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Background "band in a box" to play along with?
#2801968 01/14/19 03:53 PM
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I am (still) a beginner pianist and am looking for an app (or something) to play in the background while I practice. This could be as simple as various drum patterns, to entire songs - minus the piano.

Is there a simple iphone/ipad app that would do this? I have garage band (on my Mac) but it seems pretty complicated to learn.

Thank.

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Re: Background "band in a box" to play along with?
bythecshore #2802000 01/14/19 05:05 PM
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I assume you're using an acoustic piano, or a digital piano without any 'accompaniment" features.

Several possibilities:

For rhythms, a drum machine (hardware or software) would do nicely. I'll bet there's something in the Apple Store you could use. The hardware classic (one of them, anyway) is a Roland TB-303. I bet there's a software emulation of it. Google:

. . . apple drum machine free

for some possibilities.

For full-scale chordal accompaniment, "Band in a Box" is one possibility. I don't know if there's a free trial. From the online description, it looks like a full-scale, professional package.

If "Garage Band" has enough smarts to let you enter some accompaniment parts, and loop them, it would be worth learning. Once you going beyond the keyboard, expect to spend a lot of time mastering your new "instruments".


. Charles
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PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Background "band in a box" to play along with?
bythecshore #2802021 01/14/19 05:35 PM
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I use Band in a Box (BIAB) a lot to play along with for fun. I initially got it as a gift to practice walking bass lines over chord progressions back in my e-bass days. Once I got to the point I could play simple songs on piano I entered the chord progression into BIAB and now can play my piano over the drums, bass and rhythm guitar from BIAB. I think it is a lot of fun to change my backup band from British Invasion Rock to for example country Honky Tonk on the fly. I have not yet used it with my method book pieces, just supplemental mostly easy hymn arrangements. I'd probably be further in the method books if not for this distraction but it is just kinda fun and a nice break that keeps me motivated. I have the least expensive BIAB which now is about $99 and there may be better alternatives, but BIAB is an amazing software program. My BIAB mates play perfectly and never complain about me losing my place or hitting wrong notes.

If you have never heard of BIAB...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Z8BM5_xpbk&t=345s

Last edited by Chili_Time; 01/14/19 05:41 PM.

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Re: Background "band in a box" to play along with?
bythecshore #2802029 01/14/19 05:42 PM
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I use Band in a Box all the time and it is a great choice for what you want to do. There is a cheaper app called Ireal pro that does a pretty good job of providing an accompanyment for you to play over. The nice thing about Ireal is they have a forum where you can download hundreds of songs already programmed so that can be a real timesaver. https://irealpro.com

I have both programs but much prefer Band in a Box, but either will do the job.

Re: Background "band in a box" to play along with?
bythecshore #2802036 01/14/19 05:53 PM
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Thanks, I'll check out BIAB and real today!

Re: Background "band in a box" to play along with?
bythecshore #2802037 01/14/19 05:54 PM
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Check out this, maybe it's useful to you:

http://www.chordpulse.com

Re: Background "band in a box" to play along with?
bythecshore #2802327 01/15/19 05:11 PM
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For a metronome I use MetroTimer, for rhythm I use Drum Beats +, and if you want to learn from a recorded piece use Anytune Pro. I haven't tried the pro version yet but supposedly you can pick the tracks of the song that you want to practice with. You can also slow the song down to a rate you can keep up with without distorting the audio. These all work on my iPad.


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Re: Background "band in a box" to play along with?
bythecshore #2802367 01/15/19 06:32 PM
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If you're on an ipad/iphone, I don't think Band in a Box is going to work for you. It's primarily a computer app, I don't think they've ever developed an iPad app that works independently of a computer. (If I'm wrong, somebody correct me. I used BIAB for years on my computer, but haven't found their iPad app to be of much use, although I haven't checked for a couple of years.)
Try iReal Pro, especially if you are interested in Jazz tunes. You can also try ChordBot. Dr. Betotte is a "full service" metronome if you want the ultimate metronome.
If you have a recording, AnyTune Pro is fantastic.

Re: Background "band in a box" to play along with?
bythecshore #2802433 01/15/19 08:57 PM
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Perhaps try the playback function in MuseScore. That way you have a notation editor, so you can change anything you want in the score. You can play it back with certain staves muted, to make a music minus one.


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Re: Background "band in a box" to play along with?
bythecshore #2802617 01/16/19 10:00 AM
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IReal Pro is the app that everyone in jazz uses, as its a snap to learn and you get 1300 jazz standards programmed in in minutes. I'm not sure what their selection of tunes is in other genres. it provides bass drums and keyboard, and you can easily silence the keyboard. You can set any tempo for any tune, and any key.

Re: Background "band in a box" to play along with?
bythecshore #2803752 01/18/19 09:46 PM
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For a drum machine, there are a bunch of inexpensive (or free) alternatives on the Google Play Store. I've just been playing around with "Planet-H" G-Stomper Rhythm (a drum-only subset of G-Stomper Studio).

Lots of samples, it'll accept user-supplied samples, simple interface, and it's free (with occasional ads).

Considering that an Alesis SR-16 is $150, the Android stuff is worth looking at.


. Charles
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PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Background "band in a box" to play along with?
bythecshore #2803774 01/18/19 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by bythecshore
Is there a simple iphone/ipad app that would do this?

iReal Pro
Another vote for iReal Pro's backing tracks, simple and straight forward to use! One of my best purchases.

Luis Martinez Drum Apps
I also really like the drum machine apps by Luis Martinez (lumbeat.com). These are apps are at once super easy to use and at the same time very deep. You can just startup and go, but you can also set them to "improvise" different rhythms/breaks or you can program the beats/rhythms into a song structure with options to improvise the sections. A new feature which is blowing my mind, you can set the apps to jam/improvise with each other - specifically using the new iBassist app which uses chord progressions. Anyway, both easy and sophisticated at the same time. The videos below gives a sense of the quality of the sounds.

Soft Drummer (for Jazz)


Afro-Latin Drum Machine


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Re: Background "band in a box" to play along with?
bythecshore #2854709 06/01/19 06:13 PM
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Does anyone know if I could do the same thing with Bandora? https://bandora.com/en/


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