Playing Live With A Backing Track

Some people, particularly in the rock and metal fraternities, think of backing tracks as somehow "cheating", or not authentic.

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Forming a band, especially if you have pro ambitions, can be a frustrating experience. There's some great musicians out there, but, like members of the opposite sex, all the good ones are taken and you soon realise why the remainder weren't. They turn up late, if at all, they argue with you about what to play, they throw tantrums that would disgrace a three-year-old and they make all kinds of mistakes, assuming they remember to bring their instrument with them in the first place. Even if you do have great, reliable and loyal musicians, building a wide repertoire of songs can take an extremely long time and a lot of rehearsal studio money.

So, are there alternatives? Well yes there are, and the most effective, musically and financially, is to use backing tracks.

Some people, particularly in the rock and metal fraternities, think of backing tracks as somehow cheating, or not authentic. This, however is nonsense. Many massive acts use backing tracks at every gig. Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish, for instance, have used a full orchestra and choir on their last two albums. Do they take the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Metro Voices Choir to every gig with them? Of course not, the orchestration is played on a backing track, linked to a metronome in the drummer's ear to keep everything in time. Do AC/DC bring a real church bell onto the stage and mic it up just to play Hell's Bells? No they don't (the bell they sometimes lower from the roof is a prop). Rush have been using MIDI backing tracks live pretty much ever since they were invented. Nobody accuses these bands of cheating; using a backing track allows these bands and countless others to enhance the audience experience.

At the other end of the scale are solo musicians and composers who want to get their music heard. For a solo songwriter or instrumentalist, getting a band together to play your material is a very difficult proposition. You are asking a great deal of your musicians you are asking them to play often quite basic music, with no chance to improvise or have any creative input into the material, and to never take the spotlight, just to play the parts you wrote and make you look good. Most musicians' egos won't tolerate that kind of thing for long, unless you pay them, and for most soloists and vocalists playing small gigs, that's just not a viable proposition financially. This is where a backing track can be a massive boon. If you are a virtuoso solo instrumentalist or vocalist, then the music you play will be all about your skill and the lead melodies you play. The audience won't be interested in what your drummer or bassist are playing, they've come to see you.

Even at the top level, when they play small gigs such as guitar shows and tuition events, guitarists such as Paul Gilbert and Yngwie Malmsteen will often play to a backing track and not bring a band with them. Some players, such as Gary Hoey play with backing tracks even at their biggest gigs. Gary Hoey knows that people don't go to his shows to watch his keyboard player play some chords, or his bassist plod out some root notes. They've come to see his virtuoso guitar playing and nothing else, and it makes both practical and financial sense for him to travel with a CD rather than a 4 or 5 piece rock band and all their gear for small gigs, and the audience doesn't feel cheated. They've seen and heard what they've come to see and hear, which is Gary and his playing.

Using a backing track in this way is very financially and practically liberating. You can get your playing to anyone, any time. All you need is your instrument, your amp, and an MP3 player to plug into a PA. That's it, you can take your entire touring equipment with you on the bus. You can take all the money you make yourself, rather than sharing it with a bunch of grumpy session musicians, yet your audience get an excellent experience your backing track, unlike a band, will always be on time to gigs, always sober, always in tune and in time and perfectly mixed and balanced.

Finally, the biggest financial advantages to you from backing tracks come from wedding and other function gigs. I've played these kind of gigs for decades, and I used to perform with a full band, and for the array of jazz, rock, latin, pop and funk numbers in the typical wedding repertoire, I needed a big band to cover all the instrumentation! Musicians being what they are, I started recording backing tracks for the band in case someone didn't turn up, which inevitably happened now and again. In fact, I was recording tracks for pretty much every permutation of musicians who might or might not have shown up, and with a repertoire of 150 songs, that's a lot of work!

