How to Play "Mary Had a Little Lamb" on a Xylophone

By Davy Shanks
One day, virtuoso xylophone duets...but today lets start with

"Mary Had a Little Lamb" is a great song to begin learning on any instrument. It's simple and your friends and family will easily recognize the melody. To play it on the xylophone, you need to learn four notes: C,D,E and G. The letters should appear at the top of the bars that make up your xylophone.

Numbering your notes

Write the numbers one through four on four small stickers. Stick number one on the bar marked C, number two on D, number three on E and number four on G.

Play the first phrase by hitting notes 3,2,1,2,3,3,3 in equal rhythm. Give each note the same amount of time and pressure. After playing these notes a few times you will recognize their correspondence to the lyrics of the song. There should be a short pause between the end of this phrase and the beginning of the next phrase.

Play the second phrase by hitting 2,2,2, followed by a short pause equal to one beat. Then play 3,4,4, followed by another short pause.

Finish the song by repeating the first phrase of 3,2,1,2,3,3,3, followed by a one-beat pause, and finish with the phrase of 2,2,3,2,1.

Tip

Hold the beaters loosely in your hands with your thumbs facing you pointing to the end of the shaft so that the end will bounce when it hits the bar.

About the Author

Davy Shanks is a journalist and musician working in Aberdeen, Scotland. He has been writing professionally since 2008. Shanks holds a Master of Arts in English literature and a Master of Science in journalism.