Click on the button below to get book of “Easy But Awesome” banjo tabs, which includes the tabs for the “Easy Banjo Medley”!
I spend a lot of time talking about the merits of keeping music simple.
About resisting the urge to overcomplicate, and of appreciating the value of subtraction and empty space.
There’s a substantial body of compelling and elegantly simply traditional banjo tunes, and I strongly encourage newcomers to begin with that material.
In addition to being technically accessible, simpler material allows you to focus your attention directly on building solid rhythm and timing, a.k.a. the secret sauce for making great music.
Plus, for “simple” arrangements to sound great, the rhythm and timing must be spot on, because there’s nowhere to hide.
Towards that end, I recently put together a compilation of Easy but Awesome songs for clawhammer banjo, all of which are Brainjo level 1 or 2 in their technical complexity.
(Note: Do not be discouraged by the use of the term “easy.” The designation refers to the technical complexity of the arrangement – it still requires focused and dedicated effort to play these well!)
Recently, however, I realized there were two notable omissions from that collection: “Sandy River Belle” and “Last Chance,” the two tunes played in this week’s “Easy Banjo Medley.”
Both of these have appeared as prior Tune of the Week installments, but here the arrangements have been simplified slightly so that they’re Brainjo Level 2 (as you can hear, little (if anything!) is lost with that simplification).
Both are classic banjo tunes, both are in alternate tunings that showcase the banjo’s unique sound, and both sound incredible when played simply. It’s all about the rhythm.
These two tunes also pair very well together, hence their presentation together. Doing so requires a small alteration from the typical tuning for Last Chance (from fDFCD to fCFCD), but the change doesn’t sacrifice any of its magic.
(NOTE: For those considering acquiring a Brainjo banjo, the banjo played in this video is a “Hobart” model. Click here if you’d like to learn more, or claim one in the next batch.
“SANDY RIVER BELLE” (Tune #1)
fCFCD tuning, Brainjo level 2
“LAST CHANCE” (Tune #2)
fCFCD tuning, Brainjo level 2
(NOTE: The Tab-Walkthrough Workshop for this tune will be held on June 18. Click here to learn more about and view a sample of the tab walk-through videos. Click here to learn more, and see the full schedule.)
Notes on the Tab
Notes in parentheses are “skip” notes. To learn more about these, check out my video lesson on the subject.
For more on reading tabs in general, check out this complete guide to reading banjo tabs.
[RELATED: Level 2 arrangements and video demos for the Tune (and Song!) of the Week tunes are now available as part of the Breakthrough Banjo course. Learn more about it here.
Click here for a current list of all the clawhammer songs and tunes currently available inside of The Vault