These days I play to backing tracks alone, or with a vocalist. I can travel light, play anywhere with a PA, and not worry about other people being unreliable. I can play abroad at any notice for the price of a plane ticket. Much more importantly, I am making more money than I ever did with a full band! Wedding organisers often much prefer to work with one guy who they can put in a corner somewhere that an 8-piece jazz band that won't sound any better, needs a vast stage and is capable of drinking the bar dry before you can say I do!, especially during ceremonies and meals where space is at a premium. They are in fact prepared to pay a premium for that convenience, and I'm not splitting the money with other musicians, and therefore the financial rewards, as a musician, of playing with backing tracks make it a no-brainer if you're serious about making money from music.

Click here to download a free copy of a Blues in E backing track from my site, and click here to see me attack it with a 6-string electric violin and a POD X3 Pro (second video down).

Pete Hartley is a professional violinist, mandolinist and composer with a 30 year professional career in music. He runs musiciansbackingtracks.com, a site dedicated to providing pro quality backing tracks for performing musicians.

58 comments sorted by best / new / date

    CoreysMonster
    thank you for this article. Way too many musicians are so full of themselves they dont realise that a shoddy 3-piece band that plays horribly because the members suck is still going to suck, but a guy who is truly talented, but cant afford / doesnt want to be burdened by a full band and so plays with a backing track, is going to sound and perform a lot better. I can say from experience that there are a lot of elitists under non-musicians out there, as well. In my own personal experience, my ex laughed at me when I said I'd like to play rock concerts, but have everything but the guitar and vocals come from a backing track. "that's totally cheating", she would always say. She also said that digital paintings weren't as good as real paintings, even if they looked miles better than "real" paintings. In this amazing age of digital music production that anyone with a computer and a cheap audio interface can produce, I dont see why a single person cant put on an amazing show, and why people should feel limited to express themselves and deliver amazing music on stage, just because of all the nay-sayers that, most likely, have very little experience on stage themselves. Also, Buckethead often plays without a backing band, and for the very reason that when you see buckethead, you want to see the huge guy with the kabuki mask and KFC bucket rip it out on the guitar, not the two no-name people in the background.
    hildesaw
    One of the best concerts of my life was Buckethead playing to a backing track. I've never seen one person be so commanding of a stage in my life. Good article!
    fogger808
    backing tracks for a band is stupid. and rush does not use backing tracks. (exception is roll the bones for the rap section) They use cued up samples, meaning one of the guys hits a pedal for a bell part. They cue most everything in their shows like that. Geddy sometimes is singing, playing bass, and playing syth pedals all at once. That's dedication, not some lame backing track. If you can't play it live, don't record it. Nothing worse than hearing something at a live show when you know no one is playing it.
    synth002
    Good artical, people complaining and moaning dont know what they're talking about. Ive been in a full band for a few years and gotten pretty far but unless your REALLY pretty damn big and well known you cant make a living from it. Using backing tracks makes it far more possible to earn a good part of it! 150-200+ for 2 hours work, yes please.. split between 4 or 5 people, well thats not really earning money, little more than a hobby, not really professional. Playing with a whole band is definatly fun, but work is work its about making money not having fun.. but still, work where your playing guitar for your money sounds good to me!
    Henkdemachtige
    cambo187 wrote: In my own personal experience, my ex laughed at me when I said I'd like to play rock concerts, but have everything but the guitar and vocals come from a backing track. Ok, I can understand going to see Buckethead or Yngwie play to a backing track, they are guitar virtuosos and you are there to watch them shred. But I can't understand going to go to a rock show and watching some guy playing guitar and singing on stage by himself, while the rhythm section plays over the loudspeakers. You better have an unbelievably commanding presence on stage to pull that off, and most likely it's not going to happen. There's an energy that comes with watching a full band tear it up on stage, there's no denying that. Seeing one guy on stage (besides a guitar virtuoso like I mentioned earlier) playing and singing by himself is not a rock show, it's a one-man karaoke concert. There's nothing impressionable about that. I don't give a shit that he recorded it all by himself either, he had a million takes to