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#17183 - 03/16/09 05:51 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Practice ideas with band in a box
howtoplaybassdotcom Offline

Registered: 12/04/08
Posts: 261
Hey everyone

Mostly I use BIAB for practicing with.

Either loading standard chord progressions and playing with them in different styles
Or I've programmed some drum only styles where beats drop out to help with my timing.

I'm writing an article for my website on how to use BIAB for practicing - does anyone who uses BIAB to help practice their instrument post how they use BIAB?

Thanks in advance

Paul Wolfe
how to play bass...learning songs, not scales!

#17184 - 03/19/09 12:55 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Practice ideas with band in a box [Re: howtoplaybassdotcom]
Edward Buckley Offline

Registered: 03/27/06
Posts: 812
Loc: Guadalajara, Mexico
Greetings Paul,

Good thread and topic here. Peter and Company have really developed the ultimate practice tool with BIAB. I not only use it for my own personal practice, but for my students and classes as well. For Example:

1. My personal practice: I now have many folders containing the exercises of my music books. I play both Trumpet and Piano. Most brass exercises can be a tad bit tedious and unmusical. BIAB to the rescue, I now have tasty backing tracks for my Trumpet books, both Exercise and Etude books. I am also working on a Transcribed solo book, which I will put into BIAB. In this way I will have the Original MP3 of the solo (Clifford Brown or Bill Evans for example) Then the chords and solo written out in BIAB. I can slow down the solo or change keys at any time, allowing me to zero in on trouble spots. Last, I now have a Big folder of my personal favorite tunes, that I play using the Jukebox feature. This insures that I really know the tunes and is great for playing through without pausing, I can then shuffle these tunes in my iPod when Im gigging and I will always know the tune even if I can´t see my iPod!
2. I use BIAB in my Harmony and Music Theory classes. I have many music theory books now in BIAB format, it is so much better to play REAL MUSIC then just trying to explain some concept . This week, I made a file for the song Ïf you never come to me¨by AC Jobim. I was able to play in the melody from my EWI , Type in the chords and Print out parts for Concert, Bb and Eb instruments in less than 10 minutes! I then printed out another copy without the melody, asking my students to improvise using their pencils. I then printed another copy of a Soloist part (Pat Martino 16th note solo) WOW, my students were blown away by this approach to Improv.
Really Paul, I´m just scratching the surface here. PM me if you need more details, and I can also zip you some files so you can see what I´m talking about.

Hope this helps,

#17185 - 03/19/09 01:21 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Practice ideas with band in a box [Re: Edward Buckley]
Notes Norton Offline

Registered: 07/06/00
Posts: 4430
Loc: Fort Pierce, Florida, U.S.A.
I originally bought BiaB back on the Atari/ST computer to practice improvisation on my saxophone with. After all, improvisation is a series of making tensions and releasing those tensions, but without the rest of the band, there are no tensions.

I still use BiaB to practice improvisation with. It is great for that.

I also write aftermarket styles for it - I started writing the styles for myself, gave them to friends who raved about them, so I took out an ad in Electronics Musician. Peter Gannon called one day and offered to help me convert them to PC and Mac (thanks Peter) and before I knew it I was in the style business.

I also use BiaB as a scratch pad to generate backing tracks for my duo - complete instructions on how I do that are at

But of all the uses for BiaB, I think it is one of the best practice tools on the market. Almost any song, any key, any tempo, any style, and your band-mates don't have to hear the clinkers while you practice.

Bob "Notes" Norton smile Norton Music

100% MIDI Super-Styles recorded by live, pro, studio musicians for a live groove
& Fake Disks for MIDI and/or RealTracks

#17186 - 03/19/09 04:08 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Practice ideas with band in a box [Re: howtoplaybassdotcom]
BobDworak Offline

Registered: 12/03/08
Posts: 6
Here are some things I use BIAB for:

1. Playing the melody of a tune on my tenor, in unison with lead instrument and rhythm, to keep my intonation and time honest.

2. Listening to the chords of a tune and then soloing over them.

3. Generating an endless stream of sight-reading material in many styles and keys with the Soloist.

4. Adding new tunes to my book and printing lead sheets in C, Bb, and Eb.

5. Having fun, as decreed by Peter Gannon.

I bought Band in a Box to use as a practice tool, and that's still its primary role in my musical life. Though Real Drums and Real Bass make for an amazingly realistic accompaniment, the most important capabilities for me are still those fundamentals having to do with accompaniment (including easy transposition and tempo change), generation of melodies and solos, variety of styles, and notation. I hope PG will not abandon further development of those capabilities of this wonderful program in favor of pretty horn sounds (which are way cool, but I still want to be the best-sounding horn in the room when I practice).

