View Poll Results: How many of you use BIAB or similar software for practice?

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  • I use BIAB or a similar tool all the time

    71 62.83%
  • I rarely use them but it is helpful

    30 26.55%
  • Nah I play along with my old records man

    12 10.62%
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  1. #1

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    Just curious to see how many folks find it really helpful to use a software tool like BIAB

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I use BIAB. I dont play in a band nor at the moment have friends to play with so I find it invaluable as a practice aid.

  4. #3

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    Not using BIAB because of its price and the user interface I dislike.

    Tried iRealb which is far cheaper and easy to use. OK for quickly having a reasonable play-along

    Mostly use play-alongs I find on the Internet (Learn Jazz Standards web site for example) as they are of good quality.
    If needed I download the mp4 or mp3 and hack it into what I'd like to use, using Transcribe! (slowing down, extracting sections, etc ...) or a DAW. Then I use the resulting audio played from my computer or a looper I loaded the audio into.

    If I can't find something I like, I create a play-along myself, recording a bass part myself and adding the drums part using the Addictive Drums software.

  5. #4

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    Never.

  6. #5

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    I used to have BIAB but don't now. (It was installed on my old PC, which finally died.) I would like it again----there are things I miss about it.

  7. #6

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    I use it very heavily. Although I play in a band, i will often try out arrangements with BIAB first. Yes, the interface is crazy difficult. I also have used iReal Pro on my android nook, but it is silly in comparison to BIAB. I have found relying onit for practice make me very dependant on seeing the chords go by and I always feel that have to to play the changes on every one of them, which has made my playing a little disjointed.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveF
    Just curious to see how many folks find it really helpful to use a software tool like BIAB
    Not a great contribution, but nevertheless ..

    I think the poll should say the plain "never" instead of"nah, using old records", since this suggestion may not attract answers and the percentage computations might be biased.

  9. #8

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    I never have practiced with play-a-longs or records. I always just play through the changes without accompaniment. It forces me to actually play the changes so you can hear them in my lines, not so I can conform to the audio. I just use a metronome.

  10. #9

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    Rarely, but I can see how they help folks...Sometimes I'lllisten to a backing track while I'm driving and sing over the changes. But for guitar playing, I'm more into the rhythm section in my head--this week it's Richard Davis and Joe Chambers.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by richb2
    Yes, the interface is crazy difficult...
    I'm surprised to read this, cuz I find the interface very simple indeed to do basic things. I have had problems adding text etc for printouts but to enter chords, change key, tempo, # of choruses, or style, I find it very straightforward indeed. I'm curious as to what aspects strike you as "crazy difficult"?

  12. #11

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    There are somethings. I wish I had a play-a-long for Evidence, just 'cause I'd like to record it with me playing. I love playing that tune.
    Last edited by henryrobinett; 10-15-2014 at 01:02 PM.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasaco
    I'm surprised to read this, cuz I find the interface very simple indeed to do basic things. I have had problems adding text etc for printouts but to enter chords, change key, tempo, # of choruses, or style, I find it very straightforward indeed. I'm curious as to what aspects strike you as "crazy difficult"?
    This sounds like it deserves a thread of its own.

    In my case, I find creating intros an alternate choruses to be very difficult. Haven't figured it out yet.

  14. #13

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    Not sure about the alternate choruses, but intro is pretty simple: say you have a 4 bar intro. Type the chords into the first 4 bars, then start the main chorus on bar 5. Above the bar-fields, there's a place to indicate the starting bar of the chorus and the ending bar (after which it repeats to the starting bar#). Set the starting bar # to =5 and you're done. It will consider the first 4 bars an Intro and will only play it once and will do all the repeats starting from bar 5.

    You may be right: it may be worth having a separate thread for help on BIAB questions. I have some of my own...

  15. #14
    I don't really see the need for BIAB (or alternative) seeing as I just play along with the records. I don't really see the need to slow the tempo down either (there's never enough time to think anyway).

