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Band in the box
Old 03-24-2009, 05:05 PM   #1
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Band in the box

This is not an ad for this software, but I wonder if anyone else uses it?

I'm a lifelong frustrated musician who has little natural talent, but works very hard at playing the guitar. After years of playing folk style, I decided to take jazz guitar lessons last summer. Since I have no talent, I can't actually play jazz, but I can play tablature (follow the numbers) and so can play along with the melody I see in front of me, and improvise along really simple chord progressions.

So I got the band in the box software, hooked it up through MIDI cables to a keyboard, and play along as the music displays on my laptop. The backing tracks are very, very, good, equal in quality to what would have cost many thousands of dollars in the past. And there are thousands of musical selections one can download for free on the internet. The s/w itself has a free demo, or you can buy it pretty cheap, I think for under a $200.

By choosing the guitar track, I can play along either the regular music notation or the tab while choosing whatever instruments I want in the background, usually percussion, bass, and horns or piano. Trombone Al might be bored, but I have a lot of fun with this, and every now and then DW says I sound pretty good! And she is unbiased, of course
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Old 03-24-2009, 05:19 PM   #2
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I know DH uses Band in the Box, but I wasn't sure for how long. I just asked him and evidentially he loves it because he's been using it since 1990! I had no idea it had been that long...

Anyhoo, he's been playing (bass) guitar for about 35 years and last summer bought an upright bass. He's into jazz now. Is interest in jazz something that has to happen when we get older? I like a little of it, but have not yet jumped on the "band wagon".
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Old 03-24-2009, 05:48 PM   #3
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He's into jazz now. Is interest in jazz something that has to happen when we get older? I like a little of it, but have not yet jumped on the "band wagon".
Band in a box is just as good for a bass as for the guitar, glad to see he's been using it for so long. The latest version has what they call "real tracks," which are sampled instead of synthesized. Meaning you hear a real recorded instrument for, say, the drums, instead of a synthesized sound.

As far as jazz and age, I don't know. I loved listening to New York style jazz when I was growing up in the 50s and 60s, but then my taste moved to folk and rock. About five years ago I reacquainted myself with the jazz that I loved, and when I actually play along a jazz track it's quite a rush. I do think you need an understanding of the music in order to appreciate jazz, it's sort of a musician's music. But, hey, I'm just a fan, not a real musician, and I really appreciate what the musicians do with their instruments. It's such a free flowing, interpretative music that it's almost like speaking a different language rather than playing music.
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Old 03-24-2009, 06:52 PM   #4
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But, hey, I'm just a fan, not a real musician, and I really appreciate what the musicians do with their instruments.
I've been around musicians for many years and it's tough to compliment them. For some reason or other, the compliments don't sink in. I'm sure you are better than you think...keep practicing.

Thought I'd share a couple of pics. The first one is a jazz band from our community college. DH has been taking classes there for years. It's gotten to the point now that when the teacher is out, he teaches the class. He's the one playing the red bass.

The second pic is from DH's blues band a few years ago. Again DH is the one playing the red bass. That afternoon they played at a radio station in San Antonio, and later that night played at this club. The female singer was and still is awesome....
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File Type: jpg san antonio gig.jpg (411.8 KB, 9 views)
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Old 03-25-2009, 07:44 AM   #5
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Thought I'd share a couple of pics...
I'd love to be good enough to do that type of thing, looks like he has a lot of fun.

I was in San Antonio last year when they were having a jazz festival down by the river. Got to see the Dave Brubeck quartet live, at a free concert a couple of blocks from the river. The guy is amazing, frankly I didn't know he was still alive. I think he's about 90, but still sounds like he did in the 1950s, moves around the stage easily and still creates new compositions.

At one point Brubeck told the audience that he always likes to play one new composition and one old composition. Everyone figured the old composition was Take Five, or one of his other hits. He then said this one was "real old," and began to play a jazz version of Tantum Ergo Sacramentum, the old Catholic hymn. He said this originally came from a 2000 year old Roman marching song. He also played a classical piece set to jazz, and showed his classical training.
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Old 03-25-2009, 09:07 AM   #6
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Don't use "Band-in-a Box", but I've been using cheap inexpensive midi authoring software for years to create backing tracks for jamming practicing and recording.
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Old 03-25-2009, 11:26 AM   #7
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I've been around musicians for many years and it's tough to compliment them. For some reason or other, the compliments don't sink in. I'm sure you are better than you think...keep practicing.
Um, bbbamI, I think you and I remember exactly how we *used* to show our appreciation for the band, LOL! Nowadays, I just clap really loud rather than lift my shirt!
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Old 03-25-2009, 11:28 AM   #8
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Um, bbbamI, I think you and I remember exactly how we *used* to show our appreciation for the band, LOL! Nowadays, I just clap really loud rather than lift my shirt!
Musicians and clap have often been closely associated...
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Old 03-25-2009, 11:32 AM   #9
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Musicians and clap have often been closely associated...

