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Using Backing Tracks


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Elements of Better Blues Musicianship

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Anytime you learn something new it's important to use it right away in a musical context. Otherwise it becomes one of those things that you play when you pick up a guitar somewhere, but never use when you're having fun and jamming. The easiest way to do this is by using backing tracks. You could do it with a band, but the backing tracks serve as a really nice step in this process, allowing you to experiment and get comfortable with the lick without having to worry about sounding good or impressing anybody else.

So find a backing track to use the new lick, trick or concept over. Don't think it has to be the same key or groove. That's just part of the learning process. Ideally you'd be able to use this idea in any given musical context- all songs are different! The more you can adapt a lick, the more you'll use it and the more fun you'll have with it!

Now let me show you what I mean by using the lick from the previous lesson over a funk backing track. The track is in the key of B, so I'll have to move down a half step and I'll have to adapt the rhythm and the attitude to make it fit over this new backing track.