  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by henryrobinett
    I never have practiced with play-a-longs or records. I always just play through the changes without accompaniment. It forces me to actually play the changes so you can hear them in my lines, not so I can conform to the audio. I just use a metronome.
    This is a great exercise but sometimes you want to hear a specific note(s) against the harmony, especially when you're not playing lines per se.

  17. #16

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    True. But I think of it like a tenor player practicing running through changes and tunes. I can run substitutes and alterations and hear it all in my head. It forces you to really know the changes.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by henryrobinett
    True. But I think of it like a tenor player practicing running through changes and tunes. I can run substitutes and alterations and hear it all in my head. It forces you to really know the changes.
    I am beginning to really recognize the importance of being able to "hear" several instruments in your mind all at once.

    I would also say that if you want to practice singing while playing, you need to be able to do it as well.

    I compare it to a computer running two or three programs at the same time, seamlessly.

    It is a wonderful ability to have but I know many that don't have it or have not developed it.

  19. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by henryrobinett
    True. But I think of it like a tenor player practicing running through changes and tunes. I can run substitutes and alterations and hear it all in my head. It forces you to really know the changes.
    Yes but it's only cool if you do it on a bridge

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveF
    I don't really see the need for BIAB (or alternative) seeing as I just play along with the records. I don't really see the need to slow the tempo down either (there's never enough time to think anyway).
    One advantage is that it is easy to change the key of a piece. Say you work with a singer who wants to do some ballads in keys you're not used to playing them in (and you don't have recordings of the tunes in those keys.) Voila---you can put "Body and Soul" or "'Round Midnight" in whatever key you wish to practice.

  21. #20

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    I do my own transcriptions of songs with Sibelius, which I think is advantageous from a learning and practicing point of view, creating midi tracks for rehearsal. But with my old legacy $69 Sibelius G7, it is hard to get a good percussion track or at least I have not yet figured out how to get a good track. What I would like BIAB for is to use the Real Tracks software to create 'credible' percussion and bass accompaniment. Credible for practice purposes. And I have heard some fine musicians (pros) on Youtube put up solo guitar or piano plus accompaniment tracks for video purposes. Two musicians I follow who pull this off are Dave McKenzie (Australian pianist) and Bob Burford ( US jazz guitarist). Additionally, I'm curious about the function that creates instrumental solos in certain styles - sounds interesting.

    I like to have tracks to play over. More fun to me. For those who use it to create jazz percussion and bass tracks, which version of BIAB do you consider the minimum to create a variety of jazz styles? Best bang for the buck thing.

  22. #21

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    Targuit,

    The UltraPlusPak is the level at which you get all the real tracks, that's what I have.

    PG Music - Band-in-a-Box for Windows - All Packages

  23. #22

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    I use IRealB for practice.

  24. #23

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    I'll say it once more - and I'm not being insistent that this is the correct way to do it. But PRACTICING with play-a-longs alone doesn't REALLY force you to learn the chords as you improvise. You can ear it, which is OK. But when I improvise without play-a-long assistance it forces me to have to KNOW its a C7+11 going to Fm69 to A7+11 to DMaj9. I can't just guess and bullshit my way through. Those altered chords and extensions are reflected in the notes I'm playing in my solo, more often than not. At least I know where they are when they're happening.

    Even if you can't do this right now it's a great exercise to play if very slowly, any tempo you feel comfortable and pick out those notes. It forces you to know your stuff!
    Last edited by henryrobinett; 10-16-2014 at 06:35 PM. Reason: typo

  25. #24

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    I tried but I just can't get into it. Not for jazz. I'd rather lay down some chords with a looper or avoid it all together. I'm all for fake this-or-that and cheeziness but some kinds of backing tracks just don't do it for me.
    Just my opinion.

  26. #25

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    Not a massive fan of BIAB. Why use that when you could be jamming along to Miles?