11 January 2019

New Easy-to-use Download for 17-Note Kalimba in C

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

44 Beginner Songs Replaces Clunky 66-Song Download

At the end of last summer, Amazon sales of inexpensive Chinese-made 17-Note kalimbas tuned to the key of C started to spike. These kalimbas were delivered to people with either a short instructional manual in Chinese, or no instructions at all. Peeved customers who bought from Amazon found me, vented their frustrations, and begged me for an English version of the short Chinese manual.

Of course, I saw a great opportunity. I shot from the hip and made a "primitive" Zip file download for the 17-Note in C from an earlier version of "66 Songs" for a different kalimba. But a significant fraction of those who have purchased this Zip download have trouble a) finding the download button, and b) dealing with ZIP files.

With this new single PDF download, "44 Beginner Songs for the 17-Note Kalimba in C," I have eliminated the customer's need to deal with a ZIP file. You will, however, still need enough tech savvy to be able to find the download link in your Kalimba Magic email invoice. If not, there is always email.


This "44 Beginner Songs" download partially replaces the clunky, old "66 Songs Download." How is the "44 Songs" superior?

  • First, the "44 Songs" has been formatted into an easy-to-download and easy-to-view 62 page PDF file. That means you can download it and view it on your computer, phone, laptop, tablet, or iPad. You can even save it to and view it with iBooks.
  • Rather than having to search  the downloaded "Songs" (audio) folder for an MP3 file that may or may not be there for a particular song, you just click on the sound icon at the top of each song's page, and your web browser will be driven to download the MP3 file so you can hear exactly how the song goes.
  • I have excluded songs that are too difficult for beginners.
  • I have simplified some of the other songs to make them more appropriate for beginners.
  • I added more "Level 1" songs, using well-known children's songs and simple exercises.
  • Instead of having recordings for only 1/4 of the songs, this collection has recordings for every song (well, through page 50 to date... the rest are coming very soon).
  • I have organized this ebook in a reasonable way for learning, I have improved the formatting of each song, and I have added helpful text in places to aid you in learning the lessons these songs have to offer.

Look at the Table of Contents from the download and see the songs that are in this ebook:

44B Songs 17C TOC

And if you are a skilled kalimba player, I think the "Level 3" songs will probably be your speed. If there are not enough "Level 3" songs in this download for you, just wait a few days and we will have the companion download: "33 Intermediate Songs for the 17-Note Kalimba in C," which presents the more difficult songs that were cut from the original "66 Songs" to create the "44 Beginner Songs" download. The "33 Intermediate" download is quite close to completion, so you will be seeing it very soon.

And while we are at it, I also had a brainstorm last night that precipitated the idea of "22 Killer Songs for the 17-Note Kalimba"  - a collection of my own compositions created especially for this kalimba.

After that, I suppose I need to create "11 Songs for Kalimba Heroes," and then "One Song to Bind Them All." But I have not gotten clarity on those ones yet.

Below is page 22 from the "44 Songs" ebook, the song "Michael Row Your Boat Ashore." The column of tablature on the left is the melody only (Level 1). The column on the right, with chords added at the beginning of each measure, is Level 3. As are the sound icons in the ebook, this image is "live" - go ahead and click it to see what happens. Can you listen and follow along with the tablature visually?

MichaelRow The above page from the download encapsulates my hope for you - regardless of your playing level, there are good songs here for you to dig into, and that in time you will progress from Level 1, to Level 2, and then on to Level 3 songs right here in this book.

By the way, the gray columns in the tablature represent painted tines. Kalimba Magic paints the tines this way on all 17-Note kalimbas; it helps immeasurably in reading tablature and learning to play. Painting (which is done with permanent enamels of various colors) is optional, however, and if you get your kalimba unpainted, you may want to "paint" those tines with a Sharpie marker - this will last some weeks before it wears off and you need to reapply, or you can remove the Sharpie marks with alcohol wipes. 

About the Author

Mark Holdaway

Mark Holdaway

Mark Holdaway has been playing kalimba for over 30 years.  He invented his kalimba tablature in 2004, and has been writing books and instructional materials for kalimba ever since.  His business, Kalimba Magic, is based on the simple proposition that the kalimba is a real musical instrument capable of greatness.  Mark's kalimba books are a down payment on this proposition.

Comments (13)

  • Deborah Meagher

    Deborah Meagher

    18 January 2019 at 12:59 |
    I was hoping to find "Over the Rainbow." Will this be part of the next release?


    • Kerri


      19 January 2019 at 00:21 |
      Soooo Yep totally on the “Over the Rainbow” idea too if you ever find it in the stars to put it together but in the mean time I will be needing all that you mention in here so what’s available now how long until it’s All ready to purchase? Feeling like I have a new addiction... mastering the Djembe too and Om good at that until I’m not then I work on improving my Kalimba skills!


      • Mark


        21 January 2019 at 17:19 |
        It will be in the 33 Intermediate Songs eBook.


  • Abisha .

    Abisha .

    19 January 2019 at 03:58 |
    Can't wait for 22 killer songs for the 17 note kalimba!


  • Tim


    19 January 2019 at 06:52 |
    Mark, this new 44er has been a great start for me. I printed the 62 pg pdf and it makes a great book. Well done and great learning progression of difficulty. I’m hooked!


    • Mark


      21 January 2019 at 17:21 |
      Thanks Tim - I'm glad that I am providing a useful product. - M


  • Lise Sarrazin

    Lise Sarrazin

    19 January 2019 at 12:21 |
    I am please with my download 44 pages I have received .


    • Mark


      21 January 2019 at 17:22 |
      Thank you Lise.


  • Sabine


    03 February 2019 at 13:18 |
    Hi Kalimbamagicteam,
    I'm sorry but I'm a bit lost, too. Bought the 66 songs (the confirmation said I had bought the 44 songs?!); there was no download-link immediately on the confirmation site nor did I get any email (spam folder checked); payed with credit card and the amount has already been charged. I tried to use the contact form here - no reply;
    Now I'm trying this way.
    Can you please help me to get these notes?


    • Mark


      03 February 2019 at 14:11 |
      Sabine - about the time you tried to purchase the "66 Songs", I discontinued that product, and replaced it with two other, better, easier to use products - "44 Beginner Songs" and "33 Intermediate Songs" (for 17 Note Kalimba in C). The "66 Songs download" was an unorganized ZIP file with 150 individual files, and modern computer (ie, iphone) users often could not deal with the ZIP file nature of the download.

      By contrast, the "44 Beginner Songs" and the "33 Intermediate Songs" downloads are both fully organized and nicely formatted ebooks - they are PDF files that you can view on your phone. That extra value accounts for the fact that the two replacement products are each $10, and the 66 Songs download itself was $10.

      We have had some problems with t-online.de as they consider Kalimba Magic's automated email to be SPAM and do not deliver it. I have sent you the link via email. - Mark


  • Karen Vaage

    Karen Vaage

    21 February 2019 at 14:33 |
    Hi wondering where my 33 African songs for karmba tuned in a is. I love my new Karimnagar but didn't get my song book. It was $12.00


  • Virginia Rera

    Virginia Rera

    19 July 2019 at 15:50 |
    Just ordered my kalimba and can't wait to get started. I am a beginner and looking for sheet music I can learn on.


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