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  • How To Play Along To The Backing Track…

    Posted by Tanglewood Tel on January 19, 2022 at 2:11 pm

    I’ve just completed tonights lick but I’m struggling to learn how to play along to the backing track. I don’t mean this actual lick or backing track, I mean any lick and backing track, I can’t as yet work out how to mix the two together.

    I understand the backing track plays and we play along to it, but I can’t seem to keep up with it BUT mainly I never know when to join in and at what part and what part of the lick to play, although I do understand that we break it up and pause at certain times. I guess it’s a listening exercise of knowing when and where to join in.

    If we have a tutorial here that shows how this is done, can someone direct me to it please, as I’d much appreciate any help to show me why I’m confused.

    I know this might be so easy to understand for some of us, (I believe I need to slow everything down to start with until I’m getting the hang of it) but I am seriously lost and would love to learn this as it seems a really exciting exercise to master. Many thanks in advance and much appreciated.

    the-old-coach replied 2 years, 2 months ago 8 Members · 19 Replies
  • 19 Replies
  • Berndog

    Member
    January 19, 2022 at 8:28 pm

    Sorry Terry B, I cant offer you any advice coz I have exactly the same problem – “I can’t as yet work out how to mix the two together.” Maybe a more experienced TACer out there will chime in with an answer to your question and help both of us (and probably lots of others too!).

    • Tanglewood Tel

      Member
      January 20, 2022 at 12:24 pm

      hey @Berndog I knew that I wouldn’t be the only one lost on this subject and scratching my head now and feeling a right doughnut Weary I believe this is improvisation and ive only been learning guitar for about 12 years, but maybe i’m mistaken and that still doesn’t help us out. But Loraine has left a message so hopefully this will help 🙏

  • Loraine

    Member
    January 19, 2022 at 9:16 pm

    Hi Terry, I have difficulty too, but basically play notes of the scale against the backing track, and if it sounds good, it is good. You can play any notes or chords that you think sound good, and not in any particular order. Just noodle with the notes of the scale at first, and then as you become more accomplished you can embellish.

    • Tanglewood Tel

      Member
      January 20, 2022 at 12:50 pm

      @Loraine you’ve just answered an area of my question that I never even thought of and the light bulb moment was when I read “and not in any particular order”, now this makes so much sense. I’ve been trying to play the EXACT sequence of what Tony has been getting us to learn, i.e. the lick in the exact forward or backward sequence, playing every note in the correct order.

      Can you see how I’ve been struggling, even though Tony teaches great licks, playing them exactly the same whilst improvising is watching paint dry.

      WOW this is such a massive light bulb moment for me, just pick 4 or 5 of the scale notes out and play them and then pick the right sounding moment 3 or maybe 4 seconds later to play any of the other scale notes. If you’re struggling with this @Berndog use a metronome and slow it down and then try it. If its still to fast slow the metronome down even more or more or more, even if its 50bpm, who cares, as long as you play along no matter how slow it is and the timing is nice and smooth, then eventually you’ll add the notes and for me… I won’t want to stop

      Then start doing the occasional slide or bend, nothing major (no pun intended) to start with, just some little extra add on sounds to make it your own. @Loraine, you are an absolute diamond. For you maybe, this is just natural stuff, but for me, @Berndog and any other members reading this that questioned the same struggle, will now also have the same light bulb moment.

      @Loraine, priceless thanks

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by  Terry B.
    • ted_h

      Member
      January 20, 2022 at 1:57 pm

      Loraine is right on!

      If you’re finding the backing track to be a little too speedy, you can download it and then use a piece of software to change the tempo and loop it so you can keep on riffing. I use something called “Capo” on the Mac, but I’m sure there’s something analogous if you’re using Windows

      • Tanglewood Tel

        Member
        January 20, 2022 at 3:04 pm

        @ted_h, we have GarageBand on our Macs and I’ve never thought of using that incredible priceless software to loop back and fourth, you’ve just made my excitement levels go through the roof 😀 Now to down load to my GB 👍

  • docteny

    Member
    January 25, 2022 at 1:25 am

    Yes, I agree that you should try and play any of the notes in the licks, not in any particular order and move around the fretboard incorporating pullouts, hammer ons and slides. Also does anyone know how Garage Band works as I have a Mac also. Sometimes it is hard to remember which notes to play in the progressions if you are not playing the in order, but I think practice will help. Thanks for the ideas, members

    • Tanglewood Tel

      Member
      January 26, 2022 at 1:22 pm

      Well I’m still trying to work out how to use Garage Band 😆

  • albert_d

    Member
    January 25, 2022 at 9:23 am

    You are on the road to improv. Good light bulb moment.

  • the-old-coach

    Member
    January 26, 2022 at 6:59 pm

    Terry- I also have trouble “joining on to” the moving backing track. Maybe I’m just doing it wrong, but my problem seems to be STARTING. I can play the scale just fine, but it doesn’t sound to me like every part of the scale goes with every part of the track, so just starting “anywhere” doesn’t sound as good as when you are “in sync” with the track.(?) Sometimes I’ll wait till the very first part of the scale “matches” with the “restart” of the track.

    Heck – I dunno- but I have quite a time with those, too!

    I maybe think it would be easier if the backing track had the same kind-of “strum four times on deadened strings- like the “Play” videos always do. Then maybe at least we’d know when to start- right from the top.

    Maybe I just have it all messed-up- (actually a fairly good chance of that).

    This is a great thread– thanks for asking the question!

    Mark J

    • Tanglewood Tel

      Member
      January 27, 2022 at 11:18 am

      Hi @mkjohnsons and thanks for adding your thoughts as well as struggles. What I have done is just grabbed two or three notes of the lick I can play reasonably ok at the same tempo as the lick. Forget about playing all of the lick, just grab two or three notes. Then go through them notes as many times as you need and even jumble them up. Maybe play them back to front if you like, there’s no set pattern and we don’t have to play the notes in the same order as the lick even.

      Then when you’re ready, just play one of the notes at any given point along the lick (you can stop and start and leave gaps if you like, you haven’t got to play the note or notes continuously, just throw it in when you think your ready and after a while add two notes when your ready, either together or separated. Try this continuously and add more notes from the lick when you’re ready and surpisingly very soon, you’ll be adding lots of various notes from the lick.

      Maybe it’s because your adding the notes slowly because you’re learning and that is why it doesn’t sound right, but just carry on getting use to adding any of the notes and gradually as you get faster (no rush at speed) they will sound more natural. Then when you’re ready, try the odd slide or bend now and then to give the sound some flavour.

      I may be wrong, but I believe that if the lick notes and the backing track are both in the same scale, then it doesn’t matter what order you add the notes, it will all sound great. I hope I’m correct at what I’ve told you here, because that’s what I’m doing and everything sounds fun and that’s what we all want you to have, so persevere and see how you get on, my best wishes to you as you practice 👍

      • the-old-coach

        Member
        January 27, 2022 at 3:49 pm

        Terry, Doc, Loraine-

        You know…. now that I think about it….. I don’t think I EVER got the real “jist” of the backing track and playing along with it. As I said, I could do the scale easily backwards and forwards- but only just off the tab info. But playing along?— Fuggedaboudit.

        Guilty- I remember trying it with the backing track probably close to a year ago- (right after I started TAC)- and got frustrated with it I guess- and never gave it a serious look after that. Shoulda stayed with it…..

        I think I was lookin’ at it all wrong- that I had to play the scale complete, start-to-finish, from the VERY BEGINNING. And what I thought was the beginning— was “gone” by the time heard it!- So I was always starting “late”. That’s where the “strum deadened strings 4 times like the “Play” videos” came from.

        I’m gonna use your techniques and ideas from here on- just noodlin’ around WITHIN that backing track- throwin’ in whatever comes to my mind.

        Hey– it only took me a year- cuz I are a fass lurner 😜

        Thanks again-

        Mark J

      • Tanglewood Tel

        Member
        January 27, 2022 at 8:26 pm

        Remember the golden rule @mkjohn, have fun and if you think you have two left hands, just start laughing and know that there’s always an easy answer, keep your playing therapeutic and know that you’re further in your knowledge and skills than you were the last time you played… ain’t it great 😃

      • the-old-coach

        Member
        January 28, 2022 at 10:59 am

        👍

  • Cadgirl

    Member
    January 27, 2022 at 12:36 pm

    Well, it’s nice to hear that I’m not the only one that can’t figure out how to use the backing track correctly. I guess misery loves company. I feel a lot better now.

    • Tanglewood Tel

      Member
      January 27, 2022 at 1:53 pm

      🤣 That made me smile and laugh so much, ahhhh bless ya, isn’t this hobby and community great therapy 😀

      • Cadgirl

        Member
        January 28, 2022 at 4:56 am

        Yes, it is. I do look forward to the community posts. 🙂

      • Tanglewood Tel

        Member
        January 28, 2022 at 10:42 am

        Completely agree 👍

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