Woodshedding - learning to play!

This forum is for posts that are anything to do with learning to play any musical instrument (including vocals). The purpose of this is to help you answer the question ..."How can I learn to play a musical instrument, as soon as possible!"

For most people, one of the primary reasons for using music software like Band-in-a-Box, is to improve your musical playing on an instrument. Sometimes we forget that, and get caught up in the technical details of the software. So we get questions about how to change the font size for the lyrics, but not many questions like "How can Band-in-a-Box help me to learn Smooth Jazz Trumpet soloing?" Band-in-a-Box is a great tool for helping you learn to play a musical instrument. There are lots of other great tools out there that help with learning to play, including:

  • PG Music software (e.g. Band-in-a-Box, RealBand, AudioChordWizard, Brent Mason Guitar Star, Jazz Guitar Master Class etc.)
  • Other software
  • Teachers (on youtube, online etc.)
  • Books, DVD's
  • Music schools and online courses
  • Music Theory
  • Gear

The hope is that this forum will help people who are learning to play an instrument, providing them with information encouragement to fulfill their goals. Example posts:

  • How do I learn to play bluegrass banjo?
  • I want to learn jazz piano, will Band-in-a-Box help?
  • What is 'modal playing'?
  • What's a good guitar for learning to play fingerstyle?
  • Are there any good tips for learning to play folk-style mandolin?
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PG Music News
Band-in-a-Box® 2018 - Cleaned-up BB folder!

It's the first day of spring today, which means it's time to start spring cleaning!

We cleaned up the BB folder with our release of Band-in-a-Box® 2018. Over the years, this folder has been growing - there were up to 10,000 files in there! We've fixed this and put the files into various folders. This is done with a cleanup routine. The cleanup normally happens automatically during installation, but you can run it manually by selecting the main menu Help | Utilities | Run Cleanup routine.

The cleanup routine does the following:
-Moves Styles files (.STY/.STX) from C:\bb to C:\bb\Styles.
-Moves Soloists files (.ST2/.XT2) from C:\bb to C:\bb\Soloists.
-Moves various Demo folders to C:\Demos.
-Moves various songs and lessons folders to C:\bb\Songs and Lessons.
-Moves various files essential for running Band-in-a-Box to C:\bb\Data and C:\bb\Data\Lib.
-Moves various preferences files to C:\bb\Preferences.
-Moves tutorial demo songs, program manuals (.pdf), and the help file (.chm) to C:\bb\Documentation.

Oliver Gannon Interview - Appointed to the Order of Canada!

Oliver Gannon (Peter Gannon's brother), was appointed to the Order of Canada in recognition for "his achievements as a musician" on December 29, 2017!

Oliver recently sat for an interview with CBC's Hot Air host Margaret Gallagher - read a summary and listen to the interview at

'I don't know ... why they chose me. But I'm very glad and I'm not giving it back'
-Oliver Gannon

To be clear, and avoid any confusion, there are two brothers: Peter Gannon is the "Band-in-a-Box" PG Music guy, and Oliver Gannon is the jazz guitarist who just won the Order of Canada.

#Monday Motivation - Free Band-in-a-Box® Hard Drive!

Want to snag yourself a free Band-in-a-Box® hard drive? Tell everyone how much you love Band-in-a-Box® with your very own Band-in-a-Box® Testimonial video!

Submit your video, and when we use it on our website (and YouTube page) we will send you a FREE Band-in-a-Box® Hard Drive!

Learn more about how to submit your video testimonial here.

Take a look at the video testimonials we've already received at www.pgmusic.com/videotestimonials.php

User Tip - Custom Drum Shots

Have you ever wanted more control of the RealDrums generated within Band-in-a-Box? (example: with the same consecutive shot/hold/push)

Forum user Pipeline shared their steps in an incredibly detailed forum post to our Tips & Tricks forum - check it out: Custom Drum Shots.

#FunFactFriday - Team PG!

Did you know... Within Band-in-a-Box®, choose Help | About Band-in-a-Box, and you'll see more than just information on the program - you'll also see a complete list of Team PG - we're currently at 35 team members!

#TBT - Automatic Soloing in Band-in-a-Box® 7!

Band-in-a-Box® 7 included some great new features - like Automatic Soloing! This introduced program users to the powerful Soloist capabilities of Band-in-a-Box®, which also includes the Soloist Maker.

Automatic Soloing!
Pick any song or chords in any style, and choose a "soloist." Band-in-a-Box® then creates and plays a professional quality solo in the style of your choice. Previous versions of Band-in-a-Box created great accompaniment. Now you can hear sensational solos as well - showing you exactly what notes are played. Choose from "soloists" in the style similar to great Jazz musicians such as Django Reinhardt, John Coltrane, or Country/Pop soloists and others, or create your own soloists using the "Soloist Maker."

Soloist Maker
This module allows you to define your own soloists. For example, let's say you want to create a soloist in a style similar to the style of "John Coltrane" - the great Jazz saxophonist. The Soloist Maker allows you to define the parameters essential to Coltrane's playing, such as instrument range (i.e. tenor saxophone), extra legato playing, playing more on top of the beat than typical Jazz musicians, and playing straighter 8th notes than usual Swing 8th notes. Also, you can set phrasing options, such as how long the phrase should be and how much "space" to leave between phrases. You can also set how "outside" the playing should be. In the case of a John Coltrane style - you set that to the maximum! Then "turn him loose" and hear the soloist play over any song!

Review all of the features added with Band-in-a-Box® 7: http://www.pgmusic.com/pdfs/bbwin_version_7.pdf

#TechTipTuesday - Opening MIDI Tracks in PowerTracks Pro Audio

Open your MIDI file in PowerTracks Pro Audio (or RealBand), and you'll see the instruments separated onto their own track - an excellent way to hear all the instruments individually for that song, and a great way to learn!

There's no trick to it either - just use the File | Open dialog, locate the MIDI file, and click [Open].

Note: Type 0 MIDI files have all channels on one track, and should ask whether you want to separate them. If you accidentally chooses no, hit Edit - MIDI - Extract Channels to Tracks. Typically, Type 1 MIDI files have the instruments automatically separated.

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