A great learning tool

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by craigie, Aug 4, 2018.

  1. craigie

    craigie Guest

    Nov 11, 2015
    I'd like to share a great learning tool I use to learn and memorize new songs and work on problem parts.

    I have cubase and use it for midi backing tracks. I program the bass track (and other tracks) and can play along, turn tracks on or off, change key, change tempo....

    Here's what I do to sequence a midi track. If you don't want to know specifics about cubase....too bad.

    Start a new cubase project from a template that I have set up.
    Import the mp3 file that I want to make a backing track from.
    Now synch the midi tempo to the audio track. The only way I have found that works well is manually. If the song changes time signatures then you have to change time signatures in the cubase track as well. Cut the audio track so that it starts right on beat 1. Then paste it at beat one of the project. Now here is the trick: use the tempo track to adjust the tempo of the project so that it matches the audio track. I let it play for say 8 bars and then stop playback right on beat 1. Now grab the little dot on bar 1 beat 1 that adjusts the tempo and drag it up or down until the grid lines up exactly with the playback line. Click that spot at the playback line (beat 1 of bar 9 in this example) to add another tempo adjustment point. Play for another 8 bars or so. If you got it right the first time and the tempo is really steady you shouldn't have to adjust much. If the tempo does change then you'll have to repeat this process of making tempo markers and adjusting the next one so that everything stays on beat. Turn the click on and off to check. You will find amazing little tempo variations you may not have noticed before between say the verse and chorus. I'm working on learning American Pie right now and it drops by several BPM during the "And as I watched him from the stage, my hands were clenched in fists of rage" parts. Then it kicks right back up again like clockwork. Amazing.

    Now here's the magic. You can repeat say 4 bars, 8 bars, whatever, and put it on loop so it keeps playing in tempo without any breaks. Now you can practice that part over and over again without having to stop, rewind, wait, repeat. Or you can just play along to the whole song. Ooops! Made a clam? Get that part down and then loop it 20 times. Then move on. It takes some time to set up but for a complicated song it's worth it.

    Now learn how to sequence the drums and fire the drummer!
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Lots of slow-downer software that work very well for learning, looping and isolating bass lines and other instruments.:thumbsup:
  3. craigie

    craigie Guest

    Nov 11, 2015
    So all I did was reinvent the wheel? I feel so let down
    Pendulous likes this.