Different people practice guitar in different ways... you can practice in a very clinical fashion, learning scales and techniques and practicing them with a metronome. Is that valuable? Of course. But there's another way to make HUGE progress on your guitar, and for most people, it's LOADS more fun than the clinical approach.
Hi, I’m Jonathan Boettcher, and I’d like to introduce you to my secret practice weapon – jam tracks! In my opinion, the absolute fastest way to make serious progress on guitar is to practice with other musicians, in a band. However, most people simply don’t have the opportunity to jam with others, and even if they do, there’s no guarantee the band will be willing and able to get together exactly when you’re available to play!
So, that leaves us with jam tracks – nearly as good an experience, and FAR more reliable than a band!
Ask yourself the following:
- Do you want to learn how to improvise on your guitar? (or get better at it)
- Do you ever feel frustrated by not having anyone to practice with regularly?
- Have you wasted money on guitar lessons that taught you hardly anything?
- Are you sick of cheezy midi backing tracks that sound like the ice cream truck?
- Are you practicing, but with seemingly little progress in your playing?
- Have you ever struggled with 'stage fright' when about to play in front of others?
- Do you have trouble turning a scale into a solo?
If you answered "yes" to any of those questions, then please keep on reading, because I've got answers for you...
The Best Way To Learn How To Improvise
Apart from actually having a live band behind you to back you up, 24/7 whenever you're in the mood to play, playing with jam tracks is simply the best way to learn how to improvise on the guitar. You can really dig into a particular song and work it over and over and over again, and your band mates will never complain! In a band, I've had people complain after just the second time through a song... can you imagine how that would work if you really wanted to nail a particular solo, and you knew you had to do it at least twenty times to get the feel for it?
Jam tracks help you learn to improvise by giving your solo context - a rhythm section that you can count on. A guitar solo on it's own sounds flat and uninteresting... because it doesn't have anything behind it backing it up. Your solo can only truly shine when it is played in context with drums, bass and rhythm instruments. Additionally, having those extra elements will help provide new ideas that you can work off of in your own guitar work.
Many people struggle with "stage fright" when they're playing in front of others. In fact, I've talked to people who simply won't play if there are people around, for fear of making a mistake and being embarrassed. Well, with jam tracks, you can lock yourself in the closet with your guitar and some headphones, and no one is going to ever hear your mistakes, until you're ready.
Improve Your Timing And
Ability To Hear Chord Changes
A lot of guitar players struggle with their timing, and a big part of the reason is they don't play with other people very often. Or to be more precise - they don't play along to a rhythm that is outside of their own head. Jam tracks offer the opportunity to play with an "external" rhythm, and your ear becomes your best teacher. You'll begin to hear when you're way out of time, and will automatically begin taking steps to correct that. With practice, the timing will start coming more naturally.
Learning to hear when the next chord change is coming is a similar kind of skill, and again, playing with jam tracks can help develop that. Practicing playing along with the rhythm part of the jam tracks not only helps develop your timing, but with the other cues (bass, drums, other rhythm instruments), your ear will begin telling you when to get ready for the change.
Learning to "feel" the music can be one of the most elusive things to master... for the player who always plays alone. Practice with jam tracks enough, and you'll notice that both your timing and overall sense of where the music is going starts to improve.
Not to be overlooked is the fact that you will also become better at listening to what others are doing in a live band situation. By playing with jam tracks, and actually paying attention to what's going on in them, you can train your ear to begin to lock in to the bass and drums - something that is really important when you're in an actual band.
The Perfect Test-Bed For New Riffs
Riffs are a bit like people... you can take a person and drop him in different situations, and he is going to react differently depending on the circumstances and what is required. But most guitar players only ever learn a new riff in one particular way, and they get locked into trying to interpret it just that one way in all circumstances.
Practicing new riffs over top of a variety of jam tracks gives you an opportunity to work that riff idea over so thoroughly that it literally becomes part of your guitar-playing personality. You'll come to the point where you can draw on that riff in nearly any situation, and you'll be able to find a way to make it fit tastefully.
In addition, as you're working these riffs over and over with the different tracks, you'll begin to find yourself actually writing new riffs on the fly, as one idea combines with some element in the track you're working with and something new pops out. That's when things really start getting interesting!
Jam Tracks Are Just Plain FUN!
When I released my first collection of blues jam tracks, I received an email back from a customer the day after he received his copy, and this is what he told me:
Jonathan, I have my DVD and downloads - nice job on the backing tracks.
I just spent 4 hours non-stop jamming... not bad for an old dude (61 yrs)!
Talking about practicing... were you ever forced to practice an instrument as a kid? Using jam tracks will be FUN - you will come home from work and WANT to pickup your guitar! I've heard from guys who told me that they literally can't wait to get home from work, just so that they can pop in their CD of jam tracks and fire up the guitar amp! Let me tell you, there are worse ways to unwind than spending some time soloing at the end of a long day of work...
Learning By Doing
Learning by doing is considered by experts to be the most effective way of learning to actually do something. Learning in a classroom is fine, but any new grad will tell you most of the real learning comes when they start applying themselves in the real world. Same with guitar! You can learn about scale patterns until you're dreaming about your fretboard, but it is only once you start applying those scales that you truly begin to understand how to use them.
Jam tracks offer an excellent opportunity to put to work the things that you learn elsewhere, whether it be a new soloing technique you're working on, or even just working on your rhythm chops. Playing along to a jam track is an excellent way of ensuring your playing becomes attuned to the rest of the song.
Tracks From A Variety Of Influences...
