little something after being off the piano for a month

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Comment by Zack Sulsky on February 14, 2014 at 12:08pm

I think play-along tracks are a great way to work on your playing, especially improvising. Of course, they are no substitute for the experience of playing with others, but they can be a good tool to have available to you for practicing. 

This YouTube channel has good rhythm section tracks of a lot of popular standards that you can find in fake books: 

If you have a smartphone or a mac, I'd also recommend checking out iReal Pro, which has a great library of chord changes and allows you to put in your own to practice along with.

There is also a series of books by Jamey Aebersold that include lead sheets and CDs with play-along tracks. The great thing about those is that they are recorded live with professional jazz musicians, so the rhythm sections really swing.

I hope that helps!

Comment by Connor Peavy on February 13, 2014 at 5:03pm

Thanks ,I don't know if I'm really comfortable with them  but I'm getting there.
I am hoping to start working a lot more on the timing part, and this style in general.
your right ,I almost lost the beat completely a few times.....  
I have heard of them ,but never tried them.I will  try them. would they also help with working up to playing in a big band / jazz band ??? 
Thanks for the thoughts and info 

Comment by Zack Sulsky on February 13, 2014 at 12:37pm

Thanks for posting Connor. It sounds like you're getting pretty comfortable with the blues scale. I think a good next step for you would be to focus on staying really locked into the time and the form. It's challenging to improvise and still keep the accompaniment steady, and there were a couple times when it sounds like you turned the beat around. Have you ever tried working with play-along tracks? That can be a great way to work on locking in the accompaniment to the point that it's automatic. Then you can focus more on the right hand improvisation.


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