record it just the way he wanted to. A band on a stage has one shot to get it right, and when they do, it can inspire a crowd of people. I get the point that dealing with a full band is tough, and that it's hard to find 2, 3, or 4 other musicians that are all talented enough to hold their own, want to play your songs, and can get through a gig without going into a booze and/or drug induced coma. But look back in the history books, that's what some of the most successful bands of all time have endured to make great music (i.e. Keith Moon passing out on stage, Slash having to lean against a speaker just to stay on his feet to play a solo, Axl Rose being Axl Rose). I realize that those are tremendous musicians I just listed, but my point is that every band has its problems. If the music you're making is good, you try to work through it for the sake of creating something you love. For the record, I don't have anything agains someone playing to a backing track if you're playing weddings, or if you're just supplying some background music at a local pub. But I can't imagine anyone taking a musician seriously that plays an actual show like you described.
    I read the article and this is in other words exactly what i was thinking.
    CoreysMonster
    oh and for all the naysayers:
    ture=related Devin Townsend's Acoustic performance of "Ki" with backing tracks. I think the audience is pretty into watching "just one dude playing his songs"
    The Pickle Man
    This is stupid. Backing tracks are a joke. And performers that use them in replacement of a band are idiots, in addition to *****s for eliminating that many more paying gigs for a the real people that could be playing those parts. If you're a solo performer, write music that can be performed solo. Is that a difficult concept? There is nothing more pathetic than seeing one guy and backing tracks.
    CoreysMonster
    Another thing to consider: Many artists from other styles of music, such as hip hop, electronica etc. are CONSTANTLY playing with samples, pre-recorded stuff, backing tracks etc. Why is it that rock and metal had to get all the "It has to be tre!" elitists?
    crazy8rgood
    yeah, backing tracks are good if you're a singer/songwriter or a shredder or something, but I'm interested in BANDS, not a songwriter and some dudes he has play his music. If Paul Waggoner and Tommy Whateverhislastnameis from BTBAM went on stage with a backing track when I went to see them, I would just leave. If MGMT went on stage with just Andrew and a backing track, I would leave. If I went and saw The Mars Volta play with just Omar, Cedric, and a backing track, I would leave. That's not a show, there's no improvisation, and it'd just be boring as hell.
    Regression
    i know this is old but still gonna reply - The Mars Volta use backing tracks occasionally, and BTBAM use a click track - sure it's not a backing track but it does mean the tempo is locked.
    scimitar_255
    Tikoman wrote: It depends on what you want to achieve. Im into music because of the fact that a band works together and forms a new sound with each individuals input. if i would compose all the music it could sound great but it would only be my ideas and i find that kind of boring.
    This. Personally I find there's a difference between Nightwish playing a pre-recorded orchestra track as a backdrop, and Joe LookatmeImaguitarplayer shredding while there's a twelve-bar blues track in the background. Honestly, it just seems kind of tacky to me.
    sfaune92
    I thought rush used various pedals for their backing. That's what my Rush-fan-for-over-20-years guitar teacher told me...
    abbydaddy03
    thx for article. I knew bands used tapes all way back to Zebra in the 70's. You could tell when the tape didn't come on-hehe. Same thing happened to the Who according to Townsend. Didn't know about the drummer earpiece tho.
    Case101
    Great article! I have been using tracks for a little while now for practice and have been thinking of going live as our band is going through many of the issues you discuss in your article. I have been using Logic 9 to build up a good base of tracks and enhancing the sound of the midi tracks used to get a good overall band sound and it has been working in studio. It has been very rewarding to work on my own and I feel it actually is making me a better musician, I still miss the interaction of other band members but I am getting used to building my own sound with the use of midi and playing other instruments that I would not normally do.
    sharp__edge
    Look, the author's not saying you must use a backing track all the time. He's just saying if it's too troublesome to get a full band going, a backing track can prove to be a very good solution. Personally, im not very supportive of the idea of backing tracks because you lose a lot of that energy and groove that you can get with a GOOD BACKUP BAND WITH GOOD BAND MEMBERS. But what if your band members are just a bunch of un-committed wankers who think they're the next Mike Portnoy or Saul Hudson that look like plain idiots on stage? I'm trying to get a full band going right now, but with the exception of the bass player, the rest of them are serious losers. The biggest one of them all is the lead guitarist who turns up 20 minutes late each time, loves playing twice as loud as everyone else, and thinks that a good guitar solo will somehow magically save everyone.
