By: Kevin Stroud
If you have played in a band or with other musicians you will know that there is no better buzz than when you play a song as a group and it just comes together and sounds just as good as the original.
However, most singers and musicians will tell you that this comes at a price, as to be able to experience this musical high, you have to find musicians to make up your band, which is far easier said than done, when you take into account that ideally you have to live reasonably close to each other, like the same music, be at a similar skill level, and of course be able to get on together.
Sounds easy enough, but if you live in a remote area, where there is not an abundance of musicians, this can become a mammoth task which will often lead to frustration and disappointment.
If you can’t find musicians in your area and still want the sound and feel of playing with other musicians you could consider using a backing track as there are many to be found on the internet nowadays.
There are literally thousands of jam tracks as they are known that are basically chord progressions of music repeated over and over so that you can practice improvising your guitar solo’s too.
Whilst these are great practice aids to help with your improvisation skills, when learning a new song it can be very beneficial to practice playing along to a backing track of that song before you meet up with the band for live rehearsals, or to just play along to if you are not in a band.
A great form of backing track to play along to is one which includes vocals, as many available online do not give this option and you find yourself having to sing along in your head so that you don’t loose your place in the song, not so good if you can’t sing and want to truly focus on your playing.
Try using a backing track that contains vocals and see how much easier it is to just concentrate on your playing, which will help you to develop your technique and sense of timing, and is much more fun.
Also there are now recordings in a multitrack format which are basically the studio masters of a song and are much like a backing track, but much more versatile as they include every instrument and vocal of the song and can be played in any music editing software, which also then gives you complete control over every element of the song.
For example, if you wanted to learn a particular guitar part, you could simply mute all of the other instruments in the song to isolate the guitar part that you want to learn and then use your music editors functions to slow the guitar track down, or loop a section of it so that it repeats over and over so that you can hear exactly what notes are being played by the guitar.
This particular type of backing track has become very popular with music teachers as the multitracks are so versatile and are ideal for helping to teach guitar, bass, or drums, as you can isolate any instrument and any part of a song enabling you to get a better understanding of how it is played.
If you enjoy playing guitar, bass, or drums, it is certainly worth checking out backing tracks, or a multitrack that gives you the option to have vocals included in the song as it makes the whole experience of playing much more enjoyable.
I have been a guitarist and lover of classic rock for many years now and really enjoy playing guitar with other musicians. I have also created a web-site where you can find a Backing Track to suit you.