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.
Here's a link to the ebooks at Amazon:
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.
Monday, April 9, 2012 @7:00:05 AM
I bought both Kindle books yesterday because I think you created something worthwhile. That's the UP-side.
The DOWN-side is the tablature will not enlarge (like text can be enlarged) on the Kindle and can be adequately viewed only by using the Kindle reader on a PC (or MAC) ... and even that remains difficult to read because the contrast cannot be adequately sharpened.
Otherwise, your work is appreciated!
Monday, April 9, 2012 @2:47:47 PM
I'm sorry the tabs in the booksis not readable for you. I do appreciate your feedback, and I will try to address those issues. If you will contact me by email through the Hangout, I'll send you the source files so that you will have something you can work with.
I did test drive on the iPad as soon as I posted the first book, and the tabs looked OK since you could touch them to display only the tab and then rotate the screen to landscape to enlarge them a bit more. Later, I tried the Kindle Fire and found the same feature (my sister, who owned the Rire, didn't know about the screen rotation feature). Amazon offers a previewer in which you can choose each of the Kindle devices, the iPad and PC/Mac program. While I knew I couldn't trust these totally, the previewer seemed to do a fair job of accommodating the screen size and the features.
I also tried to darken the tab and was able to make some progress, but it's clear from your feedback that more needs to be done.
So contact me, and let me send you the files as an appreciation for the time you took to give me your comments.
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