Updated by Jack Keough
There's no doubt that isolating a scale makes it easier to learn. However, what if scales were practiced in a way that made music easier to learn and feel? Backing tracks might be part of the solution. What is a backing track? Simply put, it’s recorded music that supports the performer. With backing tracks, students can feel the nostalgia of a lydian scale integrated in harmony. They can experience the bittersweet tension of a minor four chord while learning a melody. What is ordinarily a C major scale can become an awe inspiring riff with the right music supporting it. Take “Wild World'' by Cat Stevens for example, the riff in the chorus by itself is just a C major scale descending. When you hear it with the whole band and the message of the lyrics, it becomes an emotional expression of the story that’s much deeper than a series of whole steps and half steps.
At Middy, we’ve realized how backing tracks help provide the musical context to scales, chord progressions, techniques and more. We’ve made it our goal to discover ways to provide experts the tools they need to teach technical skills without losing the emotional touch that made you pick up your instrument in the first place. We play music to express ourselves, provide the backbeat for cultural traditions and so much more. So why are students practicing the scales, chord progressions and techniques that create this music out of context?
Give our lessons a try at middy.com and let us know what type of impact you think a backing track can have during practice.