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More Saxophone Music For 2020 – The Joys and Benefits of Backing Tracks

By December 27, 2019 saxophone music

One of my goals for 2020 is to produce and create more saxophone music with backing tracks. It’s a lot of fun and fulfilling but it’s also been the most time consuming thing I do.

This year the plan is to get the help of others to increase the productivity of saxophone songs here at HowToPlaySaxophone.org. I’ll tell you all about it in the video…

10 Comments

  • Great Job Johnny.

    I had a very enjoyable December playing tenor sax over many of your Christmas tracks. I especially liked the new “Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” track. Playing for me meant organizing my music, rehearsing, and then playing at Christmas parties, graduation parties, cardiac rehab party (I am a graduate), house parties, and a few others. You are right, there is satisfaction and benefit in playing and practicing by yourself, but when you go out there and lay it out (I have done 30 minutes to three hours) you are truly “on” and performing for people and their enjoyment, even if in the background.

    Music and performing are something that is inside of us and we also get a personal benefit from expressing our hearts to others in this way.

    I look forward to next year to see what you come up with.

  • I’ve always had trouble following a backing track, or a metronome, staying on beat. Back in the cassette days of the 80’s I listened to Julio Iglesias and “HEY” was my favorite. In my “The Latin Real Bb Book” I have the music for “HEY” in the key of E major for tenor sax. Concert key D major. So I found a suitable backing track and I’ve been working on trying to keep up with the backing track with out squeaking a note. First note is middle B. I scoop the B Hey. so far so good. Last note in the 3rd bar is low B natural, up to G# followed by F# F# E E D# F# E and D# in the5th bar. 6th bar starts with a quarter note rest then low B to low C# to D#. E, G#. A. I usually Screw up that progression of notes. So there goes my keeping up with the backing track. I’ve recorded my sax on GarrageBand many times trying to play HEY. I’ll keep trying with the backing track and without the backing track. Today I’ll go at it again and again. Happy New Year. “Thank you for Music”

  • Johnny Johnny says:

    thanks for the updates guys, nice to hear what you’re up to.
    before really working with a backing track we should work on just the music until it’s pretty well worked out…like those tricky riffs you mentioned William. The rule is we can only play the tune as fast as we can play the hardest part smoothly and perfectly otherwise we’re setting up for a disaster.

  • james brown says:

    Excellent stuff, i’ve spent most of 2019 working through technical exercises using the backing tracks provided with the technical exercises, and it’ll probably take me through 2020 to finish off the rest – so i haven’t bought any new backing tracks as i haven’t found time to play any of them in 2019. I’ve actually lost interest in playing along to well known tunes, and found it more interesting working through difficult technical exercises, that i initially found impossible to play. The 1st technical exercise was so difficult, it took me 3 months to play it at the correct speed, now i’ve found when i go back to the shop bought cd music books, they seem at lot easier to play and less challenging.

    I agree with playing along to backing tracks, when you play in a group, you don’t take a metronome with you. Also playing along with a group of music musicians or a backing track is completely different skill to playing along with a metronome.

    If you use a metronome, you only need to use it in two different ways.
    example if you are playing a sheet in 4/4 time
    1) set it so you can hear it clicking on all 4 beats, so you can count one, two, three, four.
    2) or set it so you only hear it clicking on the 1st beat and then count two, three four in your head.

    The old fashioned mechanical metronome is all you need, the modern electronic metronomes which have tons more optional settings, only adds confusion to beginners,
    the only advantage of an electronic metronome is to plug in earphones if the sax is too loud to hear the metronome in the room.

    When you start doing technical exercises, it’s a lot easier to use a metronome only clicking on the ‘one’ beat ie the 1st beat of every bar, which applies to backing tracks. When you start using backing tracks, there’s so many variations, you can be keeping in time with the drummer, or the left hand piano player, the guitar player or the singer, you certainly won’t be using a metronome that will hold you back in the long run.

    so yes, buy backing tracks to practice timing – it’s more fun

  • Manga Sax says:

    I would love if you could do the Junior Walker version of “How Sweet it is to be Loved by You” next. That would be fantastic!

  • Wondering if you can play something by the Beatles in an easier version , you so rocked that melody

  • Johnny Johnny says:

    yes will probably get another Beatles song up in the very near future…

  • Ashley Phil says:

    What is the little swiggle mark above a note?

    • Johnny Johnny says:

      there’s a few of them…the one I use most means you hit the note above, then hit the same note again before going to the next written note. all all done on the same beat of the main note with the swiggle over it.

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