a work in progress
short quips about our backing tracks to help you get started
An Evening in E Minor
An Evening in E minor is a sweet blend of acoustic guitar, Phil Collins style drum work, with an interesting Mike & the Mechanics vibe. If that means nothing to you, that's ok. This is a laid back groove with haunting ethereal voice that's worth a listen.
You can work with harmonizing over the nylon string plucking. Alternatively check out the major pattern in the guitar practice tab above (in all other content). Try it in the second position with an open E in the bass. Standard harmonics fit right in.
Rhythmic percussion is the hidden metronome. Super pretty piece, one of our most popular.
Oceans Apart in C Minor
Oceans Apart is a favorite of ours as it captures the smooth vibe we are known for. What makes the piece interesting is despite the consistent acoustic guitar theme throughout (albeit very pretty), the rhythmic changes push it back and forth, in and out of the foreground.
In some of those changes, the feel is enhanced with electronic funk, then seemlessly reverts to a simpler variation of the original theme. This is an awesome piece to create smooth jazz melodies using the 3rd string primarily (G on guitar) up and down the fretboard. Slide into your target notes for that little extra jazzy feel.
Back Home in C Major
Back Home is also a crowd pleaser. It has a comfortable pace and a nice round bass with plenty of tone. Overall, it’s a very warm tune that is incredibly friendly for exploring A minor pentatonic shapes and blending them with the major scale in the C major position.
It’s also great for trying out some arpeggios and adding them to your scale tones. Since the tune is a two chord vamp (CMaj7 | FMaj7) arpeggios are easy to find. Play your favorite CMaj7 chord shape, any tone in it is an arpeggio note. If you play a line from those notes, you are playing an arpeggio … which are the sweet tones you’ll find in any line.
Explore arpeggio lines in both CMaj7 and Fmaj7. Switch between the two and play them over the backing track. Don’t treat them like a scale. Treat them like very special tones they are and make the most of them. Arpeggios are simple in concept, yet guitarists struggle to fully embrace them. Just think of them as a note choice. Skip over notes and reach for new intervals. Keep the ones you like. Remember the shapes you create.
Behind The Moon in A Minor
Behind The Moon in A Minor starts off with bass vibe reminiscent of Rikki Don't Lose That Number by Steely Dan ... then it fluidly morphs into a likeliness of Moondance by Van Morrison verse, but without the chorus. It's actually quite cool. Especially later on with a funky change in the bass line that's accented with horn shots. You' don't expect either one, but they work, and it's a great place to pause and come back in fresh.
The main feature of the track is that it is multilayered with counter harmonies that could stand on their own. Yet they can equally embrace any A minor pentatonic lead additions you lay on top. It's a fun piece that'll have you dancing in your seat ... or working in that Moondance lyric. Listen for it.
C Mixolydian w vocal
Ever wonder what all the noise is about modes? It sounds more complicated than it is.
Check out our vid on this one. The vocal example helps. Once you get it, it's addictive.
Downright Blue in E Minor
This one is different and much fun. Our first shot (haha) at some authentic blues, and what do we really have here ... a bunch of guitars plunking out bluesy E minor tones. And at a slow, slow pace.
What you want to do hear is ear training. And technique building. For the ear, make every note count. If you play a note that doesn't quite fit or sound great, now is the time to get rid of it. Reach for the sweet tones only.
Now, some technique to get that done. Play single string melodies on the first and second strings only. And be sure to include the open notes on both the e string and the b string. As you run up and down either string, slide into your notes, throw in a harmonic, follow up and syncopate with open strings ... it all works.
G Major One
At the end of the day, G Major One is a simple ballad type progression that's easy to figure out and get your head around. We purposely don't provide the changes since our tracks are all about playing by feel.
The 808 electronic drums are a bit old school, but done right they add a nice metronome like quality that helps you keep your timing tight and consistent.
The sweetness of the track comes through with the subtle synth pads and acoustic picking that floats in and out as the measures pass. A great piece of exploration can be found in playing notes from an open D chord and moving it to the 7th position making it a G triad (an arpeggio). Play tones from the shape and extend out as you would an open D chord. Try it out.
Meditation in E Minor
Meditation in E Minor is an acoustic meditation. It's meant to be soothing and emotive. Using the major scale shape in the 2nd position is a beautiful start to approaching this tune. Your typical open harmonics on the 12th fret are in fact E minor arpeggios, don't be afraid to use them.
