Wow…I feel like I have really missed the boat on this one. My professional musician friends have been using these forever… In my own live performances and at home, I have been wondering what I can do to provide a better sound. Jam Tracks are the answer I had foolishly neglected for so long.
“Jam Tracks” provides to you every instrument of your favorite songs and puts them on their own tracks. You can then create your own mix, comprised of just the parts you want to hear. This is helpful in a variety of ways. For example, if I am trying to learn a tricky piano part, I can isolate the piano track and hear exactly what the musician is playing for an accuracy that sheet music doesn’t even provide. Then, after I have learned it correctly, I can mute the piano from the mix and play along with the drums, bass and guitar.
Similarly, this has helped me with vocals. Vocal isolation tracks are very popular on YouTube. It’s always interesting to hear what an artist sounds like without any band. Having the ability to isolate vocals or back up vocals at the click of a button gives me an opportunity to hear inflections and style in a raw way that I could not hear it before.
Sound great? Well it gets even better. You can even transpose the tracks or adjust the speed. Imagine that you were trying to learn a difficult, blazing fast guitar solo. Now, you can isolate the guitar track, and slow it down to hear it note by note. These are not MIDI tracks. They are professional audio tracks created by real instruments and singers. If you are planning to increase the speed by 50% while decreasing the key seven steps, the results are not going to sound as realistic as the original recording.
If you are practicing singing, you can remove the vocal track and sing along in a variety of keys. This is a great method to ensure that you really “own“ the song. No matter what instrument you play, the ability to perform it in a variety of keys will help you really master any song.
All the songs come with click tracks that you can turn on or off. If you are performing live, the click track can be an immense help to ensuring everything stays tight.
I am using the “stay home“ rules during coronavirus as an opportunity to really prepare for when I can start booking my schedule again with events. I can’t wait to perform in front of a crowd utilizing these jam tracks. I am a minimalist, and quite often perform with only piano and vocals, but I love having real backup vocals and a drum track to accompany me. Check out how I used Jam Tracks with Billy Joel’s, The Stranger. For this, I used the drum track, backup vocals and also some guitar during the chorus.
So what’s the catch? The songs are not free. However for just $1.99 per track with no minimum, I am finding that it’s way worth the money. Not only does it give me the opportunity to totally master a song and perform it on a new level, but purchasing the tracks also provides you with a license to use it. You can sample every song for free.
By the way, the link I provided is an affiliate link. I’m throwing that out there because it’s not the reason I’m talking about the product. It was actually after I started this post that I realized that they had an affiliate program. If it bothers you that much, just google “Jamtracks” by JamKazam and I won’t get any credit. You cynical people, you! Lol
JamTracks can be used with their mobile apps or from your desktop. Your custom mixes can be saved as MP3 files or you can create and use them on the fly. I hope you enjoy and benefit from these as much as I am!