How to Use the EZ Numbers Book… With the B11 Kalimba

The EZ Numbers Book uses numbers above the lyrics to 63 well-known songs to help you learn to play the songs very simply. This looks simple… but exactly how do I translate these numbers to, say, a B11 Kalimba?

There are two details to be aware of: first, a 6-Note Kalimba (or an 11-Note Kalimba) cannot play the same music that a 17-Note Kalimba can play. (On the flip side, a 17-Note kalimba will probably be able to play everything the 6-Note or 11-Note Kalimba can play.)

So, the EZ Numbers Book is split into different sections, based on how many, and which notes you need to play it.

The other detail is: which tines on your kalimba should get the numbers on them. For the most common kalimbas, such as the 8-Note, the 10-Note, the 15-Note Alto Kalimba, and the 17-Note Kalimba in C, the book contains graphics to show you which tines correspond to those numbers for each section.

But a customer who has the EZ Numbers Book and a B11 Kalimba is hopelessly confused, because the EZ Numbers Book doesn’t explain how to do it with the B11 kalimba. So, I explain in detail here.

Here is a page from the book Exploring the B11 Kalimba that shows its tuning:

The EZ Numbers Book is split into sections, each with songs that require different notes. The two sections that the B11 Kalimba can play are Section A: Kitten Songs (one octave pentatonic songs) and Section C: Cheetah Songs (one octave diatonic songs):

Here is the first page from Section A, explaining about the notes it uses, and a few example songs. BTW, those black and green “sound icons” don’t do anything in these images, but in the actual download, clicking on them will take your web browser to the sound file for each song, and you would hear how the song sounds when I’m playing it on one of my kalimbas.

And these are the notes 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8 on your B11 Kalimba that you would be using for all of the songs in Section A:


The songs in Section B cannot be played on  the B11 kalimba without retuning tines, which at this point is not recommended. However, you can play all the songs in Section C on the B11 Kalimba. Here is  page from Section C with some example music:

And here are the notes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 on your B11 Kalimba that you will use to play these Section C songs:

You can see how simple this is?

If you don’t have your EZ Numbers Book yet, you might want to get it today!

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