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The banjo reviews database is here to help educate people before they purchase an instrument. Of course, this is not meant to be a substitute for playing the instrument yourself!

6980 reviews in the archive.

Grass Trax  Banjo play along Recording/Album Reviews

Submitted by five-string fever (see all reviews from this person) on 5/21/2014

Where Purchased: online

Overall Comments

I bought 5 songs from Grass Trax earlier this week to practice with. The songs are played at different speeds from 60 BPM to 130 BPM increasing at 10 BPM if you so choose (i.e. one 5 minute (more or less) long track at 60 BPM, the next one 5 minutes +/- at 70 BPM, etc...) with your instrument, in my case banjo,  pulled out of the mix. The rest of the mix is typical bluegrass instruments of guitar, bass, fiddle, mandolin and dobro. It also has a PDF file with the chords but I generally picked songs that I knew the chords and breaks to. I plugged my laptop into an external speaker (I also did an earbud in one ear at one point so I could hear my banjo with the other ear when I got booted out of my living room). I went to town on "Blue Ridge Cabin Home" for about 30 minutes increasing speed after playing the track +/- 5 minutes at a slower speed and going up 10 BPM until I just could not keep up. It seems like 120 BPM was my collapse point. Next Old Joe Clark then Red Haired Boy. Generally I just played breaks looping over and over although I did practice chord changes at different spots on the neck for Red Haired Boy. I have always been strong on chords and weak or at least slow on breaks so I focused on my weakness. I loved it so much I just bought a bunch more. If you already know the songs and are trying to increase your speed at playing them this works great and is only $1.99 a pop. I got a few songs that are on my "Must Learn" list I bought tonight as motivation to get off my rear end and learn the breaks.  I'll probably stick at the slower speeds until I get the new songs down pat but still beats practicing with a metronome IMHO. There are a lot of songs that I am good enough at that I will probably never start at the slowest speeds again but it never hurts to work on fundamentals as every music and sports coach has always told me. My two cents, hope it helps. YMMV.

Overall Rating: 10

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