26 September 2019

Updated: Christmas Music Resources

Written by Mark Holdaway, Posted in News and Announcements

If you want to perform some carols on kalimba this Christmas, start now!

Updated: Christmas Music Resources

Over the years, we have created a lot of books, instructional materials, videos, and articles about playing Christmas music on your kalimba.

For your pre-pre-Christmas consideration, I have collected it all in one place for you. If you want to spend money, we have plenty of books, ebooks, and CDs for you to take advantage of. If you don't want to spend money, we have created a lot of free resources, and they are all listed here.

You might ask why I have so many resources for playing Christmas music on the kalimba. It is because I love the simple, charming, and beautiful sound of Christmas music played on the kalimba.

 

Easy Christmas Carols on the 10-Note Kalimba in C

Easy Christmas Carols on the 10-Note Kalimba in C

This is a great ebook (a 59-page PDF, not a hard copy book), showing the beginning kalimba player how to play 28 different carols on the kalimba. Most of the songs are "Level 1" and "Level 2," meaning you should be ready to play them today, or in about a week of playing. Several other songs are "Level 3" (includes three note chords) and a few are "Level 4" (more complex, counterpoint, etc). In other words, here is a collection of holiday music that you can play the very day you download it, as well as each holiday season for years!

Purchase

Easy Christmas Carols on the 17-Note Kalimba in C

Easy Christmas Carols on the 17-Note Kalimba in C

Are you a beginning kalimba player who wants to learn some Christmas Carols for their 17-Note kalimba in C (ie, Kalimba Magic Heart 17, Gecko, Donner, or Walter kalimbas)? This is the product for you. This ebook is a 59-page PDF, not a hard copy book. There are 32 carols in this collection, but four of them are repeats at different levels of difficulty, making 28 different unique carols. Most of the songs are "Level 1" and "Level 2," meaning you should be ready to play them today, or in about a week of playing. Several other songs are "Level 3" (includes three note chords) and a few are "Level 4" (more complex, counterpoint, etc). In other words, here is a collection of holiday music that you can play the very day you download it, as well as each holiday season for years!

Purchase

Easy Christmas Carols on the Alto Kalimba

Easy Christmas Carols on the Alto Kalimba

Are you a beginning kalimba player who wants to learn some Christmas Carols for their 15-Note Hugh Tracey Alto kalimba in G? Perhaps you have owned an Alto kalimba for years, and have never really explored it? Or perhaps you've been playing for years, and now is the right time to really dig in and learn some songs? If you look like one of those people, this is the download for you. This is an eBook, a 59-page PDF, not a hard copy book.

Purchase

Easy Christmas Carols on the Treble Kalimba

Easy Christmas Carols on the Treble Kalimba

Are you a beginning kalimba player who wants to learn some Christmas Carols for their 17-Note Hugh Tracey Treble kalimba in G, with a low note of B? Perhaps you have owned a Treble kalimba for years, and have never really explored it? Or perhaps you've been playing for years, and now is the right time to really dig in and learn some songs? If you look like one of those people, this is the download for you. This is an instructional download (a PDF, not a hard copy book), If you have a 17-Note Kalimba in C, there is a different download for you with mostly the same songs.

Purchase

Advanced Christmas Carols for the Alto Kalimba

Advanced Christmas Carols for the Alto Kalimba

This book of 20 arrangements of advanced Christmas carols for the Alto kalimba is great for the person who has been seriously playing kalimba for a year or more. These are very similar to the arrangements that I myself play at holiday performances each year.

Purchase

Advanced Christmas Carols for the Treble Kalimba

Advanced Christmas Carols for the Treble Kalimba

This book of 20 arrangements of advanced Christmas Carols for the Treble Kalimba is great for the person who has been seriously playing kalimba for a year or more. These arrangements are very similar to what I play on kalimba at my holiday performances each year.

Purchase

Download: Advanced Christmas Carols for the Alto Kalimba

Download: Advanced Christmas Carols for the Alto Kalimba

Advanced arrangements of 20 Christmas Carols for the Hugh Tracey Alto kalimba - downloadable tablature in PDF and KTabS format. MP3s included. These are the same arrangements as in the advanced books.

Purchase

Download: Advanced Christmas Carols for the Bb Treble Kalimba

Download: Advanced Christmas Carols for the Bb Treble Kalimba

Downloadable tablature in PDF and KTabS format for advanced arrangements of 20 Christmas Carols for the Hugh Tracey Bb Treble kalimba. By the way, I first worked out the carol arrangements on a Bb Treble; and the Bb Treble is the instrument I usually play these carols on now. The advanced Alto and advanced Treble arrangements are derived from these original ones - that is, this is The Source!

I actually don't have a recording of this one right now, but the arrangements are similar to the Alto arrangements.

