 8-measure variations. Tthe tablature below suggest that each 8-measure variation be repeated. By marking each variation with repeat signs, it gives you a bite-sized chunk of music to learn - repeat the variation over and over until you can play it at speed, then move on to the next variation.

Also note that most variations are labeled with a time stamp corresponding to the time they occur in the video.

Enjoy these free tablature downloads:

One of my professors at university taught me that a great way to come up with new ideas is to misunderstand what someone else had done in their experiment. You get an idea that you think is an understanding of someone else's idea, and then eventually you realize that it is not their idea, but your own. In some way. I guess the same sort of thing happened here.