Volume 1: Eighties Power Rock and Metal
is the original set. It’s twelve tracks, recorded in six keys, with slow and fast versions in each key. The slow and fast versions feature different music and production; it’s not just a difference in tempo. The musical focus is what you’d expect from the title, with the emphasis on I-VII-VI chord patterns in minor keys. Those patterns are pretty much the mainstay of that music, and my idea was to provide plenty of ways to explore and master them. The “band” includes drums, bass, rhythm guitar, and some keyboards.
Volume 2: Twelve-Bar Blues
is also based on the format of twelve tracks in six keys, though a little more loosely. Once again, the slow and fast versions feature different music and production. Some of the tracks are in minor keys, for a “The Thrill Is Gone” sort of workout. I worked hard to get a lot of dynamics into this set, rather than just offer a bunch of repetitive loops (boring!). I wanted to offer as much of the feel of playing with a real band as I could, and I think it is very successful that way.
Volume 3: Drum Metronome
takes the play-along concept in a different direction. I’m a stickler for metronome practice, but noticed that many of my students who could use the metronome well still had trouble picking up the beat when listening to the drummer on a recording. So I put together a set of five drum performances (using drum libraries recorded by top studio drummers) and then sped them up and slowed them down to create eighteen tracks ranging in tempo from 58 to 196 beats per minute. All the tracks are rock and pop grooves in 4/4 time. This will help you to learn a lot about hearing which drums are played on which beats in a song. Since you’re hearing only drums, these tracks also work great for any sort of scale and exercise practice, jamming rhythm, riffs, and solos, and even for writing and rehearsing songs.
Volume 4/Going to 11: Scale and Chord Concepts for Rock Soloing
is the newest one, engineered and produced on my new Pro Tools/iMac rig. It contains eleven tracks based on chord patterns that have been used in song after hit song, so that you can better figure out how to play over tricky chord changes without stumbling or getting lost. It’s all guitars, bass, and drums again. Stylewise this one is broader than either the eighties or blues sets.
If you like what you’re hearing, these CDs are available from me for $12 each. Sometimes they go on sale, so get in touch!