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Woodshedding - Learning to Play!
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Hello,
First off, kudos to the BIAB development team; great product.

My question is does anyone use BIAB as a practice tool for learning/improving bass guitar playing? If so can you share some specifics on using it in this way?

I'm new to the BIAB forums so I hope this "Woodshedding Forum" is the appropriate place for this question.

What I have in mind is to create a library of jam tracks in BIAB, perhaps with the bass absent that focuses on a particular area of needed improvement such as arpeggios, scales, ect. But I'm not sure what chord progressions to enter into BIAB to accomplish this. I'm guessing music instructors would use BIAB in this way for their students since they would be able to provide a complete "band" for the student to play with. Not to mention total control over the tempo and style choice.

The genres I am most interested in are classic rock, progressive rock and smooth jazz. Specific artists are The Beatles, Alan Parsons, Roger Hodgson, Al Stewart, Pink Floyd, Zero7, Paul Hardcastle, Thievery Corporation, Ryan Farrish and similar.

Thanks for sharing any tips, pointers, ideas or chord progressions.


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BiaB 2024 Windows
For me there’s no better place in the band than to have one leg in the harmony world and the other in the percussive. Thank you Paul Tutmarc and Leo Fender.
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Yes, I have used BiaB as backing tracks for both my guitar and bass students. Just pick a style/genre, generate the parts, then mute the bass part.

For my guitar students I mute the guitar rhythm track for teaching rhythm but keep the entire song for teaching lead guitar.

I use MIDI for those backing tracks because I can slow them down or speed them up without introducing artifacts. Also these are not demos or songs so they don't need the best sounds available.

I hope this helps.


Me, it's not about how many times you fail, it's about how many times you get back up.
Cop, that's not how field sobriety tests work.

64 bit Win 10 Pro, the latest BiaB/RB, Roland Octa-Capture audio interface, a ton of software/hardware
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Thanks MarioD,

I know how to build a backing track and how to mute instruments in BIAB (the mechanics) but I struggle with the specific chords or chord progressions to use to focus in on learning arppegios, scales and other musical elements. And then there is the question on whether I'm playing them correctly.

I think using BIAB as a musical instrument practice tool makes every sense and has two parts. Part A relates to the mechanics of constructing a backing track; in general, I know how to do this.

Part B is the "music teacher/music theory" part. For example, what specific chord progressions should I use to learn arppegios or fills and how do you use BIAB as a tool in this regard? This is what I'm struggling with.

Part A + Part B = Learning Success

Put another way, and more specifically, how might a student of the bass guitar use BIAB to learn the elements of Paul McCartney's bass line in Penny Lane? You can go to UltimateGuitar and copy the chord sheet and even enter these chords into BIAB, but more is needed to effectively learn that song. As you know, a chord progression is not a bass line.

There are also web-based bass instruction sites such as TalkingBass.net but I don't believe he/they use BIAB. Conversely, there are those that are very familiar with BIAB. I'm hoping that someone in the BIAB community can give specific tips on the Part B of this question.


https://soundcloud.com/user-646279677
BiaB 2024 Windows
For me there’s no better place in the band than to have one leg in the harmony world and the other in the percussive. Thank you Paul Tutmarc and Leo Fender.
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After reading your posts, it appears to me that you are probably trying to do something too complex. If you want to learn Paul's Bass in Penny Lane, then getting a transcription of that would really help and start learning note for note. You can also take an MP3 of that song and put it into any slow downer type software and slow it way down without changing the pitch and can segment off small parts to loop and play along with. VLC player will do this for free as well as Audacity, BUT my favorite is the program Transcribe! (with the exclamation point) I use it constantly. It even slows down instructional videos.

With BIAB however, I think maybe your backing tracks should start out super easy. I always start with 1 chord only looping to practice new scales, triads, roots, pentatonics etc. Then you can expand to other single chords. Then you can expand to 2 chords back and forth with enough bars of each that it is not too fast for you. Then you can slowly get more complex for instance building a backing track of I to IV to V to I and play over that. Go slow and incrementally. Or you can take two chords out of the Penny Lane progression and play your newly learning bass run over just that segment. You could use the style picker song search box to find something suitable similar to Penny lane. Or just go back to the real song and make segments to practice against if you want precisely the Beatles music.