    thegear
    it makes no sense to use a real band when u play stuff similar to what michael angelo batio or lets say yngwie play, makes no sense to have a stupid band
    Rockstarscat
    Great videos. did anyone watch the bad ass violen playing? he hooks up his eletric violen to a line 6 pod x3. kick ass man! I agree about the backing tracks.. I saw Slash in concert with velvet revolver in Houston, Tx kick ass show..... Backingtracks.. not the whole show but still.. Rage aginst the machine bombtrack has two guitars in it....what do they do live? Backing tracks..PANTERA!!!!! I have been going to pantera shows sence they first started in the small clubs in Dallas(The Basment) and Houston(Back stage) with Deadhorse (Bad ass Texas metalband google it) Dimebag used Backing tracks live all the time. seen it.. Dont be a hater.... Backing tracks are kick ass.
    Pete Hartley
    Here's some youtubes if anyone is interested in how I play! Pete http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H28QLY5j6- 0
    http://ww w.youtube.com/watch?v=hI8VnyhHOIo http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=aZLICdfOx6E
    Axler
    Interesting article and although I prefer live music I do agree there is a place for recorded backing. It definately depends who the artist is you are seeing. I went to see Satriani play in a very small venue and he still had the full band and sounded awesome - albeit it would have been ok if Joe arrived on his own with an acoustic lol. One thing that springs to mind which I will never forget and will always hate, is the mimeing that happened on Top of the Pops in the past - that was all recorded and looked stupid. Didn't Betty Boo get booed off stage during a live show because it was recorded?
    James Scott
    One thing that springs to mind which I will never forget and will always hate, is the mimeing that happened on Top of the Pops in the past - that was all recorded and looked stupid. Didn't Betty Boo get booed off stage during a live show because it was recorded?
    There's a difference between playing some of the parts with a backing track and out-and-out miming. If you see Nightwish, you know there's no orchestra there, they're not pretending that there is, and everyone's cool with that, but if it turned out Annette Olsen's vocals or whatever were pre-recorded, then you're defrauding the audience, pretending to play something you're not. That's a big difference, and miming is shameful.
    eatfresh1736
    metallica uses a backing track for the intro to battery fight fire w/fire and that was just your life. During their e flat years they had to pitch shift the recording down.
    Pepefloydean
    i agree with this article but have some things to say. I play live with a band that uses backing track but for a part of the music, we are 2 guitars, drum, bass and 2 vocalists but things sequenced like the keyboards or electronic percussions go with the backing track which is really part of the ensemble. I agree that it is way cheaper to use this in certain ocassions but I believe that if people are paying for a band in a wedding they are actually paying for seeing the band, they are buying the product of people dressed and playing, I think they would probably ask for a complete band rather than a guitarrist, a vocalist and a bcking track.
    shinhoman
    Rush don't use backing tracks, they trigger samples with their feet as they play.
    Fleur de Lys
    The real problem is not using backing tracks, rather pretending to be playing what's on the backing tracks. I have no problems with backing tracks as long as the musicians are not pretending to be playing them. My own band dosen't use them though, it's not neccessary.
    darionapoli74
    Great thoughts, have been thinking about these issues for a while also. I'm a gipsy jazz guitarist primarily and in order to hit street festivals and outdoor music situations, it's best to "travel light". I'm considering a looper though, I like the idea of recording myself live first then playing over that.
    Dan Acheron
    Great article! While I prefer a full band, I can definitely see the advantages of playing with a backing track after this article. Thanks for sharing!
    impalax327
