Czech banjo player Jiri Markalous wanted a better way to practice banjo. He was suffering from the monotony of the metronome; sitting in front of a metronome for hours was simply a pain. It’s a common complaint among average musicians. However, Jiri is not an average musician, he’s also a 3D designer and app developer for Apple iOS devices. To solve his problem he used his software developer ingenuity and his experience as a banjo player to create the iPhone/iPad app Banjo Rolls Trainer. Banjo Rolls Trainer allows banjo players to practice roll drills by playing the roll with you, with the opportunity to add a metronome and a rhythm section. The app comes built in with a library of 13 basic banjo rolls that will help hone in technique.
The app comes with the following features:
- 13 basic banjo rolls, Clawhammer Bum-Ditty and ¾ rolls included
- background music in keys G major, C major, D major and the set of chords G-C-D-G
- Speed up Function – automatically increases the speed after a set number of bars
- volume setting of upright bass, guitar, banjo and metronome. It is also possible to set the pitch of the metronome.
- statistics of your play’s progress
- support of Guitar Banjo – option to tune the sound of the fifth string two octaves down.
Here’s a video of the app in action:
But Jiri didn’t stop there. In addition to the Banjo Rolls Trainer app, he’s also produced apps for drummers (titled Drum Beats for Beginners), an app that contains a library of bluegrass songs (titled Bluegrass Songbook), and a beginners guide for learning to play the piano (titled Play Piano: Songs, Games and Notes HD). What’s the best part about Banjo Rolls Trainer and Jiri’s other apps? They’re all free to download directly from the iOS App Store now!
– Matt Hengeveld