MGA Chat #4
Practicing to backing tracks is a GREAT routine you should stick to, at least a couple of times per week. It can be done in so many different ways. In this MGA Chat #4, I’ll give you a few ideas.
Here are some other areas you can focus on, when playing along to backing tracks:
- Picking technique: focus on accurately playing one note, two notes, three notes, four notes on one string. Start with 1/4 notes and later try 1/8 and perhaps 1/16 notes. Also practice hammer-ons/pull-offs, staccato and legato, sliding and other techniques too, such as raking and muting, etc.
- Timing: this relates to the previous one! In fact, they go hand in hand. Focus on moving between 1/4 notes,1/4 notes triplets, 1/8 notes, 1/8 note triples,1/16 notes, 1/16 notes triplets, and play any lick or even just one note. Focus on locking in with the tempo.
- Scales: guess what – the previous two tips can be practiced in with this one! Play part of the scale, or the whole scale. Play it in different areas on the neck, using different note values as mentioned previously.
- Tone: play along to the track with different tones. You can try adding delay or reverb, clean and overdriven tone, using chorus or vibe, using humbuckers and single-coil guitars. R
- RECORD YOURSELF: I’m probably sounding like a broken record, because I’m known to utter “record yourself, record yourself, record yourself” more than once… and for good reason! Do record yourself as you implement steps 1-4. Then, you listen back and look for the details upon which you can improve. It’s let you be the producer! You need to be aware of the fact that humans are not able to be a “fly on the wall” and listen to one’s own playing, as an audience member would. We are too focused on what we are doing on the guitar. By recording and listening later, you change your mindset from playing/creating to listening/taking in. Be aware of this.