#1
Hello UG, recently I've gotten into improvising a lot, and I started wondering.
Purely for improvisation purposes, I use backing tracks quite often.
However, I often think it tends to mask my mistakes a little.

So, what do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of a backing track over a metronome?
And just for the sake of it, which do you use?

Ps. If there is already a thread like this, please point me towards it. I couldn't find anything, though.
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Last edited by PsiGuy60 at May 24, 2011,
#2
Backing tracks for playing along to actual songs and metronome for practicing technique and speed.
#3
The major advantage of using a backing track would be having the harmony played. This way, you can immediately hear the chord changes and play over them appropriately. If you can hear the chord changes in your head, then by all means, go with the straight metronome.

A metronome would be superior if you can't feel the rhythm from the backing track. In this case, though, I would suggest having the backing track accompianed by metronome for best results.

I also suggest backing tracks for the whole 'pretend you're on stage rocking the house' feeling.
#5
Quote by soviet_ska
The major advantage of using a backing track would be having the harmony played. This way, you can immediately hear the chord changes and play over them appropriately. If you can hear the chord changes in your head, then by all means, go with the straight metronome.

A metronome would be superior if you can't feel the rhythm from the backing track. In this case, though, I would suggest having the backing track accompianed by metronome for best results.

I also suggest backing tracks for the whole 'pretend you're on stage rocking the house' feeling.


Agreed. Backing tracks are exactly what they are called. They'll help you play the right thing at the right time. You can hear the "chord changes and play over them appropriately", as the good fellow above said.
Metronomes are good for keeping in time and "playing to the beat". If you have the lick or run memorized, that's where the metronome will come in. Slow down the timer and practice slow, or speed up and play, and in both cases, you will be "on time". Metronomes can help get your fretting fingers and picking hand get upto tip-top shape and later, when you are improvising a fast passage, this will come into play.

For improvising, backing tracks are better, but I think the best method would be to use both, a backing track and a metronome played together, as the poster above said.