Have a ball!


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My question is do you want to learn the exact bass lines of Penny Lane, or any other song, or do you want something that is close?

If you want to the exact line then Backingtracks first paragraph is what I would have said also. Adding to it you might want to purchase a transcribed MIDI Penny Lane song. Just be sure to listen to the MP3 of the transcribed MIDI song so you can determine if it is a true transcription. You could also bring the MIDI file into either BiaB or your DAW for practicing the bass lines.

If you want get to something close you can put the chords into BiaB, mute the bass line, and practice your bass.

Either way make sure you are having fun.


Me, it's not about how many times you fail, it's about how many times you get back up.
Cop, that's not how field sobriety tests work.

64 bit Win 10 Pro, the latest BiaB/RB, Roland Octa-Capture audio interface, a ton of software/hardware
Woodshedding - Learning to Play!
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Hi Backing Track,

We think along very similar lines. I use Audacity quite often to slow down entire songs and to isolate particularly difficult sections and slow them down so they can be looped and practiced. Now I'm trying to incorporate BiaB into my toolbox.

My goal is not to necessarily copy the bass player on any artist's song note for note but to try to learn the basic rules of creating my own bass lines that give good justice to the original song. And I think BiaB can help with this. Neither am I trying to necessarily copy the bass line in BiaB.

Your idea of starting with a 1 chord BiaB backing track with the bass muted is a great idea, so I did just that in C Major for 32 bars using a pop ballad style at 80 BPM. I then recorded my playing on top of this backing track and saved it out as an MP3 file. I limited myself to the triad of this chord (C, E and G). Once this is mastered I can move on to scales, other single chords, and then multi-chord backing tracks leading up to full songs as you suggest.

Is there a way for me to send you this MP3 file to comment on?
Or is there a location at PGmusic.com that allows file sharing?


https://soundcloud.com/user-646279677
BiaB 2024 Windows
For me there’s no better place in the band than to have one leg in the harmony world and the other in the percussive. Thank you Paul Tutmarc and Leo Fender.
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I believe you can upload an MP3 file here using the file manager link below the full reply window. Beware the file manager link does not have an underscore so it is not obvious it is a link.


BIAB 2022 UltraPak, WIN10, Scarlett 2i2, Guitar Rig 6, Fishman LoudBox Artist, Martin D35, Taylor 812c, Cordoba 55FCE, Fender Strat, Epiphone LP, Ibanez GB10se
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BackingTrack,
Here is my attempt at uploading the MP3 file.

Attached Files (Click to download or enlarge) (Only available when you are logged in)
C Major Practice Mix(Triads only).mp3 (2.6 MB, 15 downloads)
BiaB backing track with bass recording

https://soundcloud.com/user-646279677
BiaB 2024 Windows
For me there’s no better place in the band than to have one leg in the harmony world and the other in the percussive. Thank you Paul Tutmarc and Leo Fender.
Woodshedding - Learning to Play!
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# Backing Track and Bass Thumper #

Check out Band-in-a-Box's Tempo function. You can slow down playback as much as you want.

Attached Files (Click to download or enlarge) (Only available when you are logged in)
Clipboard02 Tempo.jpg (22.94 KB, 84 downloads)

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Thanks Jim,
I normally adjust the tempo by dialing-in the BPM directly.


https://soundcloud.com/user-646279677
BiaB 2024 Windows
For me there’s no better place in the band than to have one leg in the harmony world and the other in the percussive. Thank you Paul Tutmarc and Leo Fender.
Woodshedding - Learning to Play!
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I just wanted to make sure you realized Band-in-a-Box can drop the tempo way slow. You don't have to take the song out of Band-in-a-Box to slow a song enough to practice.


