May Content

By Jiri on May 3, 2024


Hey Tunefoxers,

Jordan here again on behalf of the team. I hope you all are doing well and enjoying all things Tunefox. I just got back from playing a festival this weekend with my band Kentucky Shine. We had a great time and we shared the bill with some great acts like High Fidelity and The Wheelhouse Rousters. If you have never been to a festival I can’t recommend them highly enough. It’s what got me into bluegrass and it’s one of my favorite parts of the culture.

For content this month we have a bunch of user requests and a whole lot of new video! We’re starting to add video lessons to our most beloved songs. If you have a request for a video to be added to an existing song please let us know. The approach here is to not only demonstrate playing through the song, but to provide mini-lessons and tips that will help you with technique, timing, artistry and more for any tune you are learning.

As of now, the video overview for an individual song which includes a brief look of arrangements available within a song are available on the web only. However, the video lessons on individual tablatures I.e. Scruggs, Melodic, Backup, etc., are available for both web and through the app. Make sure to click the play tab at the top of the screen when using the app to make the video appear in a. Drop down box.


Speaking of video lessons, if you are a banjo player and struggle with or are looking to improve your timing, check out the One Finger Workouts and the Multi-Level Metronome Exercise. These will help you gain better command over basic timing and accents. Playing a metronome with an entire song is tough, especially when you’ve never done it at a basic level. Working with simple rhythms and picking patterns will help you develop solid foundations. I use these exercises with my private students and see everyday how it helps them gain better awareness and control over their timing. The most important thing here: count out loud! Do this consistently. Just thinking of the count is not enough in the beginning. I see it time and time again with people I teach. When they try to “count silently” they get off time, or worse - they don’t even realize it. When they commit to counting out loud they get better timing control, speed regulation and build awareness. They realize they are getting off time without me having to say anything. That is a big, awesome, and important step.

A lot of people have trouble nailing the timing on tunes like Cripple Creek or Clinch Mountain Backstep. These tunes use something called “anticipated attack”. You play a note a bit early and hold it, or slide into the target note after it’s played early. This adds a lot of excitement and interest to a tune, but if you haven’t done enough listening homework, or if you can’t count properly, getting it right can be a problem. I have a student I’m teaching now that was really struggling with this aspect in Clinch Mountain Backstep. So I have created a Scruggs Style -Beginner version that removes the anticipated attack and slides. I have also simplified it so there are more repeating elements. If you use the focus feature to nail down measures 1, 2, and 4, you will have almost everything you need to be able to tackle the whole song. Look over the tab and listen before playing at each session. Look and listen for those repeating riffs and elements. Always do this when learning a new tune so you can practice effectively and efficiently.


check out Hot Corn, Cold Corn. Learn to nail down this melody. It’s a classic, it can also be a little tough because of the extra beat at the end of each verse before it resolves to a G chord. Make listening with the Tunefox player a part of your practice. Do it several times before playing at each session and also make a playlist with this tune and others you are learning. Listening is practice! The more you do it, the more you will benefit from it. After nailing down the arrangement add in some licks! There’s enough licks here to create entirely new arrangements, but your understanding of the licks will be so much more complete if you learn the melody first. The #2 licks are a bit more challenging than the first options. Choose what is appropriate or interesting for you. As always, try to speak or sing the melody in time as you play it. Doing this helps with memorization. You’ll also be internalizing multiple musical elements at the same time. Definitely use the tempo slider to practice at a speed you can handle. Most of the phrases here are a measure long, so using the focus feature here will reap humongous benefits. You can use the difficulty slider to dial out extra notes for the entire arrangement. Also, when you select a new lick, there is a difficulty slider in the pop-up window that will only affect that lick or measure! We hope you all enjoy the new tunes and videos this month!

Jordan, Jakub, Jiri


You may also like