Embarking on Your Kalimba Journey: Recommended Songs for Beginners

Embarking on Your Kalimba Journey: Recommended Songs for Beginners

If you are just beginning your kalimba journey, the initial steps include familiarizing yourself with the single notes and understanding where the keys are located. Choosing the right songs can make this process enjoyable and help you build a solid foundation. Below is a collection of some recommended songs for beginner kalimba players, or you can go to our online video tutorials to learn more songs that can be adapted to suit different preferences and skill levels.

1. Folk/Nursery Rhyme Series

Folk music, also known as traditional or folk songs, are melodies passed down through oral tradition. They often lack formal sheet music, making them accessible and perfect for beginners. The simplicity of rhythm and singability of many folk tunes make them an excellent choice for kalimba enthusiasts.

Recommended Song: "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star"

This well-known English nursery rhyme originates from the French folk song "Ah! vous dirai-je, maman" and has evolved into Mozart's famous "Twelve Variations on "Ah vous dirai-je, Maman." With a straightforward melody comprising six notes, it's an ideal starting point for kalimba novices.

After mastering the lower octave notes (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), try playing the higher octave (1', 2', 3', 4', 5', 6') to experience the kalimba's versatility.

2. Celebration Series

Festive songs, associated with holidays and celebrations, often feature simple rhythms and narrow pitch ranges. These songs are universally recognized and cherished, making them perfect for learners of all ages.

Recommended Song: "Jingle Bells"


Originally titled "One Horse Open Sleigh," "Jingle Bells" by James Lord Pierpont was intended for Thanksgiving celebrations. However, it became synonymous with Christmas festivities. Exploring other holiday tunes, such as Christmas and New Year songs, is also a great choice.

3. Classical Series

Simplified classical pieces provide an elegant and educational option for kalimba beginners. Opt for classical compositions with fewer dotted rhythms and syncopations to ease into the world of classical music.

Recommended Song: "Ode to Joy"


Derived from a poem by Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, "Ode to Joy" became the lyrics for Beethoven's Symphony No. 9. A snippet of this piece is widely recognized and serves as a delightful introduction to classical music on the kalimba.

4. Studio Ghibli Series

Themes from Studio Ghibli films, including "Castle in the Sky," "The Cat Returns," "Spirited Away," and "My Neighbor Totoro," offer enchanting melodies ideal for kalimba beginners. These pieces allow learners to play along with the soundtrack, enhancing the musical experience.

5. Disney Series

Disney movie themes feature many songs with simple rhythms and slower tempos, making them suitable for beginners. Dive into the magical world of Disney with songs that resonate with audiences of all ages.

6. Your Favorite Song

Once you've explored folk, celebratory, classical, Studio Ghibli, and Disney tunes, it's time to tackle your favorite song. Whether you find sheet music online or start with single notes, the power of enjoying what you play can help you overcome challenges.

Embark on your kalimba journey with these recommended songs, and let the enchanting melodies unfold as you familiarize yourself with this unique and beautiful instrument. Happy playing!

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