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Some Backing Tracks From Youtube
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DanielB
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March 21, 2015 - 8:12 am
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General backing tracks are what I usually call the ones that aren't meant to be any song in particular, just patterns that are common in some genre, in a given key and tempo. 

They're fun if you like to improvise or are working on developing improvisation skills, but they also can make practising scales and arpeggios less "boring".

If a track is in say G major, you can usually just play up and down a G Major scale for the whole time, and it will sound at least reasonably ok.  Yeah, folks that know scales and modes can do a lot more than that, but it's a way to practice scales and hear how they work in a musical context that is a bit less "sterile" than just using a metronome.

Sometimes they give the chords being used as well, so even if maybe you can't tell what chord you are hearing by the sound of it yet, you can use the track to work on your arpeggios.

The current Fiddlerman poll got me to thinking about how some of those genres don't have a lot of pieces in the FM.com free sheet music and haven't had backing tracks posted.  So roughly following the ones listed (and some that weren't)..

 

Classical.. Well, orchestral anyway.  

In Em:

in Dm:

 

Country..

In C Major:

In G Major:

 

Bluegrass..

In D Major:

 

Old Time..

Well, I didn't find a lot of generic Old Time jam tracks on youtube.  But the Old Time Jam has plenty to work with for that genre.  Any song you don't already know will work pretty well for a jam track to practice scales and such on.

http://www.oldtimejam.com/wordpress/

 

Rock n Roll..

In C Major:

 

Blues..

In G Major:

 

Jazz..

In A minor:

 

Tango..

Uhh.. I don't know a lot about tangos.  Don't play them much.  But we'll give a try at it with this.  Mostly in A minor, but there are some variations that may be typical for tangos.

 

R&B..

In A minor:

 

And a few "Other"..

Folk in C Major:

Hard Rock/Metal in E minor:

Polka in C Major:

HipHop in A minor:

Dubstep in F# minor:

New Age in D Major:

Reggae in C Major:

Surf in A minor:

 

Well, "other" can be a lot of stuff.. and the violin/fiddle is an extremely versatile instrument.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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StoneDog
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March 21, 2015 - 9:00 am
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These are GREAT!!! > Thanks DanielB > You ROCK!!!!

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BillyG
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March 21, 2015 - 3:01 pm
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 @DanielB - man thank you for the time to find those, and to share.  THANK YOU !  Playing along and improvisng already.

Thanks again !   ^5s at yah for sharing this!

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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coolpinkone
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March 21, 2015 - 3:25 pm
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@cdennyb check these out for jammin with the new 5 string. :)

Daniel... how wonderful.  Thank you so much.

thumbs-up Toniparty **BIG HUG**

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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cdennyb
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March 22, 2015 - 1:08 am
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Wow, as if I didn't already have enough on my "plate"... now these incredible tracks to play with.

Thanks Daniel, Toni....

Time to be creative I guess...dancing

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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DanielB
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March 22, 2015 - 7:16 am
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I'm glad if folks can find some interest or fun in this stuff.  I think it makes scale practice more fun to do, because it makes it sound and feel more like doing "real music".

To make sure it was beginner-friendly, I made it a point to stick to easy keys that most beginners learn early on.  Even that F# minor only looks scary as a name.. it's actually the same notes as the familiar A Major scale.  The E minor is the same notes as you know from G major and the A minor is the same notes that you know from C major..

 

And really, for most genres, being able to play the scale along with a backing track in the same key is right on the doorstep of beginning to be able to improvise.

I do use tracks like these myself to practice scales.  But often after I've practices a scale all the way through a backing track video, then I'll play the video again to improvise and jam through it.. Just making up music as I go along.  I like doing that, one of my favorite musical activities. 

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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Uzi
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March 22, 2015 - 2:18 pm
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Thanks Daniel.  I have found that Jamming along with backing tracks really helps with intonation, since it's immediately evident when the note is off by more than a few  cents.  "Few", of course, depends on one's ear. 

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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DanielB
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April 6, 2015 - 4:14 am
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And just when you thought you were safe, here's a couple backing tracks in yet another genre you can try.  I'm just going to very generally call it "Latin", but hopefully it is understood that like any of the genres already listed, there are many different sub-genres and flavours that can be thought of as being part of the very broad general term.

Flamenco rumba A minor

Ok, well not strictly in A minor, since the E chord being major opens up some other scale possibilities, but you *can* jam to this with a simple A minor scale as well.

And here's one in B minor

 

 

@Uzi: I definitely agree with it helping intonation.  But a thing I have noticed is that how far one can be "off" seems to depend on the genre/style and what instruments are in the accompaniment and how they are mixed. 