    As a paid singer/guitarist (30yrs) it all comes down to context. Seeing a quality solo singer/guitarist is a great thing. Seeing a bad one isn't. Same goes with bands, some are good some suck. I live in a rural area away from a big city so even finding musicians at all is near impossible let alone like-minded ones that want to get a band together. I've always been the lead singer/guitarist in any band I've been in. I do a 60's show aimed at older audiences (40+) that want to dance and have a good time. I pretty much have everything on backing tracks because the venues want a "full sounding" show and the audience enjoy hearing it. To be honest all they really want to hear is the songs anyway and haven't come to see "me" personally. With backing tracke behind me I'm not doing anything less (and actually a lot more) than I did when I played with full bands. I still sing and play the same guitar parts I ever did, except now taking the solo's. riffs etc as well. I never played the drums or keyboards or bass in bands before so there's no miming involved, I still do what I've always done. I'm also able to play more because I can keep it affordable. Splitting what I get 3,4 or 5 ways means band members wouldn't even cover their fuel costs to get to the gig. And NO, I'm not putting any original band or up and coming talent out of work because the places I play don't showcase them anyway and the places that do have original music don't hire shows like mine..so there's no "crossing" of paths. I have seen just singers perform to backing tracks and thought it a bit karaoke (the audience didn't care less tho and enjoyed the show), but that's mainly a visual thing. To do it well though you need to be a strong singer (you're doing IT ALL alone, so can't get a rest) and have some stage presence and audience banter. To help visually I use lighting and a slide show as a backdrop. I'm fully aware it isn't for everone or for every type of gig but perfect for functions, weddings and "oldies" clubs that won't pay much and just want a "good time". I'm making no artistic statement, just trying to make a living. I'm almost 50 in a small town with huge unemployment so it's my job in a place where jobs are impossible to find.
    oneman12guitars
    I want to have a band,I have played solo in pubs and clubs up and down the east coast of Australia for decades with drums and bass backing tracks while I played guitar blues covers,Hendrix,Deep Purple,to CCR, Lynyrd Skynyrd, you get the picture. Always had a good reaction from the crowd, but while I audition muso's and try to get good muso's interested I'm not playing for people and developing my stage skills, having to carry the whole thing yourself, playing the guitar rhythm/lead (no rhythm part while soloing) singing the song, communicating with the audience, forming a relationship with them for 3-4 hrs is hard work. No one but you and you are scutinised in everything you do, even your haircut. But while I get my stage self together and my musicianship I can invite good muso's to see what I do. My 'band' won't be playing covers but in the mean time I can continue to get my shit together and earn cash anyway, no relying on others to make it happen. By the way, I wrote every midi note drum or bass in piano roll form for all the songs I perform and intentionally underplayed the midi parts because they simply support what I do which is play guitar and sing songs. In the venues I play I own the stage, and tell the audience before I start that I'm going to have a great time tonight and they are welcome to join me, then I proceed to have a ball, play with feeling and confidence and the crowd is with you, and keep enjoying your music and look like it. For those that criticise this as 'cheating' I hope you have tried this yourself, there is no cheating you are totally the centre of everything in that situation, any mistakes, screw ups, whatever, it's all you. Please be kind to each other, we are all musicians or at least appreciate music let's give each other a fair go.
    Dante99019
    The reason backing tracks are on the rise is that most gigs these days don't pay the musicians enough to recover from the expenses of playing a show. In order for music o survive this age of downloads, streaming, and over-saturation, certain adaptations must be made. Most musicians I know end up quitting because they can only afford to lose money for so long....and I'm not only talking about the mediocre ones. The truth is that it costs a good deal of money just to make music that sounds good....especially if you have to deal with electric guitars, drum sets, and small venues....in ear monitors aren't cheap....If you have ever downloaded free music, or if you aren't paying to go to shows and buying merch, you have no business bitching about musicians using backing tracks.
    TromboneThunder
    The Pickle Man wrote: This is stupid. Backing tracks are a joke. And performers that use them in replacement of a band are idiots, in addition to *****s for eliminating that many more paying gigs for a the real people that could be playing those parts. If you're a solo performer, write music that can be performed solo. Is that a difficult concept? There is nothing more pathetic than seeing one guy and backing tracks.
