Chop Suey by E. Grimshaw Classic Fingerstyle Banjo

This is a great banjo solo that was suggested in a discussion post on website by my friend Joel H. from the USA It is a tricky ...

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Comment by thereallyniceman on August 26, 2016 at 17:28

This is a great banjo solo that was suggested in a discussion post by our friend Joel Hooks from the USA  It is a tricky (very tricky) piece to get your fingers around without getting tied in knots.

You may notice that I also added some variations of my own... So there is only one person to blame for the mistakes... Thanks Joel   ;-)

Comment by Trapdoor2 on August 26, 2016 at 19:08

As I said on BHO, I think you've been practicing!

Well done. One of your best yet!

If Joel has gotten you to this level, perhaps you ought to try reading in A notation? ;-)

Comment by Shawn McSweeny on August 27, 2016 at 2:57

Another wonderful performance. Bravo Ian!

Comment by Mike Redman on August 27, 2016 at 8:46

Well done Ian, a great rendition of a very demanding solo.  I am almost there with it too, but the intense heat here in Cyprus this summer has limited my practice.

Comment by Jody Stecher on August 30, 2016 at 21:04

This one sounds better than it looks on the page. Well played, Ian!   The piano accompaniment is so in synch that at first (when listening at moderate volume) I didn't catch on that there were two instruments. I kept wondering how you were getting such amazing tone from one little ol' banjo. I still like the tone.

Comment by thereallyniceman on August 31, 2016 at 9:20

Hi Jody,

Thanks for the kind comments to everyone. Chop Suey did come out much better than I expected. I liked Syncopatin' Shuffle better! (but maybe that was because FVE's fingers were involved!).

The sound from my 20 fret maple Weaver banjo is pretty darned good and has become my favourite banjo to play. It has a great bass and that "nasal" sound to the notes that I like. I did notice that I got an occasional buzz on the 2nd string, but that was probably my over zealous picking! The piano is a bit quiet but does make it sound much "fuller" as you say.

I enter and record a MIDI piano part that I can play on our Electric Piano, but also a MP3 that I can slow to what ever speed I want to practise along with while I am learning the piece by my computer. (using "The Amazing Slow Downer" software)

From the score, the tempo for the piece is shown as 108 crotchet bpm and this is quite a lick!

One thing I do is add a one bar count in and then one bar silent before the piece, this lets me count in in my head during the silent bar. This makes a video recording that is easier to crop at the start without a sudden jump after a count in without the bar of silence.

I play along to the piano and record a video using a Canon HF10 video camera, but also record the audio using a Zoom H2 digital audio microphone/recorder.

This is set a medium gain, as suggested my Marc Dalmasso, as at high gain you could hear every breath and gasp and it was very obtrusive.  ;-)

I use iMovie to produce the video and this has a facility, with two clicks, to detach the original audio as recorded by the crappy camera microphone, and replace it with the much better Zoom H2 recording.  Then... off to Youtube.


Comment by marc dalmasso on September 1, 2016 at 5:19

very original / oriental tune by EG ;

exquisite playing , Ian

By these times , my 20 frets Weaver is also my favorite Bj ; 11 1/2 inches

and yours  ?

Comment by thereallyniceman on October 18, 2016 at 18:35

Hi Marc,

Sorry I must have missed your post!

My banjo has a "slightly" under 11" hoop, fitted with a Renaissance head and a Morley style maple bridge that I made myself from a piece of old school gymnasium flooring board!


Comment by Richard William Ineson on October 19, 2016 at 8:17

As Chairman Mao said, “I am a lone monk walking the world with a leaky umbrella".

Comment by thereallyniceman on October 19, 2016 at 14:39

Ian he say "You talk in riddles Richard".

I am sure I should understand what you are talking about, but my Chemistry degree did not instil any culture in me ;-)

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