Tutorials

Beginner Suggestion for Beginners - Backing Tracks

Jeanette

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I was recently set an exercise to learn from one of my books by my tutor. It was only a short piece and I decided as I really don't enjoy playing with a metronome to ask @Chris if he could do me a short backing track to play along to with a good strong drum beat.

I sent him the dots and very swiftly received the backing track at two speeds.

It was really useful and made playing much more fun so if you are in the same situation please do contact Chris there is only a small fee half of which is donated to the café.

More info re backing tracks here

Jx
 
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Jeanette

Jeanette

Organizress
Cafe Moderator
Messages
25,527
I have since asked @Chris for a shortened version of the song of the month, Chestnuts, which he put together very quickly for me and also added a second version with a melody guide track. (I know you can't tell from my recording but it did help) :)

He has also done me a backing track for scale practise.

So if you are struggling with anything backing track wise please don't forget this service is available as it is a great resource.


Jx
 

jbtsax

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I used to use an amplified drum machine with pre-programmed beats with my band classes all the time when practicing scales and other exercises. The kids thought it was great fun. They didn't know I was tricking them into playing with a "metronome". I do the same thing now using Band-In-A-Box when I am practicing my jazz scales and modes. It is great tool.
 

Matthew Smith

New Member
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15
I used to use an amplified drum machine with pre-programmed beats with my band classes all the time when practicing scales and other exercises. The kids thought it was great fun. They didn't know I was tricking them into playing with a "metronome". I do the same thing now using Band-In-A-Box when I am practicing my jazz scales and modes. It is great tool.
if you have the iReal app, that's great too - you can turn up and down the instruments so you can play with just the kit. You can change tempo and styles too
 
Messages
47
IReal is great, there is also one called "Jazz Session Band" which is okay although you have to program/input all the changes yourself, which can be useful or a pain.

Jamie Abersold is always a good option
 

Woland

Member
Messages
101
I like Drumgenius app better than plain metronome. I just started on sax but for guitar practice I prefer working with just drums. I practice comping (different set of strings and positions) until I know the progression well then I play embellished melody. Then make up my own melody. The trick is that you can just play single note line against the drum and outline harmony. And because I keep making mistakes backup track only gets in the way. With drums only I can immediately rewind e.g. to the beginning of the bridge and try my improvised phrase again. With backup track I have to wait for the part to come around again. From that point of view iReal Pro is somewhere in the middle as it makes it easy to loop just few bars at a time.
 

Al Ex

Member
Messages
65
I recently tried "CoffeeBreakGroovse": they offer a sample track when subscribing to their newsletter. I finally found some time to practice this afternoon, and tried the blues backtrack I got for free. I found it quite nice to play along, so I decided to get a few more tracks tonight (each one of them is 15 minutes long). I chose one smooth jazz, one blues and one jazz title. I'll let you know when I try them.

What led me to this choice is that I currently have very little time to practice between my weekly lesson, so I asked my teacher if we could work on improvisation and put aside my regular training with a method for a few months.

I have to admit that playing along a backtrack (I chose them with slow tempos) allows me to work my scales and long notes in a different way which I find quite pleasing.
 

Bandicoot

New Member
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2
Have a look on you tube, there loads of sheet music with backing tracks. I just plug my tablet into and amplifier.
 

Jazzaferri

Well-Known Member
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2,616
I use BIAB to work out phrase ideas. Set the chord progression you want and you can loop it vary speed, vary feels and even set it to trade fours with algorithms of famous players soloing.
 

MiM

New Member
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1
Hey guys, I am playing the tenor saxophone and recently re-started playing the instrument. So, at the moment, I focus on improvising with a blues scale (e.g. C Blues scale) and without backing.

I thought that it would be nice to have a backing track, however I do not know what the right backing tracks are, e.g. for a C Blues scale. Can you help me with that problem? What is the rule behind identifying the backing that matches a particular blues scale for tenor sax? So far, I have tried backing songs in C and in Bb but they didnt fit well:

C:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axTQ3Tg9io8&t=87s

Bb:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ae_tBkCqeQ
)
 

jbtsax

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7,779
Two ideas: The tenor sax is a "transposing instrument". That means that when you play the note "C" it is the same as Bb on the piano or "concert" Bb as it is called. When you are playing your
C blues scale the chord changes need to be in the key of Bb concert.

The blues backing track you posted is one of the many variations on the blues changes that add interest and variety to the harmony. Your "basic" blues scale is not going to fit well over the changes that are different from the "basic" blues chord progression. These are the chords in bar 6, 8, 9, 10, 11. Some of the different "standard" blues progressions are the ones shown below that don't include diminished, half diminished chords or ii - V - I changes.

1582304023956.png
 

hedgehog

I love singletrack.
Subscriber
Messages
260
Hey guys, I am playing the tenor saxophone and recently re-started playing the instrument. So, at the moment, I focus on improvising with a blues scale (e.g. C Blues scale) and without backing.

I thought that it would be nice to have a backing track, however I do not know what the right backing tracks are, e.g. for a C Blues scale. Can you help me with that problem? What is the rule behind identifying the backing that matches a particular blues scale for tenor sax? So far, I have tried backing songs in C and in Bb but they didnt fit well:

C:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axTQ3Tg9io8&t=87s

Bb:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ae_tBkCqeQ
)
There are several good backing tracks here. Also, some comments on how to use them and several books are available (Taming The Saxophone).
 

BigMartin

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,875
Can I just put in a word for the humble metronome? Playing with a metronome forces you to focus on your time without distractions. A drum pattern will fill in the intermediate beats and off-beats and you can come to rely on it. Metronome is less enjoyable, perhaps but possibly miore instructive in some ways. The less I'm enjoying playing something with a metronome (on 2 and 4, say), the more I realise I need it.
 

randulo

Playing alto 2 ⅓ years
Subscriber
Messages
4,136
Can I just put in a word for the humble metronome?
What you said is excellent advice, although I don't do it as much as I should. All of the best musicians I've known, including teachers, would agree with playing with a metronome whether you have good time or not. (Not just to improve bad time.) However, it won't do anything for playing over changes which is what backing tracks are for. If your musical hearing is good, you can imagine the changes in your head with the metronome, but it still doesn't really exercise that part of your music. On the contrary, working with slow-moving held chords, such as on a piano or guitar will do that. Somewhere, someone must have recorded that or you can record your own with a computer or a real instrument. Also, the initial suggestion of Band in a Box is a good one, or Garage Band in the world of Mac, which comes free with Apple hardware.
 
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