Jim Fogle - 2024 BiaB (1111) RB (5) Ultra+ PAK
DAWs: Cakewalk by BandLab (CbB) - Standalone: Zoom MRS-8
Laptop: i3 Win 10, 8GB ram 500GB HDD
Desktop: i7 Win 11, 12GB ram 256GB SSD, 4 TB HDD
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Woodshedding - Learning to Play!
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Ahhh, I think I understand now what you are saying. I didn't Save Special as an MP3 in order to slow it down. Rather, I use Save Special as an MP3 so that it can be imported into a DAW My DAW allows me to record my bass line. Then I mix my recording with the BiaB backing track and finally export the mix to MP3 which is universally playable by others. The bass you hear in the MP3 file is my bass playing, I muted the bass in the BiaB SGU file at the beginning of this process. Why? Because to my knowledge, BiaB cannot record.


https://soundcloud.com/user-646279677
BiaB 2024 Windows
For me there’s no better place in the band than to have one leg in the harmony world and the other in the percussive. Thank you Paul Tutmarc and Leo Fender.
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Originally Posted By: Bass Thumper
BackingTrack,
Here is my attempt at uploading the MP3 file.


PERFECT!!!

Now when you start to get bored with the sound of the one chord backing track, you can simply change the style and freshen everything up but still maintain the focused practice regimen.

I am doing this now with different CAGED positions on the fretboard (regular guitar, not bass) and layering up roots, 3 string triads, 2 octave arpeggios, associated pentatonic scale, and lastly the diatonic scale. This type of one chord practice is absolutely solidifying my knowledge of those and ability to improvise with them. Later you can go between 2 chords and on and on....

What a great tool!!

Last edited by BackingTrack; 01/03/22 07:44 PM.

BIAB 2022 UltraPak, WIN10, Scarlett 2i2, Guitar Rig 6, Fishman LoudBox Artist, Martin D35, Taylor 812c, Cordoba 55FCE, Fender Strat, Epiphone LP, Ibanez GB10se
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Originally Posted By: Bass Thumper
BackingTrack,
Here is my attempt at uploading the MP3 file.


Good start. Now play triads in all keys and in different bass neck positions.


Me, it's not about how many times you fail, it's about how many times you get back up.
Cop, that's not how field sobriety tests work.

64 bit Win 10 Pro, the latest BiaB/RB, Roland Octa-Capture audio interface, a ton of software/hardware
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Here is another recording based on the same C Major BiaB backing track. This time I tried my 1st pentatonic scale (C D E G A C) played up a couple times then played down. The challenge here was to get the timing down so that I would blend with the phrasing of the backing track; hopefully it's at least a little musical. I think I can fairly easily translate what I've learned to D Major and other keys, so remaining in C Major, what would you suggest I try next? I'm guessing there is much more I can squeeze out of the C Major key.

Zooming out to a bigger picture it appears that triads, pentatonic scales and other musical elements are "building blocks" that can then be assembled (in some way) and used to form musical phrases and for me, bass lines . . . probably a subject for a new thread.

[If any PG Music marketing or development people are reading this thread, what a good opportunity this could be for a PG Music vision. What if a set of instructional videos could be developed that teach the musical concepts we are discussing here using BiaB as the foundation? Specific BiaB SGU files could be produced that focus and aid the student to learn various concepts. These could be offered to teach 6-string guitar, flute, piano, etc. I'd be your 1st customer for bass guitar. You could even call this "PG Music University".]

Attached Files (Click to download or enlarge) (Only available when you are logged in)
C Major Practice Mix(Pentatonic Scale).mp3 (2.59 MB, 4 downloads)
C Major Backing Track(Bass Pentatonic Scale)

https://soundcloud.com/user-646279677
BiaB 2024 Windows
For me there’s no better place in the band than to have one leg in the harmony world and the other in the percussive. Thank you Paul Tutmarc and Leo Fender.
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There are a significant number of fantastic video tutorials from other companies that address these thoughts. For Bass, there are a number of Truefire courses that would be great, even one specifically on Pentatonics. Another good teacher is "ebass guitar" with a free trial: https://ebassguitar.com/.

Looks like you are going to have a wonderful voyage!


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