What books are available?

Here we list most of the books and downloads offered by Kalimba Magic, organized by kalimba type. Each book has a short description, an image, and a link to the product in the store. And be sure to remember the coupon code BOOK30 to get a 30% discount.

Alto Kalimba Books

  • Alto Fundamentals Book

    Alto Fundamentals Book

    The Alto Fundamentals Book is a good introduction to the Alto kalimbas. The book also applies to the Bb Treble kalimba, the D Treble kalimba, and the front side of the G-tuned Chromatic kalimba. It covers technique, chords, scales, left-right exercises, some songs. 32 pages with CD.

    Purchase Book/Download

  • Alto Primer

    Alto Primer

    This booklet is a great introduction to the instructional resources available for the Alto Kalimba. The first half shows you over a dozen musical approaches you can take to a simple African-based musical phrase, going from elementary to complex, and lots of fun along the way. The second half of the booklet includes one song or exercise from each of the different Alto books and downloads. Truly a great place to start with the Alto Kalimba.

    Purchase Book/Download

  • 10 Trad. Karimba Pieces for Alto

    10 Trad. Karimba Pieces for Alto

    These 10 traditional African karimba pieces were given to Andrew Tracey and Paul F. Berliner through Jega Tapera, an African elder from Bulawayo, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), in the 1960s. The age of these pieces could be as much as 1000 years old. Arranged by Mark Holdaway for the Alto kalimba, they are provided in both KTabS and PDF format. MP3s of all the songs played in this download are provided to allow you to hear how the pieces go, even if you aren't able to run KTabS on your computer. Available as download only.

    Purchase Book/Download

  • 11 Adv. Trad. African Pieces for Alto

    11 Adv. Trad. African Pieces for Alto

    This download consists of a ZIP FILE containing tablature PDFs, KTabS files, and MP3s for each of 11 traditional African Karimba songs, arranged for the Hugh Tracey Alto Kalimba in G. These songs and their multiple variations were collected from the literature by Ivodne Galatea, with assistance from Mark Holdaway.

    Important note: these songs were created on the African Tuned Karimba, also known as the mbira nyunga nyunga, and it is possible to play them on the Alto kalimba, but it is more challenging, and will require some special tricks - in other words, learning them will involve work, but these pieces should be worth the effort you put into them.

    Purchase Book/Download

  • Kalimba Carols for Alto and Treble

    Kalimba Carols for Alto and Treble

    25 favorite Christmas carols, ranging from simple, single note melody lines, through two note harmonies, full harmonies, and counterpoint. 32 pages with CD. 75% of this book is for the Alto kalimba and 25% is for the Treble kalimba. These are easier than the advanced carols collection.

    Purchase Book/Download

  • Adv. Christmas Carols for  Alto

    Adv. Christmas Carols for Alto

    Arranged by Mark Holdaway, this collection is available as a book or as a download. Both have 20 favorite Christmas Carols; the download provides KTabS files, tablature PDFs, and MP3s of the songs played by KTabS, letting you hear how each piece goes, with or without the KTabS program. The arrangements here are very close to those I use when I perform these carols at Christmas time.

    Purchase Book/Download

  • Classical Alto

    Classical Alto

    Arranged by Mark Holdaway and Sharon Eaton, this collection is available in book form or as a download from KTabS. Both have 20 favorite classical melodies, ranging from simple to very challenging. Including Bach, Handel, Holst, Pachelbel, and many others, this assamblage will keep you busy for months, if not years.

    Purchase Book/Download

  • Alto Hymnal

    Alto Hymnal

    Arranged by Sharon Eaton, this book has 50 hymns, ranging from simple to difficult. Amazing Grace, How Can I Keep From Singing, Jesus Loves Me, There is a Balm in Gilead, What a Friend We Have in Jesus, and 45 others.

    Purchase Book/Download

  • African-American Spirituals for Alto

    African-American Spirituals for Alto

    "African-American Spirituals", arranged by Mark Holdaway, is available as both a book and as a download. There is documentation that the African kalimba was first brought to the New World by African slaves in the 18th century (evidence of kalimbas was found in Brazil and the Caribbean, also in New Orleans which is the only known North American site). The Alto kalimba was created by the Englishman Hugh Tracey, based on an ancient African instrument, with the objective of using the kalimba to play Western music and appeal to Western ears. The Alto kalimba is a unique composite of African and Western traditions, as indeed are African-American spirituals. The download provides both KTabS and PDF format, and a CD is included with the book.