This piece is perfect for setting your mind right with your instrument. It's short, so you have to make the most of it while it lasts.
Keep it simple, feel the acoustic vibration. Allow it to heal you. Play it again. It's an acoustic med. Share it with those who need it.
Angels Cry in A Minor
Angels Cry in A minor is chock full of gorgeous atmospherics panned across the field. It can become dramatic, cinematic and sometimes delicate.
What makes this piece heavenly is that anything works with it. Nylon string, steel string, unplugged and sensitive or overdriven with a burning passion.
Turn up your effects, I love a good warm delay on this one. Yet I love a good warm delay on most melodic lines. It doesn't seem to get old if not overdone.
Romance in A Minor
Romance in A Minor is quite rare for several reasons. It starts off a little sleepy, but with a smooth enough groove to get something going. The interesting part kicks in as soon as the slide guitar enters, which you wouldn't originally expect in a piece like this.
Nevertheless it works, and it works well. About two thirds through, more percussive and electronic elements blend in with voice and choir. Putting this all together in A minor of all keys is a gift. We really get caught up playing to this one. It's warm, romantic, rhythmic ... and creative! It will draw some good lead out of you. Give a listen at least once all the way through.
Amber City in C Minor
Amber City in C Minor is all about bass and percussion. The panning effects in this piece are simply over the top. It's a bit of a faster pace for a Creative Track, and it has a great predictable pulse that doesn't get boring.
This is one of our most popular tracks, and no surprise since it's so enjoyable to listen to. It's a great mix, and an awesome way to work out work chops in C minor. Go for it for the practice alone.
Brazilian Blue in D Minor
Brazilian Blue in D Minor is an amazing track for guitar. Listen to the demo. The rhythmic pulse alters between keyboard and guitar. The timing is consistent in an offbeat way that somehow naturally draws out some fun lead that can be simple yet perfectly fitting.
Practice short phrases using D minor arpeggios, and skip strings as you explore wider intervals. Another good trick here is to be very mindful about your landing notes. Land on a good one and let it ring out for longer than you normally would. This helps you try new phrasing by throwing pauses into your timing.
C Minor Groove One
C Minor Groove One started off as a practice track, so you may want to think of it in that fashion. It is all about soloing over the C minor chord, so you can add c minor triads to your leads, strum / pick c minor chords and extensions, and really practice all of the 5 c minor pentatonic shapes and connecting them by running up and down a single string.
All of the above works beautifully over this groove. In addition to working the pentatonic shapes, try the major scale shape (see guitar scale shapes in the menu) in the 10th position. Mix it in with the minor pentatonics. Soon you can be all over the fingerboard.
Felicidad in A Minor
Felicidad in A Minor for the most part is a progression that goes like Am7 - GMaj6 - FMaj7 - GMaj6. The bridge and chorus can contain a II-V-I change plus an E7 | B7 change.
This all flows very cooly and you may never notice ... yet if you hear it you can throw in a
G# note and it gives you a little extra edge you might not have reached for before. Just keep going for it occasionally until you hear where it works. The chord change should be noticeable enough, check it out on the demo.
All up the tune has a retro feel, really nice warm mids, and it's super comfortable to chill with.
Sweetness in D Minor
Sweetness in D Minor starts with an orchestral tuning then just melts into a warm, rhythmic, sexy strut. What we do with this one on the guitar ... try just using the top two strings only. Starting with the B string, run up and down on the frets that sound good, then feel a melody line from the note combinations you like. Do the same thing with the E string.
Once you have something going on each of those two strings, now play using both and trying new combinations of notes between them. Two string exploration will get you up and down the fingerboard while exploring intervals and creating your own beautiful melodies.
The tune has a lot going on in the background ... synth, pad, violin, great guitar groove ... just play over it and with it to make it work.
Walkin' in A Minor
Soft ethereal beginning with nylon string intro ... then it turns into a disco, house piece with an acoustic guitar pulse. Upbeat and fun, the bass is ridiculously warm and tasty.
The piece is just over two minutes, great for a short burst of A minor fun without getting too caught up in it. Keep going after it, work out your own melodic lines. Find the keepers. Syncopate with the other guitars.
Bliss in A Minor
Bliss in A Minor is an incredibly gorgeous acoustic meditation that can easily stand on its own. Ethereal voices open to acoustic guitar, bass, percussion and synth choirs.
This is the perfect tune for trying out the major shape (see guitar scale shapes in the menu). Just as it's shown in the 7th position.
