any free software to jam with?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Mindabout, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. Mindabout


    Apr 11, 2004
    I want to try out some different bass line ideas without my guitarist around but still hear how it gels with the guitar chords. I'm wondering if there's any free, basic software available online that you can use for accompaniment. I would need to be able to input the guitar chords and timing but don't need to record anything or save the chord progression.

    Music software is really not my thing so really hoping someone can help out. Cheers.
  2. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    I'm confused. You want to input the guitar chords but you don't need to record anything? Maybe you mean you don't need to record while you play?

    Are you a Mac or a PC? On Macs, a lot of folks use Garage Band, and there is Audacity for both Mac and PC. Both are free.
  3. OP wants something like Band-in-a-Box, but free.

    Band-in-a-Box is the only thing I know of. The latest versions don't run on my PowerPC mac, so I'm curious about alternatives too. Free is good :)
  4. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Have you tried Garage Band?
  5. I've messed around with it a bit for recording loops, but I'm more comfortable with my ProTools LE setup.

    I've actually never used Band-in-a-Box but my wife uses it. My understanding is that you just pop in chord symbols and it generates a whole back-up track that doesn't sound too bad. Can Garage Band do that? If so I was unaware and will have to check it out.

    The point here is that you don't have to record anything. Takes a few seconds to get a decent sounding backing track to jam along with.
  6. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Well, of course; so am I, but PT is nowhere near free.
  7. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Inactive Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    I'd like to help you out but I can't. Why? Because you haven't tried to help me to help you by supplying me with:

    - the exact OS version you are using
    - the exact make and model # of your computer (so that I can look up its specs.)
    - the amount of RAM your machine has.
  8. Mindabout


    Apr 11, 2004
    ggun - yes, that's right, I don't need to record when I play.

    I was having trouble articulating what I was thinking of because I didn't know if it existed and if it did what category of software it would fall into. Now that I've looked up band-in-a-box and garage band they seem to be the type of thing I'm after.

    I've got a PC and am running Windows XP.

    MIJ-VI - I don't believe my computer has a make and model because it was built by the shop I bought it from. It had 256MB RAM when I got it but last year I added a video card and more RAM - think it was 1GB.

    When I asked I was hoping for a small basic application like hammerhead. But, it seems like there probably isn't anything like that around so nevermind. If I do happen to come across something I'll share but it doesn't sound too likely.
  9. Mindabout


    Apr 11, 2004
    I might have spoken too soon. I have found some free software that looks like it might be useful.

    The first one I downloaded is excellent for ease of use and set up just how I like it but it's keyboard accompaniment rather than guitar - its called Chord Pulse Lite.

    The second one I downloaded is more complex and looks like it might do the job if I can just work it out - it's called Anvil Studio.
  10. Ah. "Magic Garage Band Jam" seems like the ticket. Think that's new for the '09 version though. Might have to upgrade and try that out.
  11. Almost. The downside to "magic" GarageBand is that there is no control over the chord progression beyond choosing a key and choosing a style. If you want to try anything more "custom" (different turnaround, going ii instead of direct to V, etc) you are officially SOL.

    Band in the Box is nice, but it gets $$$ if you don't want to be stuck with the standard MIDI instruments. RealDrums, RealTracks, etc, ReallyStarts (see what I did there? hah? see that??) to get expensive.

  12. How about Power Tab ?
    It's free, simple and lets you insert the guitar chords into the tab by clicking on them in the chord library.
  13. MIJ-VI

    MIJ-VI Inactive Supporting Member

    Jan 12, 2009
    Another one:

    Musical MIDI Accompaniment
  14. Oh, that's lame. Thanks for pointing that out, I would've wasted money on a useless upgrade.
  15. Volk99


    Aug 6, 2010
    Heads-up to anyone who's looking for software to create simple backing tracks.

    I was looking for software to record some backing tracks to practice soloing over, and I found this thread. I downloaded ChordPulse Lite, and I found it to be great for creating simple tracks with piano, bass, and drums. You can do a decent amount of customization (can enter chord progression, change volume of each instrument, choose among a number of styles). The Lite version of the software is free.
  16. dcocharro


    Mar 7, 2008
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