    The point is that paying some guy to sit there and back you, bored as hell and doing it for the money, isn't valuable. There's nothing that guy's doing that a track won't do, nor anything that he should, because this is about music showcasing a soloist. There's no reason you should pay for the band to be there (along with all their gear and sound equipment) in this context, particularly at a wedding gig etc. where the entire point is making a living. I don't see why solo performers should always perform without backing. Makes no sense. A backing band or track provides tonal and musical context along with an unobtrusive groove. Of course, when it's music about the band , not just one performer, backing tracks for any key part don't make any sense. That's not what Pete's saying. And of course depending on the style there are certain advantages to a live band for a soloist. Particularly in jazz, having dynamism and interaction in the rhythm section does a lot for a soloist. Whereas in, say, power metal (and I don't mean to bash metal as being unmusical or anything) there's much less room for complexity behind a soloist and not as much interaction with the solo, so having a track instead of a band makes less of a difference.
    BobBlunn
    Nice article Pete! Thanks for sharing. While I prefer listening to a real live band, you've made a good case for how backing tracks can help to ensure an enjoyable experience for audiences in certain situations.
    TechnicolorType
    I agree in some ways, but honestly.. you're just listening to a recording mostly. If you go on stage and hear nothing but a recorded backing track and a lead guitar you're not getting the full experience. Takes away the band aspect of it entirely. Yes, you still hear the part but it isn't just about listening to the music like this article states. It's about watching the show. If I wanted to hear someone play along with a backing track I'd go watch videos on YouTube. Although, a neat thing for a soloist to do is to create the song in front of the audience. Bring a loop-station. Then they see you perform it all and it's created in front of them giving them a better experience rather than watching you noodle around over pre-recorded audio.
    Rovan Deon
    If it is good enough for the big guys then it is good enough for me. I have played with backing tracks before and I am here to tell you, that the end results are not lacking. Following the advice Pete has given will save you a lot of time, money and frustration. It is always refreshing to know that independent artist (vocalist, instrumentalist) have a viable yet reliable option. Petes keen insight and years of experience is invaluable on this subject matter. I was happy to find such a well-written and informative article.
    Tikoman
    It depends on what you want to achieve. Im into music because of the fact that a band works together and forms a new sound with each individuals input. if i would compose all the music it could sound great but it would only be my ideas and i find that kind of boring.
    glitched
    Backing tracks are ok if you just dont have enough members, but I still think using them as aids is cheating. Also sampling the drums really pisses me off.
    Slash_is_a_God
    I definitely think that playing to backing tracks is an excellent alternative for the talented musician who doesn't have the ability to form a band, for whatever reason. Personally, when I go see an artist performing, I enjoy the atmosphere of the full band. I saw Joe Perry opening for Motley Crue on their Canadian Tour, and his Bass Player was really awesome, as was his vocalist. I would have been perfectly glad seeing Perry on his own with his full band recorded on a CD, assuming he did vocals for all of his songs, not just some. But the full band just gives you more of a show to take in, imo, because you can see the talent of some of these backing guys with him, even if all you wanted to see was Perry. On the topic of local, non-big name artists though, I completely agree with the above article. Much more logical to have your set's rhythm section played off of a CD while you sing and shred (or whatever you do live) over top of it, if you can handle it, and are at a loss for other talented musicians to play with. Just my $0.02.
    cambo187
    In my own personal experience, my ex laughed at me when I said I'd like to play rock concerts, but have everything but the guitar and vocals come from a backing track.
    Ok, I can understand going to see Buckethead or Yngwie play to a backing track, they are guitar virtuosos and you are there to watch them shred. But I can't understand going to go to a rock show and watching some guy playing guitar and singing on stage by himself, while the rhythm section plays over the loudspeakers. You better have an unbelievably commanding presence on stage to pull that off, and most likely it's not going to happen. There's an energy that comes with watching a full band tear it up on stage, there's no denying that. Seeing one guy on stage (besides a guitar virtuoso like I mentioned earlier) playing and singing by himself is not a rock show, it's a one-man karaoke concert. There's nothing impressionable about that. I don't give a shit that he recorded it all by himself either, he had a million takes to record it just the way he wanted to. A band on a stage has one shot to get it right, and when they do, it can inspire a crowd of people. I get the point that dealing with a full band is tough, and that it's hard to find 2, 3, or 4 other musicians that are all talented enough to hold their own, want to play your songs, and can get through a gig without going into a booze and/or drug induced coma. But look back in the history books, that's what some of the most successful bands of all time have endured to make great music (i.e. Keith Moon passing out on stage, Slash having to lean against a speaker just to stay on his feet to play a solo, Axl Rose being Axl Rose). I realize that those are tremendous musicians I just listed, but my point is that every band has its problems. If the music you're making is good, you try to work through it for the sake of creating something you love. For the record, I don't have anything agains someone playing to a backing track if you're playing weddings, or if you're just supplying some background music at a local pub. But I can't imagine anyone taking a musician seriously that plays an actual show like you described.
