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May 28, 2022 - 12:13:54 PM
434 posts since 10/3/2012

I have been trying lately to slow down my playing and concentrate on playing cleanly. It is a hard thing to do, but I think it is gradually helping. In practice sessions, when I play complete tunes, as opposed to playing time, I keep slowing it down until I can get through a couple of variations of a tune I am working on without mistakes.

May 28, 2022 - 1:47:18 PM
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doryman

USA

1207 posts since 11/26/2012

I highly recommend Strum Machine for this. It's much more fun that a metronome and you can very easily adjust you time up or down. It's like playing with people, but no one drinks all your beer.

May 28, 2022 - 4:11:17 PM
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617 posts since 11/4/2007

Agree with John RE Strum Machine. $5 a month is worth it; lots of bluegrass tunes available and you can enter your tune's chord progressions easily. 

May 28, 2022 - 4:18:08 PM
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617 posts since 11/4/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Kstevensmd

Agree with John RE Strum Machine. $5 a month is worth it; lots of bluegrass tunes available and you can enter your own tune's chord progressions easily. 


May 28, 2022 - 5:30 PM
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Players Union Member

TN Time

USA

283 posts since 12/6/2021

Thanks doryman for the recommendation. I just subscribed to Strum Machine.
Robert

May 28, 2022 - 5:55:10 PM
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doryman

USA

1207 posts since 11/26/2012

I have to say that this has been very satisfying.. I make a suggestion, two people agree with me, and the OP takes my advice! I'll take a thread like that anytime!

May 28, 2022 - 7:24:47 PM
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434 posts since 10/3/2012

quote:
Originally posted by doryman

I have to say that this has been very satisfying.. I make a suggestion, two people agree with me, and the OP takes my advice! I'll take a thread like that anytime!


Well the OP isn't the one who took your advice, but I have it on good authority that he agrees with you and already uses Strum Machine.

May 30, 2022 - 1:40:08 AM
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phb

Germany

3341 posts since 11/8/2010

quote:
Originally posted by doryman

I highly recommend Strum Machine for this. It's much more fun that a metronome and you can very easily adjust you time up or down.


OK, I'll spoil the fun then. A cheaper alternative to Strum Machine is to use a drum computer program and instead of drum samples use bass, guitar and mandolin samples for rhythm. I found a good free bass sample and recorded my own guitar strums. The backing track for my "Salt Spring" recording was created like this. I still need to record some mandolin chops from some volunteer and then my "bluegrass drum set" will be complete.

May 30, 2022 - 6:29:40 AM

4672 posts since 12/6/2009

mikeslessons.com/groove/?TimeS...ures=2&H=|xxxxxxxx|xxxxxxxx|&S=|-O-O-O-O|-O-O-O-O|&K=|o-o-o-o-|o-o-o-o-|

or just enter Groove scribe. a great drum machine program. you control what you want.

May 30, 2022 - 8:58:12 AM

406 posts since 5/21/2020

quote:
Originally posted by saw_woods

I have been trying lately to slow down my playing and concentrate on playing cleanly. It is a hard thing to do, but I think it is gradually helping. In practice sessions, when I play complete tunes, as opposed to playing time, I keep slowing it down until I can get through a couple of variations of a tune I am working on without mistakes.


I use TabLEdit to learn tunes from tab. It's also a great tool for practice drills and speed. You can also add a click track

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May 30, 2022 - 4:16:08 PM
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Players Union Member

lanemb

USA

249 posts since 3/11/2018

My vote is Strum Machine. I use it all the time. Best subscription I’ve ever had. So many ways to practice. Auto speed up, auto stop, count in, play lists, any key, stand arrangements or custom, guitar, bass, mandolin, and new features added on a regular basis. Sorry, I just love this program.

I don’t profess to know a tune until I can play it repeatedly with Strum Machine switching in and out of lead and backup at a moderate for me speed.

Strum Machine also helps you learn to hear chord changes.

I have TablEdit on my Mac but I don’t enjoy playing with it or listening to it. It’s a nice reference tab software solution. It’s a great way to document banjo music. Just not my cup of tea for play along.

Jun 5, 2022 - 1:41:02 PM
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198 posts since 11/2/2009

quote:
Originally posted by phb
quote:
Originally posted by doryman

I highly recommend Strum Machine for this. It's much more fun that a metronome and you can very easily adjust you time up or down.


OK, I'll spoil the fun then. A cheaper alternative to Strum Machine is to use a drum computer program and instead of drum samples use bass, guitar and mandolin samples for rhythm. I found a good free bass sample and recorded my own guitar strums. The backing track for my "Salt Spring" recording was created like this. I still need to record some mandolin chops from some volunteer and then my "bluegrass drum set" will be complete.