    Purchase Book/Download

Treble Kalimba Books

  • Treble Fundamentals

    Treble Fundamentals

    The foundational book for the classic Treble kalimba in G. This comprehensive introduction to the Treble covers technique, chords, scales, left-right exercises, and songs. This book is 32 pages, and comes with with a CD that contains all the songs and exercises.

    Purchase Book/Download

  • Christmas Carols for Alto and Treble

    Christmas Carols for Alto and Treble

    25 favorite Christmas Carols, ranging from simple single note melody lines to two note harmonies, full harmonies, and counterpoint. Note that 3/4 of this book is arranged for the Alto Kalimba and only about 1/4 is arranged for the Treble. 32 pages with CD.

    Purchase Book/Download

  • Treble Hymnal

    Treble Hymnal

    Arranged by Sharon Eaton, this book has 50 hymns, ranging from simple to difficult. Amazing Grace, How Can I Keep From Singing, Jesus Loves Me, There is a Balm in Gilead, What a Friend We Have in Jesus, and 45 others.

    Purchase Book/Download

  • Classical Treble

    Classical Treble

    Arranged by Mark Holdaway and Sharon Eaton, is available both in book form and in KTabS download. This book has 20 favorite classical melodies, ranging from simple to very challenging. Bach, Handel, Holst, Pachelbel, and many others, this collection will keep you busy for months, if not years. Available in KTabS format only, sorry no books yet! INSERT LINK(s)

    Purchase Book/Download

  • Advanced Christmas Carols

    Advanced Christmas Carols

    This book has the same 20 Christmas Carols as the advanced Alto book, but arranged for the Hugh Tracey Treble. Some songs, such as Silent Night and O Holy Night come across much better on the Treble as they require those higher notes that just aren't there on the Alto or the Bb Treble kalimbas.

    Purchase Book/Download

  • Advanced Christmas Download for B Flat Treble

    Advanced Christmas Download for B Flat Treble

    This download represents the original arrangements for the advanced Christmas Carols, which I made and wrote out first for the Bb Treble kalimba. I like the Bb Treble kalimba best for these Christmas Carols, and there are two more notes available than the Alto kalimba.

    Purchase Book/Download

  • 66 Song Download

    66 Song Download

    Download of 66 songs taken from the Trad. African, Spirituals, Folk Songs, Peace Songs, Americana, Classical, and Christmas carol repertoire.

    Purchase Book/Download

  • 66 Song Download for B Flat Treble

    66 Song Download for B Flat Treble

    Download of 66 songs taken from the Trad. African, Spirituals, Folk Songs, Peace Songs, Americana, Classical, and Christmas carol repertoire.

    Purchase Book/Download

Chromatic Kalimba Books

There is not yet a completed book for the Chromatic Kalimba. but I have made a lot of progress on the instrument, as have many other players. Since I have been trying to work on the Chromatic Kalimba book for so many years, I invite you to download this poorly configured draft book for the Chromatic Kalimba. It has some useful insights into how to play this instrument, and some music that gently adds the chromatic notes. Another useful thing you can do is to get an Alto book to instruct you on playing the front side of the kalimba.

Free Chromatic Tablature

We have a lot of tablature written out for the Chromatic Kalimba that we are happy to give away for free.

When I'm 64 is available in a series of Tips of the Day, each covering eight measure chunks of the song. This song cannot be done without the Chromatic Kalimba, and even though the song uses many chromatic notes, it is not too demanding, making it a good introduction to the Chromatic Kalimba.
Carol of the Bells needs a Chromatic to really be done right. Alto and Treble versions are available at the top of the linked page, but scroll down to see a version specifically for the Chromatic kalimba.
Nowhere Man can be performed on the Alto or Bb Treble kalimbas, but there are a few rich harmonic nuances that you can add with the Chromatic Kalimba.
Starry Starry Night by Don McClean. Most of this song doesn't require a Chromatic, and only the part of the song that needs the Chromatic is shown.
The Entertainer is also available for the Chromatic Kalimba. Just like "When I'm 64", the chromatic notes are so essential to the melody and harmony of this song that you can ONLY do it with a fully chromatic instrument.