    ZippoTragedy
    Pete makes some great points. The difference is who you are playing for (target audience) and what experience you want to leave them with. There's a HUGE difference betweeen playing music professionally for profit, and playing music as a creative or entertainment outlet. Big shows would be hard to pull off as a soloist. Separate the two types of performances, minimally.
    James Scott
    Great article - I've seen the likes of Paul Gilbert and John Petrucci play to a backing track, and had an awesome experience. Those were small gigs; if you're playing Shay Stadium then of course you'll bring a full band, but most paying gigs are smaller, and backing tracks can make all the difference to the money you make. Love the video - who needs a band when you can rip it up like that!
    Ebeli
    Any idiot who thinks playing with backing is "cheating" or otherwise not genuine deserves to be shot.
    CoreysMonster
    cambo187 wrote: But I can't imagine anyone taking a musician seriously that plays an actual show like you described.
    And I cant imagine anyone enjoying 4 dudes standing on stage with zero stage presence or action at all, which is what 99% of all bands out there end up as. Might as well kick the robots off stage and ban them to tape, instead of having the possibility of them messing up, complaining about practice, never showing up to practice, having drug habits, trying to take over the band etc. Finding other people you truly connect to on a musical level and that produces good music is extremely rare, and some people are just better off on their own. Plus, amazing lighting and some visuals can always help.
    CoreysMonster
    crazy8rgood wrote: yeah, backing tracks are good if you're a singer/songwriter or a shredder or something, but I'm interested in BANDS, not a songwriter and some dudes he has play his music. If Paul Waggoner and Tommy Whateverhislastnameis from BTBAM went on stage with a backing track when I went to see them, I would just leave. If MGMT went on stage with just Andrew and a backing track, I would leave. If I went and saw The Mars Volta play with just Omar, Cedric, and a backing track, I would leave. That's not a show, there's no improvisation, and it'd just be boring as hell.
    Then I aim to prove you and all the other naysayers wrong. *swishes cape and runs off into the darkness, twirling his moustache*
    The_lizard_king
    TechnicolorType wrote: I agree in some ways, but honestly.. you're just listening to a recording mostly. If you go on stage and hear nothing but a recorded backing track and a lead guitar you're not getting the full experience. Takes away the band aspect of it entirely. Yes, you still hear the part but it isn't just about listening to the music like this article states. It's about watching the show. If I wanted to hear someone play along with a backing track I'd go watch videos on YouTube. Although, a neat thing for a soloist to do is to create the song in front of the audience. Bring a loop-station. Then they see you perform it all and it's created in front of them giving them a better experience rather than watching you noodle around over pre-recorded audio.
    +100000
    Adrienne Osborn
    If I wasn't convinced before, I sure am now. I have run wedding bands, bar cover bands, jazz lineups, and original bands. Yes, it's rewarding to play with live musicians but I have to say, it's time for me to start the next project (since I don't have any singing gigs right now) and I'm just so jaded about finding good musicians that I really think I'm going to try going solo for some gigs. Especially the jazz ones.
    theunforgivn
    what im planning to do is use back tracks for now to get my name out there, then in the future use an entire band
    theunforgivn
    you also forgot buckethead, he uses alot of back tracking, ive seen videos of just him up there, and sometimes with other musicians
    swordsofplague
    Bloodsoaked is a perfect example of this. One-man death metal band, actually has some pretty decent stuff. Look him up
    cambo187
    swordsofplague wrote: Bloodsoaked is a perfect example of this. One-man death metal band, actually has some pretty decent stuff. Look him up
    Does he play live shows on his own? I don't think I would be able to stop laughing if I saw a guy on stage headbanging and playing metal to a backing track. That's possibly the least metal thing ever.