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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Harder to Play Along With Recording?

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by tele-rain, Jun 13, 2018.

Is it harder to play along with a record rather than just with your guitar?

  1. Yes, it's harder

    9 vote(s)
  2. No, you suck...give it up now before you hurt yourself and others.

    5 vote(s)
  3. Both...carry on as you were and have fun!

    7 vote(s)
  1. paratus

    paratus Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Dec 2, 2010
    Some great advice here.

    +4 on the comments about playing with a metronome, backing track or drum loops. Playing in time is an essential part of playing with others, and you should be able to do it well before you can reasonably expect to be successful at it.

    Yes, playing along with a machine is not a perfect way to feel "in the groove" or "in the pocket", but if you can't do it, you won't have the skills you need to perform in a group setting.

    Starting out, set the tempo to be as slow as it needs to be for you to play flawlessly. Once you can do that a few times, gradually increase the tempo. It may take a while, but you will gain the mastery you need.

    Practice doesn't make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.

    Good luck and remember to have fun!
    tele-rain likes this.
  2. Pineears

    Pineears Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 25, 2016
    Practicing with a recording is a more advanced practice than a metronome or drum machine app. The metronome trains your timing and ability to stay synced on the down beat. The recording or backing track requires you to do that plus stay synced with the whole song arrangement. If you don’t know the song arrangement well you won’t follow it well. I find it best to print out the lyrics and chord changes for the song arrangement when you begin with a new song. It’s important the recording is played back with high quality on good speakers or headphones. You need to hear the recording well. Hearing the drums is important. Playing your quitar too loud will keep you from hearing the recording well. All too often when you make a mistake you will loose your sync with the song arrangement.
  3. beninma

    beninma Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2017
    I find the recordings harder to play along with.

    Putting the metronome/drum track at the same tempo is easier than playing along with the recording.

    Certainly playing with the recording is not the same thing as playing with other people/metronome/drums. It's a lot harder for me to hear the beat when I'm playing along with the recording as usually there are volume issues and the track usually has the vocals mixed up really loud compared to everything else.

    My favorite is to use the Beat Buddy Mini I have... really great tool and lots of fun.
    tele-rain likes this.
  4. kennl

    kennl Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 6, 2007
    Moon Township, PA
    My favorite example for those who think practicing with a machine does not promote "groove" or "feel" is Prince's song Kiss Simple 2 and 4 on a Linn drum but eveybody is playing AROUND the beat. Funky as you please.
    tele-rain likes this.
  5. beninma

    beninma Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2017
    Carlos Santana stuff is like that... tricky stuff.
  6. Tonetele

    Tonetele Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2009
    South Australia
    telemnemonics likes this.
  7. Tonetele

    Tonetele Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2009
    South Australia
  8. Tonetele

    Tonetele Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2009
    South Australia
    Dang windows 10 I mucked up. I quoted and added from I learnt in first post. I am hopeless on these things.
  9. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 2, 2010
    Hahaha I still yell at computers now and then!

    WRT not being able to do stuff well, and linn drum/ click track/ keeping time problems; I read years ago in an interview with Andy Summers that when they were in the studio trying to record their early reggae beat tunes, they simply could not do it in time with each other.
    I guess they had songs and ideas, but hadn't played the new stuff yet

    So they were put in iso booths and each played to a click track, then heard themselves for the first time in the mix; THEN had to play along and learn to play it together.

    In almost every case, people that make stuff look easy had to do lots of hard stuff to get to that point.
  10. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

    Sep 2, 2016
    Houston, TX
    Good advice about recording and listening critically to your playing. It’s very humbling and helpful. I once heard the phrase, “To learn it fast, play it slow” which is also good advice.
    Hexabuzz likes this.
  11. ddewerd

    ddewerd Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    I think there's a mental aspect to it as well.

    So you've learned a tune that you like and can play it pretty well on your own. In reality, you are most likely playing it "your way", and there's nothing wrong with that - we all do it. You hear a full band, multiple instruments, all coming together to give the song its personality and sound.

    But when you play it solo, you can't fill in all those parts. So when you play along with the record, you can feel frustrated and even a bit paniced that you can't get your solo version to sound like the full band version. Instead of playing "your thing" along with the record, you worry about all these other parts that you're not doing and it throws you off.

    I have experienced this a lot. I play in a trio (bass, guitar, drums) and we take on some fairly complicated songs. I have to figure out which pieces I am going to cover and which ones I can't (good example is Marshall Tucker "Heard it in a Love Song" where I mix in the guitar rhythm, flute parts, and piano pieces). At some point you just have to make it your own and go with it.

    I've been playing a lot of tunes for many years, and feel really comfortable with how my band does them. Every now and then we'll sit down and listen to the original and have a good laugh to see how much we've morphed it for our style and situation.

    So FWIW, focus on how you want to play the piece and try to filter out all of the other parts. Keep the tempo right and you'll be OK. Yeah, maybe you don't play things the same way (e.g. turnarounds, signature riffs, etc.), but so what.

    Keep at it and have fun!

  12. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Friend of Leo's

    Jan 10, 2013
    It's a lack of experience, just keep at it and you'll do better. If you have any buddies who play at all, start a band!
    Personally I enjoy having a band to lock into, and it's easier in a lot of ways because you don't have to carry the whole thing.
  13. jimd

    jimd Friend of Leo's

    Nov 3, 2006
    Cleveland, Ohio
    There are several apps that can help with all of this. I use The Amazing Slow Downer on my iPad or iPhone. You import mp3s. The app can speed up or slow down the tempo without changing the pitch. It also has the ability to change the pitch, for those recordings that don't seem to at the right pitch. There is a trial version you can check out.
  14. jackleg

    jackleg Tele-Meister

    Aug 19, 2004
    i have always found it better, and more fun, to play with the recordings. you become part of the sound, and at times, cannot distinguish your playing from the recording. plus, you develop a feel for the cues.
  15. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Friend of Leo's

    Aug 17, 2017
    Essex, UK
    I'm also a frustrated learner. I've tried to play along with YouTube and also my iPlayer via a Yamaha THR10 and keeping up is a bugger.

    I've signed up to Fender Play and that's actually not bad as you can learn at your own pace and the programme allows to to slow the music down to half speed, whilst retaining the same notes.

    In a lot of ways, I'm finding learning guitar a bit like when I started playing golf as it's a lot about muscle memory. Learning the basic chord shapes is manageable. However, the difference is getting the note / chord sequences right and keeping up with song timing.

    It'll come; eventually......
  16. PRECISELY! I don't let it stop me. Becoming more consistent with tempo is progress.
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