African Karimba Books

  • Playing the Hugh Tracey Karimba

    Playing the Hugh Tracey Karimba

    A broad introduction to the layout and the possibilities of this ancient African instrument. With 42 pages, many illustrations, 45 exercises presented in attractive and easy-to-grasp tablature, and a CD illustrating how to play each exercise, this book covers left-right integration, common rhythmic figures, and explores the harmonic potential of the karimba. Wrote the late John R. Raush in the journal Percussive Notes: "Aspiring karimbists... could wish for no better way to help them become proficient on these exotic instruments."

    Purchase Book/Download

  • The Student Karimba

    The Student Karimba

    A book for the lower eight (with an optional ninth) notes of the karimba, an instrument which Andrew Tracey calls the "kalimba core" and the "original mbira". This is one of our best books, and it can be used to learn to play the lower row of notes on the full 17-note karimba or even a rustic mbira nyunga nyunga. Includes traditional tunes documented in the 1950s by Hugh Tracey, in the 1960s by Andrew Tracey, and in the 1970s by Paul F. Berliner, plus some easier pieces to help you get started, along with some complex original compositions by the author.

    Purchase Book/Download

  • About 30 Trad. Songs - Download

    About 30 Trad. Songs - Download

    These songs and their multiple variations include music notated by Paul F. Berliner, Andrew Tracey, A.M. Jones, and other songs collected from the kalimba literature by Ivodne Galatea and Mark Holdaway. The definitive collection of Karimba Music - for the 17-Note African-tuned Karimba in A.

    Purchase Book/Download

  • About 30 Trad. Songs - Book

    About 30 Trad. Songs - Book

    These songs and their multiple variations include music notated by Paul F. Berliner, Andrew Tracey, A.M. Jones, and other songs collected from the kalimba literature by Ivodne Galatea and Mark Holdaway. The definitive collection of Karimba Music - for the 17-Note African-tuned Karimba in A.

    Purchase Book/Download

  • 10 Trad. African  for G Karimba

    10 Trad. African for G Karimba

    MP3 files are tuned to G instead of A. From Andrew Tracey and Paul F. Berliner's transcriptions in the 60s and 70s, we present these traditional karimba tunes in modern kalimba tablature. This download contains PDF (tablature graphics) you can display on your computer or print, KTabS files you can play on your computer, and MP3s, all lumped together in a ZIP file.

    Purchase Book/Download

  • 10 Trad. African for 15-Note F Karimba

    10 Trad. African for 15-Note F Karimba

    Arranged for the 15-Note Karimba in F, also known as the mbira nyunga nyunga. From Andrew Tracey and Paul F. Berliner's transcriptions in the 60s and 70s, we present these traditional karimba tunes in modern kalimba tablature. This download contains PDF (tablature graphics) you can display on your computer or print, KTabS files you can play on your computer, and MP3s, all lumped together in a ZIP file.

    Purchase Book/Download

  • 11 Adv. Trad. African  for 15-Note F Karimba

    11 Adv. Trad. African for 15-Note F Karimba

    This download consists of a ZIP FILE containing tablature PDFs, KTabS files, and MP3s for each of 11 traditional African Karimba songs, arranged for the 15-Note F Karimba, also known as the mbira nyunga nyunga. These songs and their multiple variations were collected from the literature by Ivodne Galatea, with assistance from Mark Holdaway.

    Purchase Book/Download

  • "Yekermo Sew" for Gm or Am Karimba

    You can learn how to play this mysterious, magical song on your own karimba! Download the tablature in PDF and KTabS format for "Yekermo Sew", by Mulatu Astatke (the father of Ethiopian jazz), arranged for the Gm or Am karimba.

    Purchase Book/Download

  • 3 Original Pieces for G minor Karimba

    3 Original Pieces for G minor Karimba

    The G minor tuning of the karimba is mysterious and enchanting, and is one of my personal favorites. This download includes tablature in PDF and KTabS format for three original pieces I wrote for the G minor tuned karimba - and includes 11 pages of tablature, with MP3s of KTabS playing the music.

