Performing with Backing Tracks

casscass Pennsylvania New AJL XO, DuPont MD100, Gitane DG255
in Technique Posts: 18
Does anyone here gig using backing tracks? In my location I'm having a difficult time finding players interested learning this style. I have been looking for a few years with no luck. Thanks!


  • wimwim ChicagoModerator Barault #503 replica
    Posts: 1,459
    Absolutely not, and I cringe any time I see someone do that - even street buskers. It's totally naff.
  • I had to look up what naff meant and had a good laugh.
  • Posts: 4,812
    Maybe you can ask @djon
    He wasn't gonna use backing tracks, he was considering using a looper with long memory capability and build a rhythm track on the fly and then play a trumpet lead on the top of it. Not sure if ever tried it in practice.

    Naff, lame or otherwise, sometimes you are out of options and need to get creative. If it's the only way to get you out playing in public, go for it.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • ScoredogScoredog Santa Barbara, Ca✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 879
    Occasionally as a favor i'll do an old age home, I'll use backing tracks then.
  • BonesBones Moderator
    edited April 2016 Posts: 3,320
    I saw Victor Wooten in concert (with Bella Fleck) where the rest of the band went off stage and he did a solo bass thing with a multi-track loop deal. Pretty effing amazing.
  • spudspud paris, france✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 101
    I Have a friend who when busking alone uses à loop pedal. He does rythme and whistles the theme the first round and then solos over The top. I think its the less naff option (and a good way to practice ).
  • crookedpinkycrookedpinky Glasgow✭✭✭✭ Alex Bishop D Hole, Altamira M & JWC D hole
    Posts: 922
    I tried it once but found the backing tracks needed editing to get the balance right, sometimes too much bass or not enough. Then there's the problem with tempo, structure and length. After that I found it easier to record my own rhythm tracks. Which ever way I'd rather not use the looper or backing tracks but it may be that's the only option for some people.
    always learning
  • casscass Pennsylvania New AJL XO, DuPont MD100, Gitane DG255
    Posts: 18
    Thank you everyone for your comments! I agree backing tracks can seem lame, but I find I'm in a situation where I need to get out performing. Maybe I'll be able to attract some interest that way. The looper idea is interesting too. Thanks again!
  • BonesBones Moderator
    edited April 2016 Posts: 3,320
    The looper can be fun too. Lay down a bass line, then a rhythm track and then start soloing. You have to be spot on with the pedal when you end the chorus or there will be a weird duration beat at the beginning of the subsequent choruses of course.
  • AppelAppel ✭✭✭
    edited April 2016 Posts: 78
    It might be a crummy thing to do if there are other people to play with, and using backing tracks are allowing you to avoid the pain of making those connections ... because sometimes connecting can be painful at first ... and avoiding that pain is absolutely weak, even a shameful thing. No question!

    But I am in an area where there are NO other players, and I am considering doing exactly what you are proposing. Why not? I have a family member who is a performing musician, and he has gone solo, in a completely different style, and makes a decent living by singing and playing along to backing tracks.

    He makes it right with himself by creating the tracks completely by himself. When I can, I've gone over and very proudly contributed some rhythm guitar for him ~ that is what has given me the idea for my own playing.

    I would love to agree with those who are putting down the idea, but in this strange world, it really depends on your own context. A looper is a nice idea (I am experimenting with one of those, too) but I'm personally open-minded about backing tracks.

    I would not buy some pre-recorded backing track, tho' ... not even to practice to!

    Perhaps it is better to try to make them creative - make something new out of them. I don't know. I'm going to just try my best, given the opportunities that I can create and my own limited context, and let my spirit tell me what is right. I wish you the best in your own work, as well.

    Just ... find a way to get your music out there. Whatever you have to do.
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