Trouble playing with backing tracks

  1. Ed McGarrigle
    Ed McGarrigle
    I started on-line lessons with “ online academy of Irish music “ ( in March and have learned a few tunes, currently working on “the connachtman’s ramble”. I’ve been particularly focused on trying to memorize tunes and timing by being able to play along with the instructor Paddy Cummins. My problem is difficulty playing along
    with backing tracks. I can play along with the instructor okay but not with the backing tracks. The backing tracks can be a fiddle and guitar or various other instrumental combinations. Sometimes the 50%-75% just don’t sound ( to me) like the tune at all.
    While playing along with the instructor at a slowed tempo works for me, finding the “space” in a backing track without a mandolin track is not happening.
    I’m wondering what others experiences are and if you have any tips.

  2. Spragster
    Do you use any sort of metronome? For me playing to backtracks can be a bit strange as well if the chords or harmonies dont go where I think they should. If i know the tune though and focus more on the timing than the back track i do better. Irish tunes feel less mechanical than the more “american” traditional songs somehow, personally at least. Play the tune at whatevers comfortable, and sooner or later the backtrack will get familiar and hopefully take a back seat to your melody
  3. Ed McGarrigle
    Ed McGarrigle
    I’m kind of scared of metronomes. I suppose I’ll have to face my fears pretty soon.
    This morning on my walk, while listening to the Liz Carrol station on Pandora, I heard a really lovely slow version of “Britches Full of Stitches” by fiddler Martin Hayes.
    This is a tune I’ve gotten pretty well under my fingers so I think I’ll try playing along with it and then go back and forth to the accompaniment tracks on the OAIM website. I guess anyway you cut it, it’s a matter of going back over and over
  4. maudlin mandolin
    maudlin mandolin
    With regard to IT backing tracks I have noticed that sometimes where the tune is being carried by either a fiddle or flute it can be slurred and ornamented so much that it almost disappears; so you could either try to concentrate on the guitar and other rhythm instruments in your existing tracks or find tracks which are purely rhythm and just play the tune using the backing track to keep in time.
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