Minus One CDs

Minus One CDs can be a godsend to soloists. They enable you to practice with the full orchestra or band giving you more confidence in your final performance because you have been following the 'practice what you will perform' rule. There are a growing number of rehearsal CDs of backing tracks on the market now. The one problem with them is you often have to buy an entire CD to get on track... and the next track you need is on a different CD!

Minus One CDs are especially useful when preparing for a role in a musical as specific instrumental cues for entry can be heard. Having a Minus One CD also allows you to practice any choreography with full musical effects. This can be essential in allowing you to hear certain cross-rhythms. I also find I seem to have far more energy practicing to a full track, rather than just the piano.

Buying a Minus One CD

Try and listen to one or two tracks of CD from the same company even if you can't hear the actual track you want to buy. You can quickly hear the quality of sound, whether or not there is a good dynamic contrast in the music and how realistic the tempos are - although there are various tools you can use for speeding up and slowing down the audio. In fact you probably have one built right into your computer if you own a Mac or a PC! Click here for more information on slowing down and speeding up audio tracks .

Your local music shop will probably stock some Minus One CDs in Pop style, but you may need to go a little further afield to find a large collection of Classical music or Show songs. Chappel Music in London have a HUGE collection and I'm sure other larger music shops have an equally large selection. If you can't get to a music shop that stocks what you need and you buy online try to find a company that allows you to preview the tracks first. Music Minus One is the leader in providing these type of tracks and the quality is always excellent. They produce learning and performance tracks and you can license the tracks for performance through the site. You can also hear an audio preview of the tracks you are interested in buying. They are not the cheapest... but you get what you pay for! There is also a link at the bottom center of each page where you can find a store that stocks music minus one cds near you. They also link to Pocket Songs from their site which offers more jazz and pop karaoke titles. While I have never used Pocket Songs, if it is linked from Music Minus One I'm sure the tracks are of a high quality.

Karaoke tracks on iTunes

iTunes now has plenty of karaoke backing tracks for singers and also for orchestral players. If you are looking for orchestral backing tracks for concerto practice then click on the itunes store link below. Search for "soloist in concert" and iTunes will return a list of all the available pieces for soloist minus one.

If you are looking for a pop backing or karaoke track to sing along with it is as easy as searching for your song with the word karaoke attached!

Instant backing tracks for music practice!

Expert Practice Secrets

practice makes perfect by simon horsey

Frustrated with your practice? Read Practice Makes Perfect and hack the 10,000 hour rule. Cut your practice time by up to 25%! Make faster progress, learn pieces and scales faster, memorize more easily, and much more. "If you play an instrument you need this book!"