Purchase

Videos of Christmas Songs on Kalimba

Videos of Christmas Songs on Kalimba

"Let it Snow" on Bb Treble, "Greensleeves" on 8-Note kalimba, "Carol of the Bells" on Alto kalimba, "1950s Christmas Medley" on Bb Treble, "Winter Wonderland" on Alto and Bb Treble, "Kalimba Christmas Medley I" on Bb Treble, "Kalimba Christmas Medley II" on Bb Treble.

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Free Tab for the Chromatic Kalimba:

Free Tab for the Chromatic Kalimba: "Carol of the Bells"

"Carol of the Bells" is a beloved holiday song that can best be performed in an approximate manner on the Alto kalimba, but you really need the Chromatic kalimba to get the song just right. In fact, "Carol of the Bells" is a great song for easing yourself into the Chromatic kalimba.

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Free Tab for the Alto Kalimba -

Free Tab for the Alto Kalimba - "Carol of the Bells"

"Carol of the Bells" is not only a beautiful song that is great to learn on the kalimba, it is also a strategic stronghold of kalimba technique. The basic music consists of two different parts played at the same time, which in this case is not that hard.

In the tablature image to the left: the first four measures of the tablature show a slow descending bass line, the next four measures show the ostinato melody (an ostinato is a part that keeps doing the same thing, while other parts - the bass line in this case - change around the ostinato), and the next eight measures put together an expanded bass line and the ostinato melody.

Learn this technique when you are ready for the next step up.

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Free Tab for the 8-Note Kalimba -

Free Tab for the 8-Note Kalimba - "Away in a Manger"

Almost every 8-Note kalimba is tuned to the C major scale, playing from low to high: "Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do." In addition to being useful for many songs in C, you can attain a "new and different instrument" by simply retuning a single note down by a half step. By tuning the 7th note, B, down to B flat - the kalimba is thrown into the key of F with a fundamentally different note layout, and a whole world of different songs can be played on the instrument in this tuning. "Away in a Manger" is one such song.

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Free Tab for the Freygish Karimba -

Free Tab for the Freygish Karimba - "Coventry Carol"

This old Christmas carol and the Freygish-tuned karimba were made for each other - both are in the exotic-sounding harmonic minor scale. This and many other great songs are part of the Freygish Download, and you can get the tablature for "Coventry Carol" free in this article.

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Easy Tab for the Alto Kalimba -

Easy Tab for the Alto Kalimba - "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen"

Christmas carols are the perfect place to start learning tablature because you already know how the music sounds. You can probably sing a number of carols without thinking. This knowledge really helps a lot when you are first exploring reading the new kalimba map. This arrangement is from our book "Christmas Carols for the Alto and Treble Kalimba" - see the link at the end of the article.

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Quilted Bags for Kalimbas - Perfect for Christmas

Quilted Bags for Kalimbas - Perfect for Christmas

I just received a box from South Africa with 40 beautiful, handcrafted, padded and quilted kalimba bags. I find many of these solidly constructed bags very attractive... and I certainly own enough kalimbas to utilize all of the bags (a sad state of affairs that brings me much joy). And I suspect there are several of these kalimba bags, artfully created by Louise Sloman-Fuller, that you would be interested in owning as well.

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Experiencing Gratitude - Walking, Kalimba, and Christmas Carols

Experiencing Gratitude - Walking, Kalimba, and Christmas Carols

The "Christmas Kalimba Medley" came to me in 2002 over the course of a thirty minute lunch break from my (former) astronomy day job. The medley has blessed many, and continues to be a blessing to me. In order to bring it back to life for this year's performances, nowadays I take my Bb Treble kalimba out with me each morning and play the medley from start to finish. My 1.7 mile walk permits two complete playings of the medley.

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Mark Holdaway's Christmas Kalimba

Mark Holdaway's Christmas Kalimba

This CD, a collection of Christmas carols performed by Mark Holdaway on the kalimba is enchanting, beautiful and peaceful. 10 tracks, including Simple Gifts, Carol of the Bells, St. Basil's Hymn, Silent Night, and the legendary Kalimba Christmas Medley, which contains all the beautiful carols that filled Christmas with meaning when you were young.

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Free Tab for the Treble Kalimba -

Free Tab for the Treble Kalimba - "Silent Night"

Most songs that you can play on the Treble kalimba are also possible to play on the Alto kalimba, and this offers great flexibility. But this song really requires the high notes of the Treble kalimba in standard G tuning. This is surely one of the most beautiful Christmas songs you can play on the Treble.

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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 (3)

  • miller adams

    miller adams

    30 September 2019 at 11:20 |
    Hey Mark....
    It was great to meet you last week and play that amazing bass marimbula. Your books and dedication to this world of Kalimbas has done much to get me back on my own journey ... look forward to seeing you at Billy Strings Oct 13th ..

    cheers,
    milz aka miller

    reply

    • Mark

      Mark

      02 October 2019 at 21:01 |
      Very good - I will look to write an article on your work in the late October newsletter

      - Mark

      reply

  • Howardvenealohals

    Howardvenealohals

    06 November 2019 at 18:09 |
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    reply

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