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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Practice tracks

Practicing with a metronome or click is very helpful in laying down a solid groove and getting things tight in the studio. Sometimes playing along with a drum track or loop works even better for many players, as the groove is more natural sounding.

To practice playing guitar with the Zydeco rhythm of “Yes Indeed,” I felt it would be better to play with a drum track, but when I originally created the track for the song, I did it at a tempo slightly slower than we play it at now. To correct that, I made a copy of the Garageband file, removed the guitar and vocal tracks, left the digital drum track, changed the tempo numeric, and the program automatically made the adjustment to the drums. Now I had something I could sing and play to.

Jane also wanted a rhythm track to practice accordion to, but with basic instrumentation and lead vocal. I created an empty digital track for bass and manually created a simple bass line. Then I created another blank track, sat at the computer with my guitar and sang the song. Viola! Jane had a rough track at the right tempo that she could use for her own rehearsal.

Modern technology is not always at odds with traditional roots music!

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