Five Backing Track Courses
Five Backing Track Courses
I want to dig inside the five backing track courses on the Muse Eek Publishing Inc. website in this post to discuss some of the features that make them special. Each of the five backing track courses have some unique features that you won’t find in other jam track packages. I thought a brief discussion of each of the five backing track courses could be enlightening educationally.
Backing Tracks are Not Easy to Make
First, I’ve got to say that making jam tracks isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do. This is probably one of the reasons why you see such high prices for other packages. Programming drums, keyboards, bass and other instruments is very time consuming, and then making them in all keys can bring up transposition concerns like an instrument going out of its usual range. Because this kind of programming is tedious, a short phase or progression is often simply looped by the creator; that’s why with other jam tracks, you might end up with a track that becomes boring pretty fast.
Diversity in the Five Backing Track Courses
I also find that 99.9% of jam tracks don’t cover some of the more interesting chords and scales that an improvisor should know and use. As I mentioned in my previous email, if you are not exposed to for instance, the sounds of Harmonic Major, Pitch Class Set Chords etc… How do you expect to instantly recognize and play along with these things? The answer is, you won’t be able to, until you do a lot of further work. So for no other reason than that, it is worth working with these Jam Tracks so that you improve your harmonic palette and/or expand your melodic palette by improvising over them.
About Each of the Five Backing Track Courses
Jam Tracks Volume One gives you all the chords you need to improvise over the 22 scales most commonly used in improvisation. It has long been the package I first recommend because the chord progressions are easy to hear and the grooves are simple enough not to throw a beginner off course. The same can be said of Jam Track Volume Five.
Jam Tracks Volume Two is unique because it uses pitch class sets within rock chord progressions. This doesn’t make it weird sounding, but it does introduce your ear to fresh sounds that hopefully will influence your playing and writing after working with the tracks. Many of these tracks come from my Heavy Metal recording Vanishing Point which puts the highly versatile pitch class sets into a heavy rock setting. This doesn’t mean you have to improvise with pitch class sets the way I do on Vanishing Point, it just means you are introducing your ear to some new sounds, which is always a good thing.
Jam Tracks Volume Three again gives you progressions to apply using all 22 scales but the big difference is it also uses much more rhythmically advanced drum patterns. Working with these tracks will go a long way toward keeping you from getting lost rhythmically if a drummer starts using a lot of fills and complex drum patterns. This is an important collection of tracks that will help you head off any problem you might have after joining a band with an advanced drummer.
Jam Tracks Volume Four works with the 7 modes of Harmonic Major. You might think “why do I need that scale?” Well, if you are working with secondary dominant chords you will definitely need this scale; it is commonly used for “V7 of VI” and “V7 of II” to name just a few applications. The whole Harmonic Major scale can be harmonized using a chord built with a half step and a tritone. i.e. 016 pitch class set. Listen to some of these tracks. They are great for introducing the Harmonic Major modes and adding a new sound to your palette.
Jam Track Volume Five actually goes back to super simple tracks. I call it Pure Country Jam Tracks because many of the tracks have that simplicity found in much of Country Music. These tracks cover the modes of major which arguably will be the scales you use most, so they are great for this application. They also evolve throughout the track. There are many instruments involved and I personally played through every track in every key so you have highly individualized tracks in all keys.
I hope this helps you appreciate the wide variety of styles and concepts that have been put into five backing track courses. Jam Tracks are fun and an important part of applying everything you learn on your instrument. I highly recommend using them everyday.
Bruce Arnold Music Education Genealogy Chart
You might enjoy checking out the “Music Education Genealogy Chart” located on my artist’s site. You will clearly see the historic progression of pedagogy that is the basis for Muse Eek Publishing Products. Great musicians throughout history have been studying the ideas presented by Muse-eek.com which derives its content from a a lineage that stretches back to Scarlatti!