Singing solos to backing tracks

TwangTwang New
in Gypsy Jazz 101 Posts: 415

Recently watched something on YouTube where the guy recommended singing solos to backing tracks in the car. He emphasised singing chord tones and outlining the changes.

Anyone any thoughts or experiences with this?



  • pdgpdg ✭✭
    Posts: 470

    Sounds like a good idea!

    Sometimes I do that without a backing track. I just sing the 1-3-5-7 of each chord by myself, as slowly as I want (I don't worry about the key). And sometimes I just try to sing the "3" (third) of each chord (not so easy).

  • TwangTwang New
    Posts: 415

    Wow, I’m impressed. I just tried it with All of me. I can sort of do it. Struggled with singing only thirds. I find that without an instrument I start going sharp quite quickly.

  • mac63000mac63000 Tacoma, WANew Geronimo Mateos Jazz B
    Posts: 248

    Seems valid to me! I feel like I'm more proficient at whistling (that counts, right?) over something than I am playing over chord changes. Maybe just a question of truly knowing/hearing the notes on the guitar. I can tell you what/where they all are, but hitting the notes consistently over changes is sometimes a challenge.

  • DeuxDoigts_TonnerreDeuxDoigts_Tonnerre Lawrenceville GA USANew Stringphonic #503 Basic, Altamira M30D, Eastman AR810CE, Giannini Craviola
    Posts: 56

    I hadn't thought about doing that.

    I will sometimes scat the solos as I am accompanying myself on rhythm guitar. If I know the lyrics I will sing a chorus or two as well over my le pompe rhythm playing.

  • Posts: 50

    who's driving the car then???

  • TwangTwang New
    edited May 2022 Posts: 415

    I need to find a deaf chauffeur 🤔

  • bbwood_98bbwood_98 Brooklyn, NyProdigy Vladimir music! Les Effes. . Its the best!
    Posts: 674

    I'll go one or two steps past that recommendation.

    I have found that singing things is one of the keys to getting one's own sound. I try to sing transcriptions, to prove I know them (even if slower then tempo). But more, put a backing track on and either record or try to remember your a solo you've sung, and then learn it on the guitar! I sometime (every few months) try this again, and hope to see some development in ideas that I have been working on. I find this a great way to find your individual voice as an improviser, and to avoid shred, licks and so on (because we as guitarists will be unlikely to able to sing shred lines or even solid licks at tempo . . )

    Some other things you can sing beyond arpeggios - scales up and down over chords or sections, scales up and down to the third of something (Ie. C major from g-g to the third of e - G a b c d e f g f e d c b a G#) and so on. Also, alternating major and dominant 7 chords, singing up to the 9, singing just the 7th of each chord as a guide tone. This list goes on forever. The main thing (for me) is hearing interesting melodies, and learning to react to them as a chordal player in some way (often just rhythmically, but sometimes to alter chords as well).

    Not just for the car - great for the practice room, or if you don't mind the finny looks the subway, the walking in the park/street. . . whatever!


  • Posts: 4,784

    I always had this...thing, problem... inner voice can create nice lines but if I try to make those audible, I lose the original ideas, just don't hear it anymore. Anyone else experience this?

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • RipRip olympia, washingtonNew
    Posts: 339

    Buco, what's interesting about you creating nice inner lines, is that you didn't need any music theory to do it. This proves that it's natural! What I try to do is to play just one notes until it syncs up with my inner voice and only then do I add another note. If I lose the connection, then I go back to syncing up the one note.

  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,858

    For me it seems to work best to just let my subconscious mind and muscle memory choose the notes while my conscious mind stands aside and listens.

    Weird but it works for me.

    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
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