[Dixielandjazz] Band-In-A-Box vs. Aebersold Rhythm Tracks
charlie at easysounds.com
Sun Nov 28 12:46:03 PST 2004
Before PGmusic came out with BIAB, I purchased all the Aebersold playalong
LPs. They were good, but you couldn't vary the tempo or key, and the piano
chords were generally embellished... lots of altered chords.
The Music-Minus-One series had more basic chords, but each tune was an
arrangement, and your part had to fit into the arrangement instead of having
it all to yourself.
Especially when I'm learning a song, I like the 'vanilla' chords, to get a
foundation of the basic harmonic progressions. I can 'season to taste'
later. It's also easier to learn fast riff tunes at a slower tempo,
concentrating on playing them rhythmically, then practice them at increasing
tempos. It's also nice to work in keys that fit your voice or lay better on
Band-In-A-Box accommodates all of those needs. You have complete control
over chords, key, tempo, number of choruses, etc. If the melody is part of
the file, you can view the music transposed to your horn key while the
rhythm section plays in the selected key. It will even show the notes a
couple of bars ahead of what's playing so you can 'read ahead'. Wanna try a
tune as a latin, or rock, or ?? Switch styles while the tune is playing
until you find one you like.
BIAB's 'dixieland' styles leave me cold. They cram in ploddy tuba, bizzy
banjo, klutzy klarinet, trying to emulate a 'New Orleans' sound, and it just
doesn't swing. I use a light swing style and change the rhythm guitar to
banjo, and it works out well.. not getting in the way of practicing with the
I make a fakesheet, using Encore, for each tune. I have around a hundred
'trad' standards, and many hundreds of pop standards, mostly with straight
melody on the first chorus and rhythm only after that.
I usually sell them individually or in sets, but will trade file-for-file
for tunes I don't have. I can also provide the practice tracks as midi
For a list of the trads and a sample biabfile, midifile and/or fakesheet,
contact me offlist. If you want to trade, send me your list.
Charlie Hull charlie at easysounds.com
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