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About playing in the streets with a back-up recording


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  • About playing in the streets with a back-up recording

    Most of the time I don't use one and I like the freedom that gives me. I can play what i want when I want and slip from one tune to the other when I feel like it and just stop a tune in the middle of it if someone wants to talk to me. Plus it's usually better practice not to use a back-up recording. But for some things it's simply necessary and for others it's just a lot more fun. Sometimes I've made my own piano arrangements using Band In A Box, other times I've just done a simple automatic back-up with the same program.

    Now, which sounds more classy to you? The automatic back-up recording, where you just write a chord progression, choose a style and let the program do the rest sounds kinda cheap sometimes. The problem with the piano backing is that sometimes it may be hard for people to hear if I'm playing the notes on my instrument or if the back-up tape is doing all of it.

    Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

  • #2

    what about one of the ditto loop pedals would that provide any kind of alternative for you?

    they record up to 5 tracks, and up to like 5 minutes or something, You could either play with no track, or you could set yourself a rhythm in what ever key your interterested in jamming to for a few minutes.

    i got one of these myself, and I have never played in the streets yet (though i think thats like one of the coolest **** things a musician can do), and i have to say i really like this little pedal


    +1 to your bravery sir for street playing



    • #3

      Ah, yes a looper will do somethings for you. I have one in one of the amp I use, the Roland AC33 has a 40 second looper built into the amp, you control it via a footswitch and i think that's a cool thing to do in the street too. For "jamming with myself" this would be the best way to go.

      It's not so great for a song like... I was gonna say Memory but that's a bad example becasue that's a melody that stands well on its own, but let's say Skylark. Great tune, beautiful melody but it gets a lot better with some chords to it. To do the whole backing with the looper is not an option. It'd take more than 40 seconds and it would bore people to tears hearing you play all those chords first.

      For something like Satie's Gymnopedie no. 1 I think that copying the original sheet music with the notation program is the way to go, and I think this is the case for most classical music I might play in the street.

      But for pop tunes and jazz standards where the chords really help to bring out more of the melody, I'm not sure a piano backing is better than just a simple "automatic" one from Band In A Box.

      And maybe just because it sounds a little cheaper it might even sound better. It won't sound like I'm playing more notes than I am, people can tell what is the backing track and what is my balalaika.