To a certain degree, "off" can be intentional and that is not an error.  The violin not having frets allows for expressive possibilities in how we choose to intone.   Push that envelope too far, though, and a listener may wonder if you tuned up before playing or if perhaps you might be trying to play in a different key than the backing. LOL

Vibrato can be a simple example of intentionally going "off" pitch.  It can be a nice embellishment, give particular notes some feel.  But make it too wide and it starts sounding less musical and more like a sound effect from a sci-fi or horror movie.

Backing tracks are a safe way of experimenting with that sort of thing, though.  They don't wince if you try something that really doesn't turn out like you hoped, and they don't go telling all their friends about what a bad session it was.  LOL

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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Fiddlerman
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April 6, 2015 - 7:44 am
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Thanks Daniel :)

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Uzi
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April 6, 2015 - 2:42 pm
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For the last tune,  F# Phrygian mode sounds pretty good. For those that don't know what that is, simply play the same notes as the D major scale, but use F# as the root note, instead of the normal D note as you would for D major. Rock on.

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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Uzi
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Incidentally, while I'm on the topic of the Phrygian mode, I don't know if any of you have interest in this sort of thing, but....

If you've ever wondered about the exotic eastern sounding music that the orchestra plays in the movies, just about every time an oasis appears in the shimmering desert sands, or whenever a gypsy encampment is shown with it's ubiquitous belly-dancing girl undulating provocatively around a fire, here's the secret.

  Often the scale than is being played is the Phryrgian Dominant mode. The Phryigian Mode starts on the 3rd degree of any scale, so for the key of C, for example, that's C:  1. C, 2. D, 3. E.  Therefore, to play an ordinary Phrygian scale against the key of say, A minor, we simply play the same notes we would play if we were playing a C scale C, D, E, F, G, A, B., C)  but we start and end on the E instead of on the C: (E, F, G, A, B, C, D, E) Easy Peazy Lemon Squeezy right?

Now the Phrygian Dominant is almost as easy.  This mode requires us to move the 3rd note of our scale up 1/2 step. The third note is 1. E, 2. F, 3.G, so instead of playing a G we raise that note 1/2 step to G#.  That's it. Our scale, is E-F-G#-A-B-C-D-E and so on up through the next octave. Not too hard at all. Now you are the master of the difficult sounding, but actually quite simple Phrygian Dominant scale. 

Besides using the hard to remember and pedantic sounding name: Phrygian Dominant, this scale is also called the Spanish Gypsy Scale and in Jewish music it's called the Freygish scale.  So enough talk!  Try this with this backing track and depending on what you play see the oasis up ahead, or the Spanish Gypsy girl belly dancing  for a crowd of swarthy onlookers.  When you hit that G# you'll know hear it all come to life. Have fun with it. (Hint: For starters just play E-F-G#-F-E over and over, faster and faster, to the rhythm of the music until you've got that down pat -- you'll hear the Spanish Gypsy sound -- then let your inner-gypsy run free.) 

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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Fiddlerman
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April 6, 2015 - 9:38 pm
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Thanks Uzi. :)

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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DanielB
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April 7, 2015 - 8:53 am
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I do have to post a slight correction.  The person that posted that backing track of Pharaon on youtube made a typo or whatever, since what is being played is an F# major chord, not an F. 

I don't usually even bother looking at the listed chords, since I work from what I'm hearing.  So I didn't notice it until this morning when I happened to be looking at it and went "But that's an F# major, adding a dominant 7th to it for the turnaround if you want the 'gypsy jazz' sort of feel..."

Probably just a typo, and hopefully it didn't mess anybody up who was maybe trying the arpeggios or playing along on the rhythm part.

 

@Uzi:  Sure!  That is a cool option.  Nice one.  There are a lot of options when improvising, and one of the fun things about improv is any time you learn a new scale or bit of theory, you can try applying it in different ways and see what you can make of it.

Some other scales that come to mind for this sort of sound (depending on where you want to take it) would be Hungarian minor (double harmonic minor), Byzantine, or maybe go back to the medieval roots of Flamenco and use a Spanish 8 tone scale.  Or if that oasis is calling, maybe get wild and try tackling an Arabic Maqam since unlike a piano a violin is quite capable doing quarter step pitches.  That's just a few.

My comments on the backing tracks so far as what scale to use are just an option that is simple for maybe beginners who might only know a few scales "by heart" so far.  (Or people that happen to prefer the more simple/direct approaches)  I've tried to stick to backing tracks where one can improvise with scales that most folks learn early on, C, G, D, A, and their relative minors A minor, E minor, B minor, F# minor.

But yeah, there are definitely more options.  Glad to hear you've been having some fun with it, Uzi!

   

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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