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In my sax classes, my teacher accompanies me with his piano. He corrects my timing mistakes. Also, it sounds better than playing alone.

I just came up with a software which can help me to do it at home. It's like doing karaoke with an instrument. It plays the song without the main instrument and records the player. So, the guy can play in his own style while keeping the rhythm and listen to the result at the end. It would be great if the program displayed the notes too.

  • Can you recommend me similar programs?
  • Are there free or paid song tracks available to download? Or does one need to compose everything himself?
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Are you playing jazz? If so, have you looked at the entire Aebersold series of books with accompaniment CDs? They're not exactly 'karaoke software' but they are the standard for practicing over changes with a rhythm section. –  ssb Feb 6 '13 at 2:02
    
Indeed, Aebersolds and also what Will suggested below of Band In a Box will get you far. –  Shawn Strickland May 15 '13 at 7:38
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4 Answers

If you are just need the "comping" (chords and rhythm) check out iReal b for iOS and Android devises. When I purchased it, it came with a huge library of all the standard Jazz tunes, but since then they have faced some legal challenges. Now the app does not come with any tunes, but you can download a pack of 1200 Jazz standards from their user form (the app walks you through it).

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thanks. are there any desktop alternatives of it? –  mustafa Feb 7 '13 at 14:17
    
@mustafa Not that I've used, but I've heard of Band In a Box. –  Jordan Eldredge Feb 8 '13 at 23:59
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iReal b is available for Mac OS X. I just purchased it. –  Wheat Williams Mar 28 '13 at 4:47
    
Is there a benefit to owning both? IE, can I edit/create charts on mac and have them synced to iOS? –  Tim Coker Dec 23 '13 at 14:40
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You can have the Aebersold recordings (you can google for them). And in youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/user/Learnjazzstandards?feature=watch

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This may be off-topic for the title, but you mention that your teacher is correcting your timing a lot, and for that I just recently heard great advice, so I don't think I'm completely off-topic here.

Especially on a saxophone, it helps to practice along with a metronome, no matter what you play (scales, melodies, etc.).

This may sound like beginner stuff, but here's the logic behind it: On the saxophone, different notes take longer to form and leave the instrument than others. By playing with a metronome, you slowly get used to how long it takes to get the note out at exactly the right time, and with time it becomes habit.

A saxophone teacher I once had told me about this, and he said he used to play OK for years, but he really became good after he started using a metronome.

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Check out:

Band in a Box for Windows and Macintosh

iReal b for iOS, Android and Macintosh

SmartMusic for Windows, Macintosh, and soon for the iPad.

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