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Sweet melodies played sweetly.
That’s what comes to mind when I think of 2-finger index lead legend Will Keys.
In a previous Laws of Brainjo episode, I gave one definition of mastery as the ability to accurately express who you are through your instrument. While I never had the pleasure of meeting Will personally, his music betrays a man who is humble, gentle, friendly, and playful. There’s joy in every note.
Today’s selection, the traditional Irish folk ballad “The Wearing of the Green,” is one I learned from his repertoire of tunes, and has always been a favorite.
Incidentally, because of the stylistic similarities between Keys’s 2-finger index lead style and clawhammer banjo (the down-pick of the frailing finger essentially replaces the up-pick of the index), you can almost map them one to one.
In fact, when listening to a recording of 2-finger index lead (the “lead” here referring to which finger is in charge of the melody notes), it can sometimes be difficult to tell the two styles apart.
The “banjo player’s banjo” is back!
Some of you may recognize that I’m playing a Brainjo banjo in this video. The Brainjo banjo is a partnership between myself and Tim Gardner of Cedar Mountain banjos. Our goal was to create the ultimate “banjo player’s banjo” – a banjo that’s all about tone and playability.
We just released our 3rd batch of them to some happy owners, and there’s still room left to claim one in the next batch. It’ll likely fill up quickly again, so if you love the tone of it as much as I do (this is the “Tommy” setup), then you might want to go ahead and nab one![RELATED: Click here to learn more about the Brainjo, hear more sound files, and read what other Brainjo owners have to say about theirs.]
The Wearing of the Green
aDADE tuning, Brainjo level 3-4
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