17 November 2010

3 Reasons To Make Your Own Jam Tracks

Jam tracks are a wonderful tool to learn guitar with. Jam tracks train you to play in time, show up wrong notes in your licks and solos, and make practice a lot more fun. It's easy to find a wealth of great jam tracks recorded by professional musicians in many different musical styles. But while these high-quality tracks are a valuable resource, don't neglect the power of simple jam tracks you can record for yourself with your guitar.

When you make your own jam tracks you'll oblige yourself to pay attention to the timing of your rhythm guitar playing. Guitar players who play on their own a lot might not notice if their timing varies. But when you try to play along to your rhythm track you'll quickly notice timing problems so you can fix them.

Timing is not the only thing we sometimes get a little lazy about. How often do you make the effort to play a song all the way through without any mistakes? Playing all the way through a three or four minute song on your own is a great way to build endurance and concentration (provided you don't cheat with a looper).

Finally, if you spend much of your practice time soloing over backing tracks you could probably use some extra work on your chord skills. If you have to play a rhythm backing for three or four minutes you'll soon notice gaps in this area. You'll be dying to learn some new chord shapes and picking skills so your next backing won't be so embarrassingly boring.

Let me summarize my three reasons for recording my own backing tracks, at least some of the time.

1. It improves my rhythm guitar timing.

2. It builds endurance and concentration.

3. I learn interesting new chords and accompaniment techniques.

What About You?

Do you make your own backing tracks or simply play along to pre-recorded ones? Do you think making your own backing tracks has benefited you, or is a waste of time? If so, tell us why by clicking the comments link below...

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1 comment:

Chris said...

Great point about timing.

Honestly, I attribute a lot of my development as a guitarist to starting to play with a band very early.

What's the major component of playing with a band? Rhythm and timing and ensemble playing. Of course, if you don't know any other like minded potential band-mates, creating jam tracks is a great way to get some of that experience without a band.

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