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How to learn a song the TuneFox way

By Bennett Sullivan on Sep 26, 2016


There is no ultimate way for learning banjo, and part of the journey for every student is exploring and discovering what works for him/her.

How do you learn? Do you learn songs from tab, split your time into a regimented practice routine, or is all of your practice time spent learning from records? Whatever your routine may be, it probably changes based on what goals you set for yourself.

We at TuneFox believe that everyone can be creative on banjo and *learning by ear* is the absolute best way to harness one’s creativity.

*Learning from tab* is a huge part of banjo culture, and it’s so popular because it is deceptively easy and gratifying. You look at the notes on the page, put your fingers where you are told, and start playing. It’s great for beginners because you get that almost instant satisfaction of playing a song, and that is incredibly important for continuation as a student.

Keep learning from tab, or try another way - by ear. Tab to ear is a huge transition! You’re so used to looking at a page and playing what you see that it’s almost unbearable to try and play what you hear. What if there was a tool that allowed you to ease your way into learning by ear? Something that made the tab to ear transition bearable, or even fun! Let’s talk about learning songs with TuneFox. You’ve always wanted to learn how to play Devil’s Dream, so you instinctually go find a tab. Let’s say you found this tab on TuneFox. Oh cool, you can hear the song, loop measures, and switch out licks to see and hear variation. But how do you challenge your ears?

Trusting the process and getting past plateaus

Set your difficulty level with the slider, and jump right in. You’ll see that we’ve shown you what string each note is on, so all you have to do is figure out where the specific note is on that string.

Slow it down so you can hear the phrase and then take the song note by note and measure by measure. Even if you’ve set it so only one note is covered up in each measure, you’re taking positive steps to become a learn-by-ear banjo player.

You can progressively make songs harder by using the slider, and you’ll be surprised at how easy it feels to hear something and then find it on your instrument.

Practice ear training as a part of your daily routine, listen to lots and lots of music, and sing the melodies you hear in your head. With persistence and patience every day you’ll see the changes you want to see in your banjo playing.

We’re here to teach, inspire, and innovate. Have a question? Email us at contact@tunefox.com


Kevin Reabe

11/27/2016, 23:05 PM

Great app. I just downloaded it and have been playing all day. One suggestion, it would be great to add a capo feature to change the key. Example: song in key of G, capo 2nd fret and change to key of A. I play both banjo and guitar and today I was playing guitar fiddle tunes using your banjo app. Had a blast! Sounds really good when using headphone jack and aux in on speakers. Also use the old app bluegrass songbook. Really like being able to add cords to make any song like you can In that app. Keep up the great work!

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