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ABRSM backing tracks

TonyM

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I was looking at the ABRSM website and see that they advertise a Real Book with a CD that contains backing tracks. Does anyone have any experience of this or their graded books with backing tracks? I'm interested in jazz clarinet and jazz alto sax. I'm just trying to get an idea of the quality of the backing tracks. I recently bought some from Hal Leonard and, whilst they work in assisting the learning of a tune, I don't enjoy playing with them at all.

I suppose, whilst I asking, I should open this up to advice on any real book/cd combinations. Many thanks.
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
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What were the Hal Leonard ones you had trouble with? I always find them very good.

I haven't heard the ABRSM ones for a while - but I seem to recall they were pretty good. But if you don't like the Hal Leonard ones...

Which ones do you rate highly?
 

ArtyLady

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1,030
Hi, I have the Bb and the Concert editions. IMO they are good quality backing tracks but they only allow for one solo, they include the tracks required grades 4 and 5 (12 tracks on each CD) which are sold separately (you can find the numbers on the syllabus), hope that helps :thumb:
 

Nick Cook

Member
Messages
861
I haven't looked at the ABRSM website for some time, but I have the Real book and 2 CDs. The Cds are for grades 4 and 5 and each CD only has the 15 tunes for the current syllabus. They are very good though, and each tune is recorded with and without the sax piece, so you can hear how it's supposed to sound!!
 

Young Col

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2,419
To widen it a bit - which is what you suggested Tony - I have the Grade 5 standard (ie non-jazz) ABRSM cd. This covers most, but not all, of the current syllabus A, B (both accompanied) and C list (unaccompanied) pieces. It has the A and B list pieces both with sax and just accompaniment.

They are generally well recorded and technically accurate although it may be due to some over compression that the dynamics of some pieces don't come over quite as written. The classically correct intonation is not to my personal taste on the (written) jazz and latin pieces. However the piano accompaniment tracks without the sax are very good to practice with, especially if you are not used to playing solo with just piano backing.

YC
ps This is for alto
 
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TonyM

Member
Messages
34
Thanks all for some informative responses.
Nick, the Hal Leonard that I didn't like was the Motown Classics instrumental play-along. From memory, it was midi backing and very bland. Apart from that I have only tried the Aebersold as backing tracks and I find it difficult to say what I don't like about them but I don't like them. The one I did like was not a backing track as such but a CD to accompany John O'Neill's Developing Jazz technique series. He does them for a series of reed and wind instruments and I've played over the clarinet and alto sax versions. They feel god to play with. Nice to take the clarinet/sax track out and play with the rhythm section.
ArtyLady and Nick, am I wrong in thinking that the real book has a CD that provides backing tracks for all the lead sheets in the book or does it just provide a selection?
Young Col, I didn't realise that they had a CD for the standard syllabus, but then again I wasn't looking for that. I find the ABRSM website a bit confusing in that they don't have the CDs available on that site, or at least I couldn't find them. I emailed them and sent me to a third party supplier.

Once again, thanks all.
 

ArtyLady

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,030
Thanks all for some informative responses.
Nick, the Hal Leonard that I didn't like was the Motown Classics instrumental play-along. From memory, it was midi backing and very bland. Apart from that I have only tried the Aebersold as backing tracks and I find it difficult to say what I don't like about them but I don't like them. The one I did like was not a backing track as such but a CD to accompany John O'Neill's Developing Jazz technique series. He does them for a series of reed and wind instruments and I've played over the clarinet and alto sax versions. They feel god to play with. Nice to take the clarinet/sax track out and play with the rhythm section.
ArtyLady and Nick, am I wrong in thinking that the real book has a CD that provides backing tracks for all the lead sheets in the book or does it just provide a selection?
Young Col, I didn't realise that they had a CD for the standard syllabus, but then again I wasn't looking for that. I find the ABRSM website a bit confusing in that they don't have the CDs available on that site, or at least I couldn't find them. I emailed them and sent me to a third party supplier.

Once again, thanks all.

Hi Tony, no the CD provides 15 tracks which are all the tracks in the syllabus so if you were to fork out for the grade 4 and 5 CDs then you would get backing for more of the pieces, but there are about 100 numbers all together in the book - I've not looked into whether you can actually get extra backing tracks for these but will do at some point. I have been able to use the flute backing track CD for some of the pieces not on the Tenor disc. If you're doing an exam the CD also has aural, scales and quick study examples on it.
 

Nick Wyver

noisy
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Nick, the Hal Leonard that I didn't like was the Motown Classics instrumental play-along. From memory, it was midi backing and very bland.

Bland? It's Motown - you don't expect it to be interesting do you?

Anyway, I believe all of that Hal Leonard series uses real musicians for the backing tracks. The dozen or so that I've got (including Motown Hits) certainly do. I think it's the Guest Spot series that uses programmed stuff.

If you're into jazz why are you getting Motown?
 

BUMNOTE

Senior Member
Messages
586
Agree with TonyM about Hal leonard Motown,i have same book.As for Motown bland Nick you having a:))):))):)))Bumnote.
 

TonyM

Member
Messages
34
ArtyLady, thanks. I went back to the site (again) and notice that the blurb on the AB Real Book Bb edition doesn't offer a CD for the Real Book but just states that MMO tracks for syllabus tunes are available for purchase. My misreading is the source of the problem, they, of course, were not trying to mislead.

Nick, you made me wish that I had mentioned the Taylor Swift play-along that I didn't like as well. You would have had a lot of fun with that one, after all, no-one that likes jazz could like popular music, could they?
 

Young Col

Well-Known Member
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2,419
Tony - re availablility of the standard syllabus cds, I agree. I found it very odd that it's an ABRSM production but I had to buy it through Amazon.
 
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