Dont they have a shot for that..
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Old 03-25-2009, 11:38 AM   #10
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Don't make me talk about the trombone player again....
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Old 03-25-2009, 01:13 PM   #11
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Um, bbbamI, I think you and I remember exactly how we *used* to show our appreciation for the band, LOL!
Thanks for the inspiration... think I'll go practice a whole lot more
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Old 03-25-2009, 01:30 PM   #12
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Um, bbbamI, I think you and I remember exactly how we *used* to show our appreciation for the band, LOL! Nowadays, I just clap really loud rather than lift my shirt!
Uh oh...you mean I should have been wearing a shirt?
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Old 03-25-2009, 01:45 PM   #13
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Uh oh...you mean I should have been wearing a shirt?
No, that would have been boring...........
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This Thread is USELESS without pics.........:)
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Old 03-25-2009, 03:08 PM   #14
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It's such a free flowing, interpretative music that it's almost like speaking a different language rather than playing music.
I agree; and I will have to admit there's nothing sweeter than a smooth jazz tune....
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Old 03-25-2009, 03:49 PM   #15
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I use it almost every day. There are web sites from which you can download the BIAB arrangements for thousands of songs, so that you don't have to enter them manually.
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Old 03-25-2009, 06:12 PM   #16
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I use it almost every day. There are web sites from which you can download the BIAB arrangements for thousands of songs, so that you don't have to enter them manually.
Glad to see that a musician uses it as well. I thought it might be boring for you. I probably have 1000 arrangements I've downloaded for free, and choose the ones I like and that I can play along with, which narrows it down a lot. Usually traditional jazz songs from the 30's 40's and 50's, Fly Me to the Moon, It Had to be You, etc.
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Old 03-25-2009, 06:50 PM   #17
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Most of my playing is with a bass player. For that reason, the chord voicings that I generally use (talking piano here) leave out the note that the bass player plays. Because of that playing with BIAB on bass and drums is the best way to practice.

The songs you play are the same one's we play. Here's a set list from a recent gig:

Have you Met Ms. Jones
I'm Old Fashioned
Pennies from Heaven (In F)
Someday My Prince Will Come
Cute
Fly me to the Moon
Scotch and Soda
Speak Low
My Romance
Linus and Lucy
How High the Moon

Do Nothing Til You Hear From Me
Alice in Wonderland
Night & Day
So What
All of Me
Pent up House
Girl from Ipanema
My Funny Valentine
What is This Thing Called Love
Fly me to the Moon
Dindi
Lullaby of Birdland
A Train

Reserve

On Green Dolphin St
Stolen Moments
Afternoon in Paris
Summer Samba
Equinox
Way you Look Tonight
Days of Wine and Roses
Straight No Chaser
Wave
Au Privave
Blue Bossa
Robbin's Nest
Misterioso








Scotch and Soda Speak Low My Romance Linus and Lucy How High the Moon
Do Nothing Til You Hear From Me Alice in Wonderland Night & Day So What All of Me Pent up House Girl from Ipanema My Funny Valentine What is This Thing Called Love Fly me to the Moon Dindi Lullaby of Birdland A Train
Reserve
On Green Dolphin St Stolen Moments Afternoon in Paris Summer Samba Equinox Way you Look Tonight Days of Wine and Roses Straight No Chaser Wave Au Privave Blue Bossa Robbin's Nest Misterioso
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Old 03-25-2009, 07:13 PM   #18
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Most of my playing is with a bass player. For that reason, the chord voicings that I generally use (talking piano here) leave out the note that the bass player plays. Because of that playing with BIAB on bass and drums is the best way to practice.
Cool. I heard the couple of the short clips you posted and they are beautiful.

For the songs that I butcher try to play, I choose songs that have a melody line, then turn off the melody line in BIAB and play the melody on my guitar. This way I can watch the melody line on my laptop and play along with it, because you can still see the music even if the melody is silenced. I usually have drums, bass, and maybe a piano or horn going in BIAB, using real tracks for the drums and bass and midi for the other instruments. I use three rounds, play the melody on the first round, try to improvise on the second round, and either play melody or let BIAB play melody on the third round.

Quote:
The songs you play are the same one's we play. Here's a set list from a recent gig:
We're on the same wavelength there! But I also like a lot of bossa. I'm going to look at your play list in my BIAB files and see if I can play some of them. I keep my favorites in a separate BIAB folder for easy access. Here is part of my favorites list:

A Felicidade
A Foggy Day
Ain't Misbehavin'
All of Me
All or Nothing at All
April in Paris
As Time Goes By
Autumn Leaves
Basin Street Blues
Blue Monk
Blue Bossa
But Not for Me
Come Fly with Me
Corcovado
Cottage for Sale
Days of Wine and Roses
Desafinado
Do Nothing Till you Hear from Me
Fine Romance
Fly me to the Moon
Girl from Ipanema
How High the Moon
I'll be Seeing You
In the Mood for Love
I Should Care
It's Only a Paper Moon
Just One of those Things
Laura
Might as Well be Spring
Mood Indigo
Moonglow
Moonlight in Vermont
My Funny Valentine
Nearness of You
Night and Day
Paper Moon
Shadow of your Smile
Stardust
Stars fell on Alabama
Stella
Tenderly
These Foolish Things

And, as a confession, when I'm frustrated (which is often), I will play some Chuck Berry and try to do a really bad duck walk.
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