A Quick Guide on How To Improve Your Guitar Playing Using Jam Tracks
How to use jam tracks to improve your guitar playing and it’s a lot of fun as well. By using jam tracks, you’re going to be more motivated to practice and of course the more you practice the better you get. Also they have the advantage of helping you constantly work on your rhythm. You know, as guitar players, when we play by ourselves we’ll slow down and speed up and after a while not even notice it but the jam tracks keep you on it’s just like playing with a band.
There are many ways to use jam tracks. It’s common to use jam tracks to practice both scales and improvisation, I’m going to show you how to get better at chords since there’s our foundation of guitar playing and I want to make sure that if you’re going to learn improvisation somebody wants to play with you because you can play the basic chords. So let me show you how I get started with a jam track. Now the first thing I want to do is to choose the correct jam track I’m going to assume for this exercise that I need to work on the C add 9 chord. So I want the jam track that has that chord but doesn’t have a bunch of other new chords.
This one seems to fit the bill I already know D but it has a C add 9 and I already know G so this would be a good fit. I’m also going to pull up the chord chart which just shows me the chords and how many beats per chord. I have that up right here and it’s four strums of the D, four strums of the C add 9, four storms of G and four strums of D again and then we start the whole thing over. Now I want to start with the slowest version as well so I’m ready to work on the 60 beats per minute.
First of all, before I even start playing with the jam track I want to just practice the chords so the second step here is to actually just play the D chord, play the C add 9, play the G and try to play them one after the other. Once I can play them very slowly without stopping then I’m ready to try it with a jam track. Now you want to play the chords and then you want to see if you can do it one after the other without stopping. It’s a little harder to pay attention to the music and to play at the same time so that’s a good step on the way. Now, the next step let’s say I can play them one after the other very slowly without actually stopping the finger of the chord.
I’m going to go ahead and play the jam track and try playing along at the slowest speed. Let’s give that a try I’m gonna bring up the jam track right here and I’m just using the player that comes with Windows it’s called the groove player. Any audio player will work. The jam tracks are usually an Mp3 format and most software audio players play Mp3 these days.
So let me start the track and start from the very beginning. It’s giving you a beat here we go one, two ready play and I’m gonna strum each time one, two that’s a G chord three, four. Now it changes, one I’m on the C add 9, three four The G – one, two, three, four and then the D – one, two, three, four and then start over.
D again – one, two, three, four C add 9 – one, two, three, four and the G – one, two, three, four and then the D – one, two, three, four and start over. So you notice that you really don’t have time to stop and finger the chord. So you want to prepare a little bit before you do that but it’s also training you not to pause between chord changes which is of course how you really play guitar. Nobody stops in the middle of a song, fingers the cord and then goes on.
Not even slowing down that makes the song not sound right. So once you get the sixty beats per minute you’d go on to try it a little faster In this case 80 beats and then go on to the hundred beats per minute I thought I’d give you another view of me practicing along with the jam track. In this case, it’s the exact same jam track.
It’s going to be a D chord, a C add 9 and a G chord then back to D I’m working on that C add 9 but the D and the G are gonna help me practice it with other chords. So I’m starting with a slow tempo and I’m gonna get started with the D. What I’m listening for is to start off it’s the click so I’ll know the tempo and then I’ll start playing the D I’m using straight down strums.
Here we go 1 2 3 4 – D – 1 2 3 4 C add 9 I use nice simple straight down strum so okay, no talking. Oh yeah, back to D. Now once I’m more experienced I might want to add something Look down, up. But don’t do this until you can do straight down strums.