Posted by dbrooks on Saturday, March 3, 2012
I have posted two Kindle ebooks of clawhammer banjo tab at Amazon's web site. While this is something of an experiment, it looks quite promising both as a publishing medium and as a source of banjo tabs for eager students. And since the cost of entry is so low (essentially, the effort to write the tab and format it as an accessible ebook), the selling price can be extraordinarily low as well. I believe that the tabs are very usable on a Kindle Fire and on an iPad running the Kindle app since the tabs can be expanded to the entire screen in landscape mode. I am less certain how the tabs will appear on the smaller Kindle devices.
Twelve Easy Clawhammer Banjo Tab - Key of D ($1.99) is meant for clawhammer players looking for tabs that are musical yet playable. There is no drop thumb or other difficult clawhammer device. I selected the tunes thinking of students I have had at Kentucky Music Week who may be taking up the banjo as a 2nd or 3rd instrument to play at dulcimer jams where nearly all of the tunes are played in the key of D. Most of these players do not understand how to play in Double-D tuning or the many benefits it offers. Getting away from G tuning is a hurdle for most new clawhammer players, in general.
Six Easy Clawhammer Banjo Tabs - Sawmill Tuning ($.99) is also aimed at beginners who are looking for some of the classic sawmill tunes that sound great on the banjo.
I intend to try these titles for a while. If there is an audience, I'll look at adding additional titles in other keys and as well as for intermediate players.
I welcome any feedback concerning the format, usability, tab arrangements, etc. I have posted tabs in the Tablature Forum at the request of BHO members and will continue to do so when I think I can be helpful. This Kindle experiment has been fun, and I believe that these ebooks may be helpful to new players.
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'D tuners' 1 hr
'Fitting heel. ' 3 hrs