Constructing Your Own Background Tracks for Improvisation Practice

Constructing Your Own Background tracks for Improvisation practice

Dail Bienkiewicz
[email protected]
Barrington Middle

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:

Electronic Musical Instruments


Middle School




Midi Keyboard lab,Band-in-a-Box,internet


40 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

Students have studied the 12-bar blues form and have basic knowledge of chord scales.

NAfME Standards of 1994 Addressed:

NAfME Standards of 1994: Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.

NAfME 2014: Performing 

NAfME Standards of 1994: Improvising melodies, harmonies, and accompaniments.
NAfME Standards of 1994: Composing and Arranging Music within specified guidelines.
NAfME Standards of 1994: Reading and notating music.

NAfME 2014: Creating 

NAfME Standards of 1994: Listening to, analyzing and describing music.
NAfME Standards of 1994: Evaluating music and music performances.

NAfME 2014: Responding 


Teacher-generated 12-bar blues MIDI file to demonstrate.


As a result of this lesson, students will have constructed a 12 bar blues accompaniment sequence that repeats 3 times.This includes rhythm section with choice of style, groove, and other background percussion sounds. Students will take home a copy of their work in order to practice with their own accompaniment tracks.


Teacher demonstrates the Band-in-a-box MIDI file and how to alter parts of the rhythm section. Demonstration of changing style, adding and subtracting parts and enhancing the background track.10-15 min.
Students experiment with the various possibilities and choose their own parts to include in their accompaniment tracks. 10 min.
Students construct their own accompaniment track for their personal use and copy to CD. 15 min.


Evaluation of accompaniment tracks will be discussed as the class listens to each others tracks. Style should remain consistent for the 12 bar sequence.

Follow Up:

Constructing chord sequences for solo sections of any given Jazz band tