Backing Tracks

Discussion in 'General Music & Guitar Learning' started by Mr.Scary, Aug 15, 2019.

  1. Ted_Zeppelin

    Ted_Zeppelin Wot’s...Uh the Deal?

    Nov 15, 2011
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    Just to throw my 2 cents in.... I have hundreds of jam tracks on my computer that I "Jam" along to. The Backing tracks mentioned in the first two posts on this thread let you pick and choose which instruments you want playing for actual songs. Yes, even I use the terms interchangeably, but I do agree that they are two different things. Jam tracks are generic tracks that I improvise leads over. I use backing tracks to help in learning and playing to a specific song.

    Carry on...
    Paleo and JPsuff like this.
  2. Norfolk Bill

    Norfolk Bill norfolk uk, just knoodling along

    Aug 6, 2009
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    ah that makes sense,,didnt think of actual song tracks :)
  3. Jalapeno

    Jalapeno Southeastern Michigan

    Jan 20, 2013
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    Jam tracks, backing tracks, railroad tracks.... just another reason I play solo acoustic guitar these days :ROFLMAO:
    Ted_Zeppelin, MarkDyson and steve o like this.
  4. Paleo

    Paleo Root Finder

    Sep 27, 2013
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    The difference I'm referring to is in why the track was created. Not in how you or I might use it.

    A group goes into a recording studio to record a song.

    In the old days, they would have recorded it "live" with everybody doing their thing all at once. (Usually resulting in a lot of takes.)

    With the advent of multi-tracking, they can now lay down a rhythm track (backing track), usually with drums, bass and maybe some guitar.

    Then they can come back later, either together or separately, and overdub vocals, solos and whatever.

    Now-a-days they can even record each individual thing on a separate track.

    And even email the backing track to other artists anywhere in the world for their input.

    The link provided in the OP is selling (Legally??) actual backing tracks to actual songs that were actually recorded by actual "well known" groups.

    Some groups record backing tracks to use during a performance. This way they can add instruments and parts they wouldn't otherwise be able to play live. Some might even record the main vocal and just sing along (or pretend to sing......Ashlee Simpson on SNL??:rolleyes:).

    (Think of seeing a computer on stage and hearing backup singers that you can't seem to find onstage anywhere.)

    I first saw this sort of thing in college when Josh White Jr gave a "solo" concert backed up by a big ol' reel to reel tape player.

    A jam track is usually a "generic" example of some kind of specific type of progression, usually done by some commercial outfit that records tracks for practicing and working on improvising. They may be in the "style" of some well known song, but they are not the actual backing track used by the original artist.

    Last April we had a challenge learning Griff's song "Someone" from his new CD.

    He provided his actual backing track and our job was to overdub chords, the solos and even vocals, if we wanted to.
    This was not a jam track for improvising our own solo. It was to try to re-create Griff's song, note for note.

    He also has several collections of jam tracks, covering a variety of styles and feels in a variety of keys. These are for improvising.

    Sure you can jam over a backing track and you can overdub parts to a jam track.

    But those weren't the intended purposes they were originally recorded for.

    **A backing track is created for backing and a jam track is created for jamming.**

    Seems too simple.o_O

    Disclaimer: These are not "official" definitions. And I did say there's a difference for anyone who feels "nitpicky".

    And I hadn't seen @Ted_Zeppelin's comment prior to writing this. Otherwise I would have just agreed with him and kept my mouth shut.
    #24 Paleo, Aug 18, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
    Many Moons likes this.
  5. Elio

    Elio Student Of The Blues

    May 4, 2012
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    All of this discussion about pre-recorded tracks being used during live performances is really upsetting. It's bringing back bad memories of the Milli Vanilli scandal. :)
  6. sdbrit68

    sdbrit68 Student Of The Blues

    Oct 13, 2015
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    I always thought a jam track was for me to practice solos over, or playing something to accompany the rhythm

    where as a backing track, and I have a ton of them, is something like..................oh, recently, I decided to learn the hawaii five o theme, so the backing track has all the instruments, and I play the main lick over it type of thing

    Oh, if anyone wants a ton of backing tracks, or jam tracks, let me know, I have a bunch uploaded to my dropbox, shoot me a PM
  7. Paleo

    Paleo Root Finder

    Sep 27, 2013
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    Led Zeppelin didn't create a backing track for Dazed And Confused so that I could have something to jam over.

    Although I can now purchase that very same backing track and do just that.

    Or do a one man tribute show using it to back myself up.

    (Though I wouldn't dare.)

    In the VJR, @Many Moons and @paparaptor often upload backing tracks they created with drums, bass and some rhythm guitar.

    Some may download one of these tracks and use it for jamming.

    Some will overdub some lead and send it back.

    Some will jam to it for awhile, then overdub some lead.

    So I guess while you're jamming it's a jam track and while you're overdubbing it's a backing track.o_O
    #27 Paleo, Aug 19, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019
  8. matonanjin

    matonanjin Chubby, old guy trying to play some blues.

    May 27, 2015
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    Guitar Technique magazine has 4 free jam tracks every monthly issue. I have subscribed to it for years. You do the math.
    I have hundreds (at least approaching 100) of True Fire courses and every course has dozens of jam tracks.
    I purchased BGU's set of jam tracks and True Fire's premium set of 200 jam tracks.
    I purchase the Big Book of Backing Tracks, 200 of them and, to fuel the argument, are actually jam tracks, IMHO :rolleyes:
    I have a bunch (50?) that I purchased from Robert Renman. Some are jam tracks. Some are backing tracks (Black Magic Woman, The Thrill is Gone, etc)
    I have both albums of the Coffee Break Grooves Backing Tracks for Blues, for a total of 16. Which, again, to me are jam tracks.
    This is before considering all the stray jam tracks I have accumulated over the years.

    So if I should ever get to where I think I am ready to try soloing, I'm set!!!;):cool::rolleyes::LOL:
  9. MikeS

    MikeS Allen, TX
    Staff Member

    Apr 29, 2009
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    Top notch, real band (not MIDI) some I only use for practice, but he has created some with just Bass, Drums and rhythm guitar. Some of which I use in my show.
  10. KurtTrampler

    KurtTrampler Blues Newbie

    Jul 5, 2019
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