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Backing Tracks

Nikki

Formerly SaxyNikki
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972
Hi fellow members
I‘m interested in back tracking or back ground music to play my saxophone and sing to. Unfortunately I’m not computer savvy and have NEVER downloaded any music in my life. Here in the country we don’t have internet or even a computer. The only reason I can get on this site is due to the iPhone I use.

What I originally wanted to do was learn how to use band in a box or garage band since I have them however I don’t want to get distracted spending all my time learning computer stuff so lately I’ve found piano backgrounds that are very simplified which I can play to or sing to which I love.

What I’m wondering about is copy right laws etc.
Am I allowed to use them if they are for sale and use them to create my own music to share with others?

These wiki loops were suggested to me but I don’t know what songs they are or what instruments are used. I’m looking for mainly pop ballads since that’s what I like to play. The selection in this list is Rock/pop. Does this mean it’s Rock & pop or pop rock?

How do I tell what songs are on these backtracks?
Do I have to download them to find out?
Are they free or is their a fee?
Can I legally use these background tracks and legally be able to share with others if I mention who plays the background music?
How do I know what other instruments are on each?
What’s the best way to discover all of this?

We are supposed to be getting internet but we are only getting a SIM card for one of our older phones to access it. I want to get a computer and at first I was considering only using a Mac since it had apple technology which is the only thing I understand.

Would I be best off using a regular new computer from Costco? ( can return it if I don’t like it )

What I’d ultimately like to do is download background music that I enjoy and record my singing and playing to it. Then I’d like to store this somewhere and share it with others.

Is this doable?

Wade gave me this link to backtracks made by musicians from right here? Can someone who uses them, tell me a bit about them and how they work? Is there any ‘piano only’ backtracks? If so, how do I find them? Do I have to download the files to discover this?

Sorry for all the questions. Please don’t feel obligated to try and answer them all.
I’d just like to generate a discussion about this in ‘laymen’s terms,’ so I can understand it eventually.

Thank you for any help you can offer.

 

Ballymenaboy

Member
Subscriber
Messages
135
Nikki have a look at the app ireal pro..tremendous amount of backing tracks across pop/jazz/latin etc alltracks have chord sheets and you can change keys etc.well worth the low cost
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
Subscriber
Messages
6,360
I second the suggestion for iReal Pro.
Also there are lots of backing tracks in the Song and Ballad of the month areas on. this site.
 

Nikki

Formerly SaxyNikki
Subscriber
Messages
972
Thank you guys so much. If I use these back tracks and make my own version of someone else’s songs, can I share this newly created music here at this site or another site? I’m not looking to make any money. My interest would just be for personal pleasure.
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
Subscriber
Messages
6,360
I’m sure that you can publish your recordings with backing tracks generated by iReal Pro or Band In A Box. Similarly, nobody is going to object if you use the backing tracks for Song and Ballad of the month and put your non-commercial recording on the web - that’s what they are intended for.

I don’t know what the exact copyright situation is with commercially produced backing tracks, but lots of people have used them for recordings on this site. I suspect you have to read the small print.
 

Wade Cornell

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
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2,213
It's not entirely clear if you want to sing/play known tunes or original material. Wikiloops is all original material, although the format of many tracks is very recognizable as 12 bar blues, rock, ballads, etc. If you're looking for known songs, then the suggestions above are good ones. If you want to work with original piano backing tracks then there are currently listed 1,816 of these available on wikiloops. You go to their site (wikiloops.com) and then use the search tab for backing tracks. You can then specify exactly what instrument(s) you wish and a big list will come up. You can play all of these for free. You can also become a member ($5 / month) and download all you want for free. Alternatively you can pay $2.40 for 12 downloads. You can also upload back to wikiloops and then take that track and post it here with no issues regarding copyright (as long as it's the wikiloops URL you're using). If you have other questions regarding wikiloops you can ask me, but on their site there are tutorials and lots of information that will get you started. There are lots of tracks on wikiloops with original songs with most having the lyrics available so that you could sing these for yourself. A quick check showed 433 tracks with just keys and vocals. If looking at adding in guitars, bass etc. you'll find thousands. You can also specify the type/style of music you want . I'm not sure if you understand how wikiloops works, but you can pick (for instance) one of the 433 tracks with piano and vocals, listen to it (or download it), copy the lyrics, then go back to just the keys (piano) and sing along with that without the other vocals being present. Each person adds to tracks individually so you can join in at any step you like. Many of the tracks also have chord charts, and give BPM for click tracks. There are 21 categories for style/genre. You can also search according to keys you can sing in and limit that (if you wish or need to).

For me (and others there) the joy is in creating new music collectively and not trying to copy commercial music, which is too often concocted for profit by catering to the lowest common denominator....may as well tell it like it is!
 

