#1
I'm trying to understand why sometimes I seem able to play a song I'm trying to learn faster than the recording when I'm practicing it. As soon as I try to play to the track I start messing up. Turn the song off run through it a few times more and I feel like I'm blazing through it, play the mp3 and I'm making mistakes again.

Has anyone else ever experienced this phenomenon?
#2
Nothing surprising here. I also have better time without any audio. By trusting my gut instinct, I am able to play the song well based on my internal metronome, instead of consciously trying to match the song's bpm.

The only thing I can suggest for you is to practice heavily with a metronome and record your playthrough. Checking out how you sound can really help. Is your bpm different depending on the part of the song? Are you playing the strings loudly enough? At what part of the song do your posture seem clunky?

Btw what song are you practicing right now?
#3
johnqwerty.lee1
I've only been playing a little over 7 months and have been using Troy Stetinas metal method books. One song in particular from the Metal Rythm Vol 1 book called Rock and Roller I seem to do worse playing along with the backing track. When I run through it by myself I seem to fly through it without much problem.
Once I play with the track I'll make a mistake and than things will start to unravel after.
Guess I gotta grind at it a while longer.
#4
That's simply because a lot of mistakes simply aren't noticeable without the backing track. For example,you have no way of knowing if you're playing out of time if you're playing without the backing track.
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#5
^ Yeah. I was coming in to say, "Maybe it's the centipede effect..." when I just saw the title, but if it occurs when playing along to a recording that could well be an indication that you don't know it as well as you thought.

Or else you're just getting nervous when playing along to the recording, which is also possible.
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#7
I feel like the more I think the more I'm prone to mistakes
"ba doo doo ba doo doo ba doo daa"
- earth,wind, and fire
#8
Quote by steven seagull
That's simply because a lot of mistakes simply aren't noticeable without the backing track. For example,you have no way of knowing if you're playing out of time if you're playing without the backing track.

Yep, and if you find playing with a backing track as distracting then that is more of a reason to practice with the backing track on. It is one step closer to playing with other musicians.
#10
When you aren't using the backing track are you instead using a metronome? It could be you are memorizing the piece through muscle memory without also memorizing how to play it in time. So when you play it yourself you are always playing at a set tempo (a tempo that probably fluctuates through easier or more difficult passages).

If you are using a metronome then I would try tapping your foot too. This should reinforce the beat and help you play it at slower or faster speeds as well. Ideally though you want to practice stuff at many different tempos. The best way is to start slow and work up, because, as you are finding out, starting fast and slowing down is much harder.
#11
Tony Done 
Yeah it is that same auto-pilot mode you've talked that about that makes me think of the brilliance of fingerstyle guitarists like Emmanual or Atkins. It must take an immense amount of practice to play like that innately.  
"ba doo doo ba doo doo ba doo daa"
- earth,wind, and fire
#12
There are a few possibilities:

1. Playing to the track forces you to play at the same speed (not slowing or speeding up any sections)
2. You need to keep going with the backing track (when practicing you can stop, or redo parts)
3. It adds an extra level of pressure (although small, it might be enough to get your nerve going a little bit)
4. You will notice mistake or timing issues more with a backing track (which might put you off)
5. One section might be throwing you off

If you record yourself playing without the track, with a metronome and also with the track, it should help narrow down any issue
#13
It could be a left brain versus right brain thing. Playing it alone, and you can use the imaginative side of your brain. Play it along with the recording, and the analytical side of your brain takes over. Maybe your analytical side isn't as good as your imaginative side.