One of the hardest things for a musician to do is play in a vacuum. Now, I don‘t mean playing in outer space, although that would be pretty darn hard too, playing alone, without the benefit of a band or backing.
This is especially tough for the blues musician, where the heart and feel are so much of the music.
Now you could, and probably should get yourself a band. There are a lot of benefits to hooking up with other like-minded musicians, and it will make your music better even if you’re already better than them.
But musicians are, well, musicians, which means there’s a good chance that getting the band together for regular practice is going to be about as easy as herding cats. Drunken, surly cats.
So what do you do when you need to practice but you don’t have anyone to play with?
Backing tracks. Good quality backing tracks can be the difference between being a pro and being an “also-ran.” They allow you to practice anytime you want, for as long as you want, with professional musicians.
It’s a lot like having your own band jammed into your computer, without the mess.
The trick with blues backing tracks is to get the right ones. Crappy MIDI recordings by “Joe Schmo and his Half Pipe Band” aren’t going to do it. You need to get backing tracks that are professional quality so that you can make your music professional quality.
You’ve probably heard that practice makes perfect but that, quite frankly, is bullpucky. Perfect practice makes perfect. You need to be practicing with tracks that are flawless so that your music will be flawless.
This isn’t something you’re going to get with crappy downloads off the Internet.
That’s why I recommend 50 Blues professional backing tracks as seen in Guitar Player and Total Guitar magazines.
They’re top quality, priced to be a steal and you get fifty different tracks so that you can develop every aspect of your sound. High-quality blues backing tracks will allow you to practice at your own pace, mastering the skills you to need to produce that killer sound.
There’s no doubt, you’re going to have to bust your butt to become a great musician, but buying these tracks is going to make things a whole lot easier for you. You don’t have to do it this way, but there’s no advantage to turning your back on the benefits of quality blues backing tracks.
Now get off the stinking Internet and get playing! :)