Home Alt Forums Repertoire Play-along videos and lessons

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    George Price

    I joined the Premium Membership and I am enjoying the great music that is available on the site. One thing I would like to see along with the YouTube videos of the tracks is a ‘play along’ video that actually reflects the notes provided on the sheet music.

    My reason behind this is that, as a recent re-beginner after 14 years of not playing, it would be great to hear the actual notes as written on the sheet music. This would let beginners and more advanced players hear the music as written and play along. Personally, and I am sure this happens to lots of people, when playing along with the videos on a new piece of music the extra, and sometimes altogether different notes, played on the YouTube videos can be confusing. I’m not looking for full lessons on every track that Johnny has provided but it would be nice to just hear it as transcribed.

    Any thoughts?


    that’s interesting.

    in Jazz, i can pick a random music sheet and play any phrase and my Pro tells me that’s correct. Yet when i listen to the recorded sax player from the backing track, he play’s it differently. Different artists play the same phrase differently in their own style.

    Now if i’m the only sax player playing along to the backing track or if i’m the only sax player in a band – then i can play the phrase in my own style.

    However, if i’m playing in a band with other sax players, other sax players may play the same phrase different to me – to avoid confusion, everyone usually agrees to play the phrase in the same identical way.

    If you want to play the sax identical to the recorded sax player, depending on the complexity of the song, that music sheet can get very very complicated beyond the reach of players with less than 8-10 yrs playing experience. Some jazz phrasing, there’s no musical notation to describe how to play the phrasing exactly, it’s usually accompanied with a lot of written explanation of how to play it.

    I can understand your frustration, it sometimes easier to slow the sax playing backing track down to 40bpm and listen to how each phrase is played and mimic it.

    In my lessons with a Pro, i say to the Pro “i want to play the phrase just like the recorded sax player plays it” – this usually ends up with the Pro breaking the phrase down into smaller chunks and getting me to copy what he’s doing.

    From day one, jazz players do the ‘Call’ and ‘Answer’ practice where they practice two options, 1 – repeat what they heard or 2 – play something different. So further down the line (years later) they get good at copying what they hear in a recorded sax players backing track, without relying too much on what they see in the music sheet.

    Some tunes are very complex, take Chopin piano music – the music sheet has all the correct notes, but can i play any of Chopin’s music on the piano from a music sheet – not unless i spend the next 10 yrs working through all 8 music grades. much easier to learn a chopin piano piece by listening to it in chunks and play it back by ear.

    Sax music is no different.


    Hey George, I have been including the mp3 of my video’s audio track with the downloads. you can reference it that way.
    For the most part what I play in the videos is what’s on the transcribed sheet music. things like embellishments aren’t always added but these are simply signs over the notes so it’s a matter of knowing that particular embellishment and applying it. But the notes themselfs you can reference from the audio track. As for your suggestion it sounds great but I’m not familiar with that technology and if it does exist (I assume it does since you know about it) the price of it would possibly make us increase everything here.


    There are many play along versions of songs like are describing on you tube. They are not Johnny quality as they seem midi based but the notes play and a bar follows along while the note is played. There are various tunes out there. just search sax play along. just indicate alto or tenor for you preferred key.


    it’s a bit like learning to ride a bicycle using stabilisers, at some stage you got to stop using them

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