Nikki

Formerly SaxyNikki
Subscriber
Messages
972
I’m sure that you can publish your recordings with backing tracks generated by iReal Pro or Band In A Box. Similarly, nobody is going to object if you use the backing tracks for Song and Ballad of the month and put your non-commercial recording on the web - that’s what they are intended for.

I don’t know what the exact copyright situation is with commercially produced backing tracks, but lots of people have used them for recordings on this site. I suspect you have to read the small print.
Yes I’ve noticed lots of musicians using backing tracks while recording their playing along with them. Some of them are using originate music and playing along with it. Aren’t there copyright laws on people’s music?

I’m really concerned since I got reprimanded for using pictures that ‘might’ have be copyrighted.
If others are using stuff that’s definitely copyrighted, then I’m sincerely confused.

What ‘small print’ are you talking about or is that a nudge, nudge, wink, wink type of thing?

I’ve read that people can use copyrighted stuff if it’s already free to listen to online; as long as you aren’t using it to sell.
 

Nikki

Formerly SaxyNikki
Subscriber
Messages
972
It's not entirely clear if you want to sing/play known tunes or original material. Wikiloops is all original material, although the format of many tracks is very recognizable as 12 bar blues, rock, ballads, etc. If you're looking for known songs, then the suggestions above are good ones. If you want to work with original piano backing tracks then there are currently listed 1,816 of these available on wikiloops. You go to their site (wikiloops.com) and then use the search tab for backing tracks. You can then specify exactly what instrument(s) you wish and a big list will come up. You can play all of these for free. You can also become a member ($5 / month) and download all you want for free. Alternatively you can pay $2.40 for 12 downloads. You can also upload back to wikiloops and then take that track and post it here with no issues regarding copyright (as long as it's the wikiloops URL you're using). If you have other questions regarding wikiloops you can ask me, but on their site there are tutorials and lots of information that will get you started. There are lots of tracks on wikiloops with original songs with most having the lyrics available so that you could sing these for yourself. A quick check showed 433 tracks with just keys and vocals. If looking at adding in guitars, bass etc. you'll find thousands. You can also specify the type/style of music you want . I'm not sure if you understand how wikiloops works, but you can pick (for instance) one of the 433 tracks with piano and vocals, listen to it (or download it), copy the lyrics, then go back to just the keys (piano) and sing along with that without the other vocals being present. Each person adds to tracks individually so you can join in at any step you like. Many of the tracks also have chord charts, and give BPM for click tracks. There are 21 categories for style/genre. You can also search according to keys you can sing in and limit that (if you wish or need to).

For me (and others there) the joy is in creating new music collectively and not trying to copy commercial music, which is too often concocted for profit by catering to the lowest common denominator....may as well tell it like it is!
This is awesome information. Thank you so much. No I’m not familiar with wiki loops nor have I ever downloaded anything ... ever . I’ve only listened to songs and played along with them.

This certainly sounds like something I’d be interested in doing. I’d be interested in becoming a member. At the moment I’m using familiar songs that I like, finding simplified piano background music and playing along but I have limited data so can’t do this often but love the result AND it’s mega FUN!

Thanks again for writing that all out to help me.
I truly appreciate it very much.
Squeal! I’m getting excited to do this. :sax:
 

CliveMA

Member
Messages
693
I use Band in a Box but I have excellent Internet access. Band in a Box can legally be used in your own published works.

I prefer BIAB because I prefer realtracks' real people playing and I prefer piano plus guitar plus bass backing for slow ballads. I can define melody and chords to easily create my own compositions. At this stage of my development I need an easy-to-detect beat which I don't find in other backing tracks. BIAB allows me to generate a metronome initially and then turn it off when I'm ready.
 

Nikki

Formerly SaxyNikki
Subscriber
Messages
972
I use Band in a Box but I have excellent Internet access. Band in a Box can legally be used in your own published works.

I prefer BIAB because I prefer realtracks' real people playing and I prefer piano plus guitar plus bass backing for slow ballads. I can define melody and chords to easily create my own compositions. At this stage of my development I need an easy-to-detect beat which I don't find in other backing tracks. BIAB allows me to generate a metronome initially and then turn it off when I'm ready.
Eventually I want to use Band in a Box but at the moment I don’t even have a computer and have no idea how to use any of this so while I’m figuring out which computer to get, I’m recording some backtracks to songs I like and playing around with them. It just makes practising that much more fun and interesting.

At the moment I’m debating whether to get a MacBook or not use Apple at all. My husband is claiming there’s some drawbacks to using Apple.
There’s so much to learn.

Playing songs in my own timing is a total bonus and something I miss in using someone else’s backing. Most of the ballads are far too fast and don’t have the option of pausing at critical spots BUT I am creating a portfolio of songs I like.

Having a place to store them while I figure out what I want to do with them is a must.
 

CliveMA

Member
Messages
693
Eventually I want to use Band in a Box but at the moment I don’t even have a computer and have no idea how to use any of this so while I’m figuring out which computer to get, I’m recording some backtracks to songs I like and playing around with them. It just makes practising that much more fun and interesting.

