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Sep 22, 2020 - 12:22:19 PM
13 posts since 8/11/2020


Are there any commercially available tracks that contain whole songs without any banjo in them? Im looking to start working on my backup technique having purchased banjobens backup for fiddle tunes. It shows step by step from very basic to fully ornamented backup. I can't seem to find anything that has the full melody (or singing for that matter). Obviously there are plenty of examples on you tube but they are just far too fast for me at this stage.

Sep 22, 2020 - 1:31:17 PM

2242 posts since 5/2/2012

This probably isn't exactly what you are asking for, but these backup tracks  would give you something to work with.  Do you use Tabledit?  If so, you can go to the tabs here on the HO and once you have downloaded a tune you can go in an deselect one or more of the instruments (like the banjo).  There is a free version of Tabledit online.  

Sep 22, 2020 - 1:36:22 PM

2242 posts since 5/2/2012

with the FBBT site you could work on vamping, rolling back up, licks, and chord changes. You can change tempo too. When you are ready you can drop in a break/solo.

Sep 22, 2020 - 1:49:45 PM



210 posts since 2/4/2011

Youtube has a feature that allows you to slow down (or speed up) the video. Simply click on the gear and select "playback speed". You can select one of their presets or choose "custom" to select something between. Good luck!

Sep 22, 2020 - 2:43:34 PM



47 posts since 2/5/2020

If you use an Ipad, take a look at the iRealpro app. You can turn instruments on or off, or change the instruments that are playing, change tempos, etc. There are about 490 bluegrass songs in the files, but also lots of jazz, blues, etc. I think it cost about $15.

Sep 22, 2020 - 4:44:05 PM

11135 posts since 6/2/2008

I use iReal Pro. Be aware that the bluegrass tracks sound somewhat stupid. The guitar sound isn't a baass-strum like a real rhythm guitar. It's more constant picking. I changed its midi "instrument" to nylon string guitar to soften the sound. Other than that, it works great for practice. You can adjsut the tempo and set a song to repeat as many times as you want.

Using TablEdit files with the banjo track turned off is a great idea. Better sounding than iReal, depending on who wrote the tab. WIth time and little practice you can easily write your own. Once you have a backing track to one bluegrass song, it's an easy matter to edit it into another.

Sep 22, 2020 - 4:56:31 PM
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39 posts since 9/4/2012

I use Sean Ray's "the session book" and love it. 26 tracks of popular bluegrass songs and with each track there is also a "without banjo" track of those same 26 songs on a CD. It comes with a book of tab for each song as well .
you can slow it down or speed it up using windows media player.

he is a member here and his website is
he supplemented mine, by email, with some backup tab as well, ask about it

Sep 23, 2020 - 6:35:28 AM

2159 posts since 2/10/2013

I use "Band in a Box". Files downloaded from the "" website are probably created using BIAB. BIAB is fairly expensive and computer resource intensive, but it is very powerful. You can create rhythm files that are simple or very sophisticated. You can mute specific instruments and change sound characteristics for specific instruments. Like I said, simple rhythm files aren't too difficult. You can post your questions about BIAB here on BHO or the PGMusic forum for BIAB.
If you become really knowledgeable about BIAB, you can create rhythm files that often sound better than your local jam. Then your rhythm will be available whenever you want to play, play what you want to play, play the way you want to play, and never make a mistake.

Finally, BIAB is "loaded" with useful features. More features than some folks need. I use it for just about everything. One word of warning. BIAB requires special "STYLE" files. Some come with the system. I bought several for bluegrass music - so no problem there. There are an awful lot of "STYLE" files and finding the one you want can be difficult. But I also play fiddle, and "STYLE" files for certain fiddling styles are unavailable. Also be aware that some Canadian musician created some "STYLE" files that aren't available from PGMUSIC, developers or BIAB. If you do get BIAB, downlooad that "zip" file and extract those files.

I play fiddle tunes on guitar and banjo as well as fiddle. IMHO learning to play fiddle tunes on the fiddle, no matter how badly you play them, will help a person play fiddle tunes better on other musical instruments.

Sep 26, 2020 - 9:55:07 AM

87 posts since 11/2/2009

Sep 27, 2020 - 9:29:50 AM

13 posts since 8/11/2020

Thanks for all the replies everyone.
I do not have ipad/phone so that's out and also I don't wish to have to make any tracks. What I am after is a track that clearly includes the melody line played on a fiddle or mandolin or anything for that matter but contains no banjo at all. Perhaps one of the suggestions has this capability but I cant see it at this point.
I use grass tracks as suggested but don't think you can put the melody instrument in there. I could be wrong ?

Sep 27, 2020 - 5:12:15 PM

21 posts since 11/8/2017

You may go to the tabs here on the HO and once you have downloaded a tune you can go in an deselect one or more of the instruments

Oct 2, 2020 - 1:37:16 PM



91 posts since 5/9/2008

Originally posted by Zummerzet Grazz

What I am after is a track that clearly includes the melody line played on a fiddle or mandolin or anything for that matter but contains no banjo at all. 



>Would this work?




Edited by - TechD on 10/02/2020 13:37:59

Oct 2, 2020 - 1:47:40 PM



6482 posts since 6/5/2011
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I don't know enough music to know if these  would be helpful.   There's choice in the instruments in the backing track.... I think.

Oct 3, 2020 - 3:42:10 AM

13 posts since 8/11/2020

Thanks Owen, that is precisely what I was looking for :-)

Oct 5, 2020 - 7:55:22 PM
Players Union Member



396 posts since 9/10/2014

Using your computer equalizer you can turn the banjo off with the balance knob.

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