In case you missed it, here’s a recap of some of the highlights from Brainjo recently. Things have been busy, so there’s lots to share!
The Brainjo Virtual Classroom Kicks Off!
On Nov. 26 we had the first ever live workshop in the Brainjo Virtual Classroom, and it was loads of fun!
The virtual classroom is a new feature for members of Breakthrough Banjo, a live, interactive (with a live text chat for questions and comments) workshop dedicated to a particular aspect of banjo playing.
Our first workshop was “Clawhammer Backup Made Easy.” Clawhammer backup is something that’s seldom addressed, but super helpful to know.
(RELATED: Click here for details of what was covered in that workshop, and to learn how to access the recording and workshop materials.)
The next workshop is Dec. 10, an installment of the “Ear Lab” (see details below) where we’ll learn how to play “You Are My Sunshine” by ear.
And Dec. 17, we’ll have the “Getting Started Playing Fretless and Gourd banjo” workshop. Click here to learn more, see a list of future workshop topics, and sign up.
More “2 Finger Thumb Lead” Banjo Resources
I’ve been thrilled by the level of interest in 2 finger thumb lead picking in the Breakthrough Banjo fingerstyle course, and, because of that interest, have continued creating more resources along those lines.
As many have discovered, it’s an easy style to pick up for those who already play clawhammer.
Along with the core instructional modules on the style, those resources also now include over 50 tabs for 2 finger thumb lead in The Fingerstyle Vault, and an upcoming live workshop for members of the Breakthrough Banjo course for fingerstyle on branching out with the style.
Additions to the Breakthrough Banjo Course
Speaking of The Vault, the Breakthrough Banjo course for clawhammer now contains over 400 tabs of songs and tunes arranged for clawhammer banjo.
Click here to check out a list of all the available tabs.
We also recently launched the “Ear Laboratory” series, where I take a tune and break down the process of learning to play it, step by step, by ear.
It builds on the 4 part “Learning To Play By Ear” series of modules in the course, and many members have said it’s helped to crystallize those lessons
(RELATED: click here to learn more about the “playing by ear” series of modules inside the course)
Here are links to a couple of sample installments from the Ear Lab:
I will continue to host regular live Ear Lab lessons, breaking down the process of learning a tune by ear, inside the Brainjo Virtual Classroom.
(TAKE THE EAR QUIZ: Want to know if you have what it takes to play solely by ear? Click here to take the Ear Quiz.)
More Brainjo Banjos!
So far we’ve also sent out 48 more Brainjo banjos to their proud owners this year!
And just the other day, we received the following amazing note from Dustin, a recipient of one of the first Brainjos, and his thoughts echo mine completely. Dustin writes:
“I went to Elderly music while visiting my sister last week and was excited to finally play a lot of other banjos.
Your Brainjo and my old goodtime are really the only two I’ve played. I was maybe looking to really step up to a bit more of an expensive banjo…but WOW.
Thank you. That trip really made me understand what a well designed, quality instrument I have. I played pretty much every openback banjo they had and left empty handed.
I’ll be honest I loved the feel and play of a few, liked the sound of some, the [banjos from multiple makers] were all great in specific ways…but not one of them blew me away in comparison or most importantly not a single one of them made me think, man I wish I had my Brainjo to trade for this…not in the least.
Honestly, none of them combined the sound and the feel together that I have with this banjo, thank you.As soon as we unpacked and put the kids to bed I played it for a long time tonight just to see if I had romanticized it….nope, looks, plays, sounds really really good.“
Needless to say, Dustin’s note made Tim and my day. And I couldn’t agree more – it’s the only banjo I ever play anymore (and the credit goes to Tim).
And if you want to start 2019 off on the right foot, we still have one banjo left to be claimed in the batch that’s set to go out in January. Click here if you want to claim it.
Highlights from the Tune and Song of the Week
Below are some of the most popular installments from the recent tunes and songs of the week.
Most Popular Tunes of the Week
- Forked Deer (click for the tab)
- Last Chance (click for the tab)
- East Tennessee Blues (click for the tab)
Most Popular Songs of the Week
- Willie Moore (click for the tab)
- Little Birdie (click for the tab)
- Hand Me Down My Walking Cane (click for the tab)
Laws of Brainjo Articles
Ultimate Clawhammer Song and Tune Library Update
- The list of songs and tunes currently available inside “The Vault” has been recently updated. Click here to see the full list.
How to Improve the Health & Function of the Brain, and Release Human Potential
Last but not least, in November, I launched the “Intelligence Unshackled” podcast, a show dedicated to exploring how we can improve and optimize the health and function of the brain.
As you know, the Brainjo Method for music was created to integrate what we’d learned in the field of neuroscience, specifically about how the brain learns, to develop more effective musical instruction.
On a more fundamental level, Brainjo is about applying neuroscience to help realize human potential. I think most everyone is capable of far more than they realize, and that goes well beyond the realm of playing music.
To learn more about the mission of the Intelligence Unshackled podcast and the story of Brainjo, click here to listen to Episode 1: The Unshackling of Human Intelligence.
You can also click here to listen to all the episodes on iTunes (and you can find and subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcast app by searching “Brainjo podcast”).
Time to get back to work on more fun stuff. Pick on!