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Play along tracks

Hello everyone, I wanted to talk a little bit about play along tracks both in terms of what they are and how they can benefit your practice routine. I first learned about this type of recording in college when they were called ‘minus one’ recordings. These are recordings of songs that are absent the instrument the student plays. In our case these will be guitar play along tracks. The idea is that you will learn the song and then practice along with the recording. This can simulate the experience of practicing with real musicians. This is particularly useful when you are working on improvisational music. Examples of that could include very basic pentatonic blues based improvisation or very advanced modal jazz. There are a lot of examples of these recordings available on YouTube. They are easily searchable by key, tempo and feel. So for example you might search for: Blues guitar play along track, key of A, shuffle. You’ll find lots of examples if you try this. Some will be better than others in terms of production value. One aspect of these recordings I’m most concerned with is the use of a real drummer instead of programmed drums. This makes the experience of playing along with these tracks much more enjoyable and closer to the experience of playing with actual human beings, which is really the goal here. While no play along track will replace the experience of playing music with other people, the tracks can really help move things along for students, especially during this time when so much of what we’re doing is remote. Please have a look at this website under the resources sections for links to a few play along tracks to help you get started.

Until next time, please stay safe and keep playing.


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