    Purchase Book/Download

SaReGaMa Karimba Books

  • Lotus Book

    Lotus Book

    Best-selling guide to playing the SaReGaMa Lotus Karimba: 58 pages, includes tablature for 76 musical exercises, with MP3s of each available for download. Dozens of tips for how to progress on the Lotus, plus five alternative tunings.

    Purchase Book/Download

  • Lotus Download

    Lotus Download

    PDF download of book: best-selling guide to playing the SaReGaMa Lotus Karimba: 58 pages, includes tablature for 76 musical exercises, with MP3s of each available for download. Dozens of tips for playing Lotus.

    Purchase Book/Download

  • Lotus Solo

    Lotus Solo

    This download contains the complete SaReGaMa Lotus Solo in two handed staff notation, in Kalimba Tablature, and as a MIDI file - everything you need to learn to play this wonderful piece of music.

    Purchase Book/Download

  • Freygish Download

    Freygish Download

    Download the PDF for the book Playing the Freygish-tuned Karimba. The PDF includes a URL from which you can download MP3 files for each of the 54 songs. Two of these songs can be heard on YouTube (search for Freygish karimba).

    Purchase Book/Download

  • Freygish Book

    Freygish Book

    Coming Soon: Playing the Freygish-tuned Karimba Book.
  • Free Air Download

    Free Air Download

    While we would like to have a full-length download for the Air Karimba in the future, for now we just have this 12-page introduction to the Air Karimba Layout - so for now, it's FREE!

    Purchase Book/Download

8-Note Kalimba Books

  • Best Ever Book of 8-Note Kalimba Music

    Best Ever Book of 8-Note Kalimba Music

    This tablature-based book is a great introduction to the 8-Note Kalimba for kids.The book contains a number of well-known children's songs, but it also has popular songs such as Over the Rainbow, as well as classical, Latin, and African tunes. Good for kids 6 and up.

    Purchase Book/Download

  • Numbers-based 8-Note Kalimba Song Book

    Numbers-based 8-Note Kalimba Song Book

    This numbers-based book for the 8-Note Kalimba, written by Steve Catania, is a good introduction to the kalimba for kids age 6-12. The numbers-based method is an alternative to kalimba tablature.

    Purchase Book/Download

  • 32 Songs for the 8-Note Kalimba

    32 Songs for the 8-Note Kalimba

    Tablature for 32 Songs for the 8-Note Kalimba in F tuning, in PDF and KTabS formats. MP3s for 10 of the 32 songs are also included. African, classical, folk, peace, patriotic, Christmas, African-American Spirituals, reggae, ETC! This is the next step for people who want more than the other books have to offer.

    Purchase Book/Download

12-Note Kalimba Books

  • 12-Note  Exercises

    12-Note Exercises

    This tablature-based book covers: chords, scales, tunings, how to build up complex riffs from simple patterns. It includes exercises and patterns to help familiarize you with the note layout. Exercises show you different ways to approach a song: melody only, with harmony accompaniment, with rhythmic counterpoint, etc. If you want to master the instrument, start here.

    Purchase Book

  • 66 Songs Download

    66 Songs Download

    The 66 Songs Download for the 12-Note Kalimba includes tablature in PDF, KTabS, and MP3 formats. African, Classical, Folk, Peace, Patriotic, Christmas, African American Spirituals, Reggae, etc! This monster download of songs for the 12-Note kalimba will keep you busy for months, or more likely years!

    Purchase Book

  • 12-Note Song Book

    12-Note Song Book

    This numbers-based book for the 12-Note Kalimba has a lot of nursery rhymes, children's songs, and folk songs. The tines are numbered sequentially from 1 to 12, and these numbers do not map into the degree of the scale.

    Purchase Book

  • 8-Note Music Book

    8-Note Music Book

    Hidden within the 12-Note Kalimba are the eight notes of the 8-Note Kalimba. By ignoring the 4 extra notes, you can readily transfer the 8-Note music onto the 12-Note Kalimba. This may be useful if you have both the 8-Note and the 12-Note Kalimbas - they can read off the same book.

    Purchase Book