Everything you need to know about playing the Native American Flute.

"Understanding the Gift"

"Volume I Book and CD"

A 104 page instructional text including 25 sheet music scores for the 6-hole Native American flute with a companion 39 track CD.
It’s a comprehensive guide and permanent resource for all students of the Native American Flute. All instruction is offered in a pleasant, concise and easy to understand language and format for learning to play. It is a Book that will answer a large and growing demand for a text and CD to benefit all of the following:

The Beginner
who has little or no experience playing a musical instrument,
The Intermediate player who wants to fill in gaps and add to his or her knowledge of how the Native American Flute works, how music works, and how to put the two together
The Advanced Player
who wants to teach others how to play but up until now did not have a clear-cut format to do so. 

Part 1

includes chapters with information on:
Finger Control, Breath Control, Embouchure, Tonguing and Slurring, The Native American/Pentatonic Scale, How to Create your own melodies, Ornamentation, Lessons on Duration, How to read printed music and Tablature, The Major scale including analysis, Useful scales for developing technique, confidence and creativity, Care of the Flute, How to Practice successfully, Glossary of Terms, Understanding Pitch and Rhythms, and Subject Index.


includes 25 songs:
Native American, Traditional, Folk, Contemporary and Original in written tablature and performed in the CD.
About the Author: John Vames has been teaching and playing music professionally for over 30 years. All the ideas and suggestions in "Understanding the Gift" have been tested in private lessons and class sessions. There are more than 500 students playing Native American Flute today who are living proof that the materials in this book work! It will work for you!
Understanding the Gift volume 1 by John Vames

Purchase Vol I $29.95

"Understanding the Gift" Volume II

The follow-up book for "Understanding the Gift" Volume I. Designed to be a continuation of Volume I.

25 songs written in Nakai Tabulature and demonstrated on the accompanying CD. Compiled and edited by Sherry Vames. Copyright 2013.

  • Learning to read Nakai tabulature
  • Song structure
  • Rhythm
  • Playing 8th and 16th notes
  • Working with scales
  • Practicing effectively
  • Copyright © 2017 John Vames Native American Flute Journey - All Rights Reserved.
Understanding the Gift volume 2 by John Vames

Purchase Vol II $29.95

"Remembrance" Songbook and CD by John Vames


Here's an excerpt from the Introduction of the book, written by his wife, Sherry Vames: REMEMBRANCE, "Songs From a Journey" is a collection of John's unpublished flute music from 2003-2010. Contained are songs that reflect life's seasons and particularly John's. They tell of events, thoughts and feelings, and give the magic of the flute and John's playing. These songs will reach your mind and heart. I think you will also appreciate their value in applauding the beauty and versatility of the Native American Flute in the many styles of music today.
With the the exception of "child's Play and "Blue Flute", John recorded these songs in his computer in the early hours of morning. I found them in his Garage Band program, after he died. There are 47 songs and many are untitled. I titled them as I felt them, choosing names I thought reflected his journey. These songs are all very dear to me, especially "Letting Go. It tells the story of our hardest challenge and one we all must face. I think you will further enjoy "After the Rain" that follows. It is a song of acceptance and hope for the new beginnings. It is also the first song that John and I wrote together in 2005.
Some suggestions given by Sherry:
  1. Have a copy of John's Book, "Understanding the Gift" and instructional CD readily available. all the basics you need to know to play NAF are in there.
  2. Review chapters on Duration and Note Values.
  3. Practice the Nakai Tab exercises on pig. 48-52
  4. Re-familiarize yourself with the glossary of musical terms.
  5. Reference the Rhythmic Values chart on pig. 84
  6. Reference the Chromatic Scale on pig. 80. I have included both the Rhythmic Values Chart and Chromatic Scale in the appendix of this book for your convenience. You will probably come across note position in the transcriptions that are new and the chart of the chromatic Scale will be a valuable reference for correct fingering
  7. My last suggestion is to have a copy of "Remembrance" CD. It will be half the battle in learning to play these songs Plus you are sure to enjoy listening.
Accompanying John on some of the songs in this CD is World Class percussionist, Will Clipman. You will hear Will's percussion on CDs by R Carlos Nakai along with countless other recording artists from around the Globe. Will came in and recorded percussion in real time with John's music, adding textures and rhythms to enhance the wonderful songs.
If you loved John as much as everyone who knew him did and would like to expand your horizons by learning his compositions, I highly recommend this book and CD. Even if you don't want to learn to read the music, the songs on the CD make great listening.



Remembrance by John Vames Remembrance Sheet Music

Remembrance Back Cover

Remembrance CD

Purchase the Book "Remembrance" by John Vames $27.00

Purchase the CD "Remembrance" by John Vames $15.00

Purchase the Book & CD for a $5.00 savings $37.00 ($5.00 savings.)

"Song for Koko"

"Song for Koko" Are you "stuck in a rut" with your songs? Need some new inspiration to get your creative juices flowing in a more productive and rewarding direction? John Vames has written just the thing for you. He has compiled this book of jazz melodies complete with CD to teach you to play and improvise in the Jazz style.

Testimonials from people who have taken advantage of this source of inspiration.

"The exercises are excellent; the accompanying CD clear and helpful;the musical material fun. I'd been messing around on my own for quite a while and had figured out enough basics to fake it for short periods but didn't know how to expand my reach. Vames' book took what I'd intuited and put it into a structured and systematic frame that will make it possible to do in a few months what might otherwise have taken me years to achieve. Without it, I certainly would never have gotten much beyond the point I'm at right now. He makes explicit things about rhythm that I'd felt but couldn't articulate either in language or in music. I find that liberating."

"John Vames' new book KOKO is written with enthusiasm (I can hear John speaking through the words) and the cd is clear, instructive. I am already up to track 17 and finding out I know more then I thought I did...and that I finally get it."

"I have a copy of John's Understanding the Gift and recommend it to beginners who come to me wanting lessons. Now KOKO is a welcome addition to my music library and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT TO ANYONE WHO WANTS TO TRAVEL INTO NEW MAGIC WITH THE NAF."

Remembrance by John Vames Remembrance Sheet Music

Purchase "Song for Koko" W/Comanion CD by John Vames $27.00