#17187 - 03/19/09 05:52 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Practice ideas with band in a box [Re: BobDworak]
howtoplaybassdotcom Offline

Registered: 12/04/08
Posts: 261
Thanks everyone for the posts - when I've written the article for my website (the original purpose of the Original Post!) I'll post a link here so you can have a look....


Paul Wolfe
how to play bass...learning songs, not scales!

#17188 - 03/19/09 06:09 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Practice ideas with band in a box [Re: howtoplaybassdotcom]
John Conley Offline

Registered: 09/28/03
Posts: 8333
Loc: London, Ontario, Canada
Wow, bass players practice? (Ducks)

C G C G C G C G G C G C C......

John Conley
Musica est vita

#17189 - 03/21/09 05:29 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Practice ideas with band in a box [Re: John Conley]
howtoplaybassdotcom Offline

Registered: 12/04/08
Posts: 261
thats a tough exercise!

DO I use both hands?
Paul Wolfe
how to play bass...learning songs, not scales!

#347151 - 04/24/16 11:34 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Practice ideas with band in a box [Re: Edward Buckley]
FrancisTrompette Offline

Registered: 01/22/14
Posts: 1
Hello Edward,
I am using BIAB the same way you do.
Actually, I would like to find a transcription of Clifford Brown's solo on Delilah.
Any idea where I could find it ?



#347156 - 04/24/16 11:51 AM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Practice ideas with band in a box [Re: howtoplaybassdotcom]
Noel96 Offline

Registered: 10/31/08
Posts: 13455
Loc: Australia
Hi Francis,

Welcome to the forums.

Have you tried Google and then looked at the images that Google finds?

This post you found was created back in 2009 (03/16/09 according to the time stamp) and the original poster doesn't drop by too often these days so they might not see your question.


#347176 - 04/24/16 03:38 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Practice ideas with band in a box [Re: Noel96]
WytchCrypt Offline

Registered: 04/18/16
Posts: 6
Loc: Rainier WA, USA
I've used BIAB in 3 ways over the years...

1) Back in the 90's I developed awful tendonitis and nerve damage to my right elbow so couldn't physically handle recording the bass and drum parts to my original songs. I used BIAB to play/record the rhythm section then multitracked the guitar and vocals on top. My arms were blown out, but I could still write/record my stuff. BIAB was a lifesaver!

2) Currently I'm trying to learn to play pedal steel guitar and BIAB is the perfect practice buddy. It's super easy and fast to enter in any song I want to learn then play and repeat, repeat, repeat!

3) Another thing I use it for to optimize my practice time...I can save a song as a standard midi file then import that into TablEdit (tablature editing software) which will translate the midi file into pedal steel tablature. Saves me lots of time where I used to have to transcribe pedal steel tab by hand.

BIAB...there is no substitute wink

#347192 - 04/24/16 06:18 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Practice ideas with band in a box [Re: WytchCrypt]
Jim Fogle Offline

Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 3922
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA

I noticed your #2 about learning to play steel guitar. Did you know there is a steel guitar forum that has a special section just for Band-in-a-Box? You can find out more about the steel guitar forum ++HERE++
Jim Fogle
2018 BiaB (520) UltraPlusPak RB 2018 (Build 5)
Cakewalk by Bandlab - Sonar Home Studio - Cakewalk Music Creator 6 - Audacity - Zoom MRS-8 recorder
i3 laptop, 64bit Win 7, 8 GB ram, 480GB SSD
Music at:

#347450 - 04/26/16 03:57 PM [Band-in-a-Box for Windows] Re: Practice ideas with band in a box [Re: howtoplaybassdotcom]
Danny C. Offline

Registered: 03/18/04
Posts: 6480
Loc: South Louisiana
Don't know if this fits the question but, the way I practice with BIAB is to rehearsh for my gigs.

#1. Determine my set list
#2. List them according to Key Sig and tempo so the set is easiest on the ear and brain.
#3. Put on cans, grab a nearby guitar and run through the set using Jukebox.
#4. Of course time the set as I edit what I want to be the final.
#5. After I get it where I think it should be, then I add at the bottom a list of 5/10 more songs that can be substituted with the click of a mouse.
6. After my list passes the can test I repeat all of the above through the PA I will be using on the gig.
7. Then I pack for the gig and have a Jack Daniel's and Water.

PS: I also like to spend at least 5-6 hours a week working on original and new cover material.


Danny C.

The More You Drink The Better I Sound


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