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Beginner Play along CDs, why do players wear headphones?


Well-Known Member
worcester england
Hi, probably an obvious question to most, but I play along to Aebersold etc, and find I have to hike the backing music up high, otherwise I cant hear it over my 'playing' so eventualy the overall volume of me and the cd player is quite loud. Is this what the headphones are for?
I find that too. Naturally you need to hear a good balance of yourself and the track. When playing I like to hear possibly more of the track (especially drums) in relation to my playing than an audience might want to hear.

headphones are useful, and a good trick is to play with one headphone on and one off, though some playalongs have different things in the left and right side.
Works for me that way. I actually use noise reducing ones, which affect the sax tone, but make things a lot easier on the ear. Probably also stops another problem - the mic picking up the backing track wth the sax - ideally you want them separate.
I just turn up the backing. I don't see it as a problem. It's considerably quieter than any of the bands I've ever played in - acoustic or electric.
I play through my speakers while practising, you do need nice loud speakers though, mine are pretty much at full volume! When I'm recording I use my headphones.
I don't like to play with headphones. I'm using a small PA when I'm using backing tracks. When I record myself, which doesn't happen too often, I use a Zoom H1 or H4. Easy to use. I use a Shure SM 57 microphone that I plug into the PA.

I also want more drums on my backing track. My son use to help me to add drum sound (sampled) to the backing tracks. Playing Rockax I prefer loud fat drums.

I only use headphones when recording. Which reminds me, its about time I did some...
I use cheap tacky headphones, that way they don't cut the sound of the sax too much bit give a decent rendition of the backing track. I leave the pc speakers on too so it sounds reasonable for the eavesdroppers :)

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