Support Traditional Music, Become a Sustaining Member
One of the missions of Brainjo and this site is to help promote traditional music, so that it remains a living, breathing tradition.
The Clawhammer Tune and Song of the Week series has introduced the sounds of the banjo and traditional music to thousands of new ears, helping to ensure that the music we love not only stays alive, but continues to grow and thrive.
Weekly I hear from folks who’s eyes and ears have been opened to a whole world they never existed.
Many have voiced their support for the series, and asked for an opportunity to ensure its continued growth.
Become a sustaining member of the series and you’ll not only support the growth of the music you love, you’ll ensure unlimited access to all the tunes and songs from the series, plus a whole lot more tunes, songs, and arrangements as well.
Furthermore, proceeds that come during the month of December each year will be donated to the Field Recorders collective, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the recording and preservation of noncommercial music and musicians (and responsible for many of my favorite albums). Click here to read more about them.
You can either become a monthly ($9) or yearly ($75) subscriber.
THE VAULT: MUSIC FOR ALL ABILITIES AND OCCASIONS
I think you’ll agree that there’s nothing more fun than learning new tunes on the banjo. That’s kind of what it’s all about, after all!
It also happens to be one of the best ways you can grow as a player. So much of what I’ve learned I owe to hearing a great tune and deciding that I just had to learn to play it.
As I wrote in a recent episode of the “Laws of Brainjo”, always having access to music that both inspires you AND that is appropriate for your current level is the cornerstone of continual growth as a player.
But, for many, that’s easier said than done.
First off, we all have our own tastes and preferences. And, for some who’ve taken up clawhammer banjo, finding music to learn that suits their own musical preferences may present a challenge.
Much of the available materials for clawhammer banjo focus almost exclusively on the old-time genre – understandable, since that’s the tradition from which it grew.
I love old-time myself, and you’ll find plenty of it inside The Vault. But I also love a lot of other styles of music, and I love playing them on the banjo.
Furthermore, one of the great things about clawhammer is how versatile it can be, so why limit yourself to a single genre?! You may like to play the old tunes, but you may also want to see what other kinds of music you can make in clawhammer style.
So, inside The Vault you’ll not only find a huge assortment of old-time tunes, but you’ll also find many other categories as well, including:
- Crowd Pleasers (music to play when someone says, “play me something on that banjer!”)
- Popular Folk
- Blues and Rags
- Campfire and Party Songs (music to play when gathered with friends who want to sing together)
- Civil War
- …and more.
The library will continue to expand over time, and Vault members can even request new songs to be added.
The bottom line is we all want to be playing the music that suits are own tastes, and you’ll undoubtedly find music that suits your own tastes to be the most motivating to play.
MUSIC THAT’S RIGHT FOR YOUR LEVEL AND WILL MOVE YOU FORWARD
But finding inspiring music isn’t enough.
It’s also vitally important to ensure that what you’re learning is appropriate for your current ability level.
If it’s too easy, you’ll end up bored and uninspired.
If it’s too challenging, you’re liable to feel discouraged and frustrated, wrongly concluding that the problem lies with you and not simply with working on the wrong music at the wrong time.
You want to make sure what you’re playing is appropriate for your present level, but that pushes you enough to move you forward along the Timeline of Mastery.
This is why every arrangement inside of The Vault has a Brainjo level rating, and why every song has at least two arrangements, to help ensure that you can find a version of the song that suits where you’re at.
You probably know that just having a tab (or sheet music) for a tune you want to learn isn’t enough.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a few thousand more. There are nuances to this style that simply cannot be conveyed on paper.
It’s absolutely essential to always know how a tune sounds before sitting down to play it, and so every tune inside The Vault has a corresponding video demonstration.
And all of the videos can be slowed down to half speed (without altering the pitch).
Hearing the tune, seeing the arrangement, and seeing the movement of the hands as the tune is being played is the holy trinity of tune learning.
THE CLAWHAMMER TUNE OF THE WEEK
Fans of the Tune of the Week series will be pleased to know that all of the tunes from the series are contained inside The Vault (plus many more).
Those who have asked for simplified arrangements of the Tune of the Week tunes will be pleased to know there’s a slightly simplified (but great sounding!) Level 2 version for each arrangement, including all of the ones in the Tune of the Week series, along with an accompanying video demonstration.
The Level 2 video demonstrations are also filmed close up, so that the picking and fretting hands can be more easily seen. Here are several examples of the Level 2 versions inside The Vault.
Snowdrop (Brainjo level 2 demo)
Wandering Boy (Brainjo level 2 demo)
Cumberland Gap (Brainjo level 2 demo)
Also, by subscribing to the Vault you’ll also help support the Tune of the Week series, becoming a “Tune of the Week Sustaining Member.”
I personally love to sing and play banjo, and there’s a long tradition of players doing so. Almost all the old timers played and sang, yet you don’t see much of it these days, largely because most instructional materials don’t cover just how to do it.
Not only is playing and singing tons of fun, but it’s a great way to further develop musicianship, even if you don’t fashion yourself a singer.
Inside The Vault you’ll find both a Tune Library (i.e. instrumentals) and a Song Library (i.e. music with words). Every tab in the song library has both an arrangement for the vocal backup (what to play when you’re singing) and a lead melody break (a clawhammer “solo”) to give you a complete, “performance-ready” arrangement. And, of course, there’s a video demonstration for every song.
To recap, here’s what you’ll get inside The Vault:
- A growing library of clawhammer tunes (i.e. instrumentals) and songs (i.e. tunes with words) to learn (click here for a list of tunes and songs currently in The Vault).
- Tab arrangements (including chord progressions) for each tune and song at different Brainjo levels (typically at least 2 arrangements for every tune and song), each arranged to sound fantastic
- Video or audio demonstration of every tune and song, with the capability to slow down the video to half speed
Presently, there are over 200 tabs and videos inside The Vault, and growing.
But wait, there’s more…..
The JAM PLAYER – The Next Best Thing To Live Humans
Looking to get started jamming with other musicians, or improve your jam skills?
Then look no further to the Jam Player. As I’ve said before, the best way to get better way at jamming is to practice jamming!
So, members of The Vault will also receive access to the “Jam Player”, an expanding library of backup tracks for you to hone your jamming skills, or to just kick back and have some fun.
Each tune in the Jam Player comes with a backup fiddle and guitar track at performance tempo, along with a slower guitar backup practice track.
And, the chord progression and the fingerings for each tune are displayed, in realtime, as the tune proceeds, so you can also practice your backup skills and to aid you in picking up tunes “on the fly.”
Sample from Jam Player (chords and fingerings displayed in real-time)
What’s the price for so much clawhammer awesomeness?
You can become a monthly sustaining member for $9 per month.
Or, you can become an annual member for $60 per year.
You can cancel anytime.
Click the button below to sign up, become a Sustaining Member of the Tune of the Week, and get inside the ultimate clawhammer song and tune library!