Add to the music. Playing lead isn't always about running over something with your guitar.
Bliss is gentle. Treat it accordingly. Listen to it a few times first, hear the fills you want to create.
Harmonic E Minor
Harmonic E Minor is a perfect practice track for getting more intimate with the guitar fingerboard. It's great for working out the major guitar scale shape (see menu) in the second position, using open E as your root. It is also very fitting for trying new single string runs up and down the fingerboard, one string at a time.
The tune begins with two guitars, super chill down tempo, then builds with bass and brush snare kit. It is consistent throughout, making it easy to follow and focus on your note choices. Keep it slow and look for new ideas one note at a time. Everything is a build.
Duet in C Major 1
Duet in C Major 1 is chock full of atmospherics, voice and multiple guitars. Strings course melodically through the piece providing an opportunity to counter point and answer melodically via duet fashion.
Duet in C Major 1 is a sophisticated piece that can stand alone as an ambient arrangement. Nevertheless, challenge yourself to add to the piece in some fashion. An opportunity for true ear training. A few well placed notes can make a strong contribution to the theme.
Gone to San Ramon
Gone to San Ramon has a bit of a Zeppelin "Goin' To California" vibe which makes it cool to begin with. It even has some ratty lead guitar about midway thru the piece that creates acceptable tension prior to the resolve.
The fun we have with this one is in strumming and picking through various A suspended arpeggios, then expanding those lines with tones from the A major scale.
Meditation in E Minor 2
Meditation in E Minor 2 is dark and ethereal. It is basically an E minor to A minor vamp carried by the synth pad, embellished mostly by piano and vocal. Horn and guitar accents add color throughout the piece, adding to the mysteriously haunting pulse.
This is the perfect practice piece for learning more ways to create new E minor shapes, starting out slowly and repetitively with just a few notes at a time.
Meditation in E Minor 2 makes learning and practice great fun even when you take it slow. Listen to the quality of each and every note to determine which ones to keep and how to move between them.
Let It Go V2 in C Minor
Let It Go V2 is the slim version of Let It Go. It has a very tribal, primitive soul yearning that begs a response. Key vamping enters and serves as a brief intro to English Horn and ethereal vocal. It all pasess quickly as the tribal beat persists.
We go with hot, over driven blues pedals and cry along. Make your solo gently weep.
The vibe is full of down tempo mids that couldn't be warmer.
Let It Go in C Minor
Ok, so this is the fat file compared to V2 above. You'll hear additional vocals in the intro, an amazing bridge that pulses with funk, synth sub lines, amped snares, crisp acoustic embellishments.
You're probably going to air guitar the bridge more than once.
The vocal entries are super sweet, and the horn blends are exoticly intoxicating.
Regga Folk Bidna in B Minor
We could say that Regga Folk Bidna is one of our most basic tracks, yet one of the most fun and popular. It's more upbeat than many of our tracks, and has that signature reggae rhythm. The pulse is infectious, the vibe is energetic and determined.
The tune introduces dobro guitar with tasty accents and acoustic embellishments throughout the piece. The voice work couldn't be tastier.
Amazingly enough, there's plenty of room to add to it. Pick your spots. Listen carefully, the mid tones are created from pick slapping a Taylor 214 CE. One sweet axe.
Over Easy in B Minor
With or without the lead intro, Over Easy in B Minor is a good long six minute workout. Variations in the underlying guitar work lead up to classic electric arpeggios that will no doubt bring smiles to many of you. They are really tasty in our book.
The technique we use in the lead might be helpful to you. Its all on the second string frets 2, 3, 5, 7 & 8. It's a good & easy way to extend further down the neck into your more familiar patterns.
Make up new lines on the first string in similar fashion. Use the same frets 2, 3, 5, 7 & 8 Create lines using both strings. Keep it simple and slide into those notes.
Start with 3 ,4 or 5 notes that sound really good to you. Patience with this brings rewards.
Chai Bossa is a personal favorite because it has so much of that Michael Franks feel. This one is supported by a video on Youtube to facilitate the chord changes.
The chord changes are not difficult. There are only three chords GMaj7, BbMaj7, Ab Maj7 ... a common formula found in Mr. Franks tunes. The vid points out the pattern, making it monumentally easier to follow.
What I love about this one - just change your key pattern with each chord change to make incredibly fluid melodies that require little variation.
Chai Bossa is a totally chill tune with your classic bossa bass line. It has some sweet guitar enhancements and well placed instrumental accents.
Here's the vid: