Tablature for Payphone on the 17-Note C Kalimba

This is a great song to play on the kalimba

Click to download the tablature PDF for Payphone


I long thought that the best music was created in the 1960s, and some in the 1970s.

However, I am now of the belief that the pop music of the last 10 years is as good as its ever been. So I am starting to learn some of these modern pop songs on kalimba, and you, dear reader, will be the beneficiary of these pop songs.

Enjoy this arrangement of the Maroon 5 song “Payphone”.

Payphone Tab Image1
Click on image to download the tablature PDF.

We are doing things a bit different here. I have been working within a logical system whereby six of the tines on the 17-Note Kalimba in C are painted. However, the Chinese system of painting five tines, including the central tine, was made by copying the Hugh Tracey Treble painting scheme, but changing the tuning. A lot of people have bought into that system.

Payphone Tab Image2
Click on image to download the tablature PDF.

SO, this free download has two sets of tablature, one for the 6-painted-tine Kalimba Magic system (red tines, far above), and one for the 5-painted-tine Chinese system (pink tines, just above). The notes are the same, the thumb motions are the same, but the painted tines are different.

One more point: usually the Alto kalimba with 15 tines can also read the 17-Note tablature in the 6-painted-tines system. However, as the song Payphone uses notes ranging from the lowest tine to the 16th tine (the high D in the pickup of measure 1, the far left tine on the 17-Note Kalimba), this song cannot be played on the 15-Note Alto Kalimba. Sorry!

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