 


Let me spoil the fun also. Instead of playing with a stifling mechanical robot.  Anytune Pro+ app. Download any song, speed up, slow down, change key, loop, save as modified, or save a copy as modified without modifying the original. Isolate or mute vocals or instruments. One time fee $14.99, instead of $60 a year, and then forgetting it is a subscription and paying for something without realizing for the next 20 years. https://anytune.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360022079492-Products-and-feature-comparison

And if you want to play with a real bluegrass band instead of the stifling mechanical subscription-based Strum robot, Grasstrax has full arrangements minus the banjo (or minus the mando, etc). https://www.grasstrax.com
And since you can download any song into Anytune, you can download the Grasstrax tracks into Anytune.


That's my good deed for the day, delivered with some, what we call, "shade".

Edited by - gcpicken on 06/05/2022 13:41:49

Jun 5, 2022 - 6:03:41 PM
Players Union Member

Mike76

USA

22 posts since 9/2/2021

 

That's my good deed for the day, delivered with some, what we call, "shade".

That's a good deed, indeed.  For those of us who are newbee's, this is good information.  I've already checked out the grasstrax web site and I think this is going to be a great learning assist.

Jun 8, 2022 - 4:38:51 AM

phb

Germany

3341 posts since 11/8/2010

quote:
Originally posted by gcpicken.

Instead of playing with a stifling mechanical robot.  Anytune Pro+ app. Download any song, speed up, slow down, change key, loop, save as modified, or save a copy as modified without modifying the original. Isolate or mute vocals or instruments. One time fee $14.99, instead of $60 a year, and then forgetting it is a subscription and paying for something without realizing for the next 20 years. https://anytune.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360022079492-Products-and-feature-comparison

I use a free app called MusicSpeedChanger on android when I am away from my computer (there I use "Transcribe!" for slow-down, pitch change, looping of real recordings). When I am at the computer, I can set the bpm for the mechanical robot backing tracks I make smiley  any way I like in my drum computer program (Hydrogen, also free). When I travel, I export the backing tracks to mp3 files and copy them to my phone. I find the phone app too hard to use to select specific parts to loop with precision but it is good enough to just change the bpm of the exported backing tracks. I set my backing tracks to 100bpm and then I can e.g. set the app on the phone to 85% and would then get 85 bpm. This together with a bluetooth speaker is a very handy practice tool.

 

And if you want to play with a real bluegrass band instead of the stifling mechanical subscription-based Strum robot, Grasstrax has full arrangements minus the banjo (or minus the mando, etc). https://www.grasstrax.com
And since you can download any song into Anytune, you can download the Grasstrax tracks into Anytune.

I used to prefer real band recordings for backing tracks but I recently have noticed that with a rather bare backing track I learn to orientate myself around a song better than with a lot of extra auditory cues from the backing band to rely on. It seems that the real band makes it easier and causes less of a training effect than the robot and empty backing tracks.

Jun 8, 2022 - 10:05:55 AM

198 posts since 11/2/2009

I agree as to using Anytune on an iphone. I use iPads, and by having more “real estate’ to view what’s going, I can now also use the iphone also, which lets me play a loop, slowed, in my car and really get the sound into my head.

Jun 8, 2022 - 10:27:30 AM

434 posts since 10/3/2012

All of these are great suggestions. In addition to Strum Machine, I also use Audio Speed Changer, which does allow one to speed up or slow down a recording, loop it and make adjustments to tone. These are great programs.

Jun 10, 2022 - 8:56:59 PM

nodster

Thailand

1199 posts since 9/25/2003

I often use Tabledit tabs as backing tracks (Jack Baker's are excellent) - mute the banjo part, choose the loop, choose the speed, and play along. Recently though I've been trying the gimmick of taking everything out except the bass part, and practicing really, really, slowly. Without the guitar strum it's easier to hear if the timing is on the money and it's been educational because I've discovered lots of small mistakes or glitches of unevenness that I never knew were there before.
The drill is to set a 4 bar loop - perhaps with a chord change in it for interest ; set the relative speed where you're in control of your right hand; put the loop counter to 250 and start. It's 1000 measures of controlled and targeted practice. But I think the key is to slow it all down to funereal pace. Tone and timing, tone and timing, tone and timing....

Edited by - nodster on 06/10/2022 22:34:19

Jun 12, 2022 - 8:56:35 PM

Tim13

USA

3173 posts since 4/1/2008

quote:
Originally posted by TN Time

Thanks doryman for the recommendation. I just subscribed to Strum Machine.
Robert


Strum Machine is great.  Definitely worth $5 to see if you like it, but I think it's cheaper if you buy it for the year, versus paying monthly.  Either way, it's very good software.

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