At the moment I’m debating whether to get a MacBook or not use Apple at all. My husband is claiming there’s some drawbacks to using Apple.
There’s so much to learn.

Playing songs in my own timing is a total bonus and something I miss in using someone else’s backing. Most of the ballads are far too fast and don’t have the option of pausing at critical spots BUT I am creating a portfolio of songs I like.

Having a place to store them while I figure out what I want to do with them is a must.
I use a Windows PC. A Mac has the reputation of being easier to use but it is also much more expensive for equivalent functionality. There is a much broader range of plugins and tools available for Windows.

There are good Youtube tutorials on BIAB. I slow everything down to 60 bpm. I enter the backing but also the notation for the melody and create a soloist part that I can play along with to learn the timing and then mute when I'm ready. BIAB colours the notes in the notation as it plays. I use visual feedback at first then just aural.

There are good self-teaching benefits to using BIAB, too.
I can record my solo and then zoom in and see where I'm out of time or out of tune. That helps direct my practice to focus on the phrases needing improvement. I use Melodyne for accurate tuning feedback as well as BIAB primarily for timing accuracy. I can then record again and again and measure my improvement technically. (My wife gives feedback on expressiveness, too).
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,920
I don’t want to get distracted spending all my time learning computer stuff so lately I’ve found piano backgrounds that are very simplified which I can play to or sing to which I love.
The same for me. I like to play and sing not dealing to o much with computer stuff. So I keep it very simple.
Am I allowed to use them if they are for sale and use them to create my own music to share with others?
I/we do so. We are c 20 persons in a recording group and we use backing tracks. We share recordings and backingtracks over e-mail or CD-R, USB memory .....via letter. We don't sell or share recordings/backing tracks with persons that are not in our recording group. We do the same with sheet music.
These wiki loops were suggested to me but I don’t know what songs they are or what instruments are used.
I think Wiki Loops are great. Thanks Wade Cornell!. Fun to play along.

Backing tracks are good if you want to learn a song or a style. Some of the guys in our recording group don't have internet. Some guys prefers to be "un-connected" and others don't have any internet. I don't have any fast connection. My wife buy and download music at her office and take it over to a USB memory.
  • Maybe you can have a friend with a fast connection that can buy and download music files and send them to you. You need a some kind of computer with a media player. The CD-R or the USB memory holds the music and the computer is just playing the music. To download music to the hard on the computer you need a powerful computer and also a internet connection.
  • I use a PA, SM 57 or 58 type of microphone and a Zoom 1 when I record. It's very simple. No fancy recording kit, headphones .... just blow or sing in the same way as if I was on a local jam. But all recordings are done in MP3 format.

Good luck.
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
Subscriber
Messages
6,360
What ‘small print’ are you talking about or is that a nudge, nudge, wink, wink type of thing?

If you buy a book with backing tracks, such as the Abersold books, I would expect that it will say how you can use the tracks.
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
Subscriber
Messages
6,360
If you are starting out with recording, then I suggest that you forget about Band In A Box for now and just use iReal Pro. It is cheap, it works fine on your phone, you can easily change speed and key and there are thousands of songs available.
 

Nikki

Formerly SaxyNikki
Subscriber
Messages
972
You guys are worth your weight in gold.
I’ve learned SO much here that I can’t thank you enough. That’s ALL so very helpful. Thank you.
 

eb424

Member
Messages
615
the one i use is karaoke version they're about £2 but you can take out instruments you don't want. I would say windows works for me because in windows media player you can slow down tracks also you can buy a remote that enables you to stop, start and play, apparrantly foot pedals also work.
 

Nikki

Formerly SaxyNikki
Subscriber
Messages
972
the one i use is karaoke version they're about £2 but you can take out instruments you don't want. I would say windows works for me because in windows media player you can slow down tracks also you can buy a remote that enables you to stop, start and play, apparrantly foot pedals also work.
Wow. Where have I been when all this has been happening. Currently most of it flies over my head but I seriously want to share my music so really need to learn to do this. It’s become a longing!
Now that I’m playing the soprano as well as singing, it’s so much more fun. I’m thinking I could even do harmony stuff which would be like ‘over the moon.’ I’m so excited.

Last night I got my husband to play a back track song by Adele and it was just piano. Its not stellar quality but it’s good enough for me to practice with. I’m a fairly good singer with great pitch but I’m not comfortable with being exactly dead on. Singing acapella then adding a sax solo and staying perfectly in pitch is quiet challenging in complex long songs. This is like Christmas every day of the week now. :sax:
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
8,107
Unfortunately without a computer and internet access your options are quite limited. One possibility you might explore is to download a Karaoke app on your iphone. There are several available. Along with that you can purchase a speaker that works with apple airplay that you can listen to the music tracks and play or sing along. I am just a novice with all of this iphone mumbo jumbo, but I suspect there are other members with more experience who can offer more detail.
 
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