These tracks are inspired by songs from artists including:
- ZZ Top
- Kenny Wayne Shepherd
- Eric Clapton
- Dire Straits
- BB King
- Rolling Stones
- Government Mule
- John Mayer
- Jeff Healey
- Lynyrd Skynyrd
- and many, many more...
Jamming along to a good backing track merges some of the best experiences a guitar player enjoys: creating unique music that truly allows your own personality to shine through, and the feeling of being immersed in the music - just as if you had a rock solid band behind you backing you up.
High Quality, Full Arrangement
There are hundreds and hundreds of jam tracks available on the internet, many of them even for free... but if you have ever actually listened to those tracks you'll know that most are downright terrible quality. If you held your nose long enough to actually grab your guitar and try playing along to those low quality tracks, you'll know that it isn't very inspiring to play with something that sounds reminiscent of monkey trapped in a room with a cheap keyboard.
That's why I knew there was a need for good, high quality, full arrangement jam tracks. Jamming to one of my tracks is a totally different experience, there are real bass and drums in there, along with rhythm guitar, keyboards... whatever is required to make that track really sound good.
In fact, the only thing missing from the track is YOU!
This collection of 30 rock tracks truly sound like you're playing with a band... and probably the best way to demonstrate what I mean is if you have a listen to the tracks themselves! Below, you'll find audio clips from the first 20 seconds of each jam track.
Yeah, that's right... if you count all the tracks up there, you'll find there are actually thirty-one jam tracks, not thirty! In the end, I had too many tracks and I just couldn't narrow it down any further... So, an extra bonus for you!
You'll also notice that all kinds of different styles, keys, and tempos are covered in this collection, meaning there's truly something for everyone.
An UNUSUAL Bonus
Most collections of jam tracks that are available online will come with some sort of bonus - usually a collection of tabbed riffs. Rock Guitar Jam Tracks is not like that. Yes, of course I included a bonus, but rather than just a couple pages of riffs, instead I created an entire 100 minute video lesson as a bonus!
The bonus lesson is intended for two different groups of students: those who have never soloed before, and those who already have a bit of experience under their belt. For those who have never soloed before, we'll cover the pentatonic minor scale, which is the absolute best place for any beginner to get started soloing. The pentatonic minor scale is literally foolproof - as long as you play within the pattern correctly, you literally can't play a wrong note! I'll teach you how to play this scale pattern, as well as a great extension to this pattern which allows you to access more of your fretboard. We'll also briefly cover a few tips (with examples) on how to get started turning that scale into a solo. You'll get tab and diagrams (onscreen as well as in the course supplement book) for the scales as well.
For those players who already know the pentatonic minor scale, I've included 10 very cool guitar riffs in the bonus lesson. These riffs are not intended for total beginners - they are intended to challenge you, as well as open up some new directions for your playing. The best part is, I won't just give you the ten riffs, I'll spend time teaching each one in detail, as well as showing you how to make many variations out of each riff. In total, with the variations, this section will effectively give you 85 new riffs to use in your soloing!
Each of the 10 riffs is tabbed out - onscreen as well as in the course supplement book. The screenshot above shows exactly what you will see on-screen - the fretboard, with the tabs directly underneath.
Chord Charts Included!
When you're learning to solo over top of a particular song, it really helps to be able to learn the rhythm first. With that in mind, I've included basic chord charts for each of the 30 tracks in this jam pack, all conveniently arranged so they take up no more than a single page each (to make it easy for you to use while playing). The actual interpretation of the rhythm I've left up to you, because in most cases there are several variations that you could play. Instead, the chords themselves are noted, along with the arrangement (verse x2, bridge, etc).
In addition, every chord chart is labelled with the best scale to start with when you're soloing over top of it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How are these tracks different from your collection of Blues Guitar Backing Tracks?
A. These tracks are similar in style and quality, however they lean more towards the "rock" genre than the blues.
Q. Are these tracks actually decent quality?
A. Yes, these are high quality tracks that sound nothing like most of the lame midi-based keyboard tracks you find elsewhere. Additionally, the MP3's are encoded at 256 kbps, and the CD's are equally high quality. If you play these tracks through a good system, you will have ample thumping bass and beautiful highs throughout.
Two Ordering Options
30 Rock Jam Tracks is available in two order options (both contain the same material): Download Only, and 2 CD's+DVD+Download.
Either way, you’ll be able to download the jam tracks and lesson today and get started immediately, or watch it directly in your browser (this option works best for mobile devices). Please keep in mind that the download files are large – so if you have a slow internet connection this will take a very long time. For this reason, the DVD is recommended.
* US & International Shipping costs not included (these will be calculated in the shopping cart). Prices in US dollars.
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Let's work together to take your guitar playing to new levels that you never dreamed possible!
To Your Success,
PS. These 30 Rock Jam Tracks are one of the most enjoyable and fun ways to practice guitar. Playing along with these tracks will not only improve your ability to improvise and solo, but you'll find your sense of "feeling" the song improves as well!
PS. I completely guarantee that you'll thoroughly enjoy jamming with the "30 Rock Jam Tracks" - if not, you're protected by my 100% "No Weasel Clauses" 60-Day GUARANTEE.
I started with the improvising lesson and that finally clicked for me. Learning some scales and having the Jam Tracks was the answer.
Your method of teaching works for me!
I spend hours playing the blues tracks and finding my way around the fingerboard. I have been playing for fun most of my life and was never able to play lead. Even though I don't read music, I can now play some lead with some confidence. I have a new found desire to learn more! I am 54 and had given up until I found your site. Thank you Jonathan.