1. Find tablature for your specific kalimba. Search for kalimba tabs that match the number of tines on your kalimba. For example, if you have 8 tines, search for “8-note kalimba tabs.” Look for a song that you want to learn to play and pull up the tabs for it.
2. Listen to the song to determine how long to play each note. Tabs will tell you which tines to play but won’t tell you for how long. For this reason, it’s best to listen to the song before you start playing it.
Usually, the tabs will have a link to the song.
If the tabs don’t have the song, you can look it up online on websites like YouTube.
3. Read the tablature from top to bottom. The center line that runs through the tabs represents the center line on your kalimba. Each vertical line to the right and left of the center line represents each tine on your instrument. Look over the tab to see how it's constructed before you start playing.
4. Pluck the corresponding tines on your instrument. Each dot on the tabs represents the note or tine you should play on the kalimba. Read the tabs from left to right, top to bottom and play the tines in order. Continue reading the tabs and play the song. Practice until you get each portion of the song down.
5. Practice playing different songs. Once you practice a song enough times, you may memorize how to play the song. To get better with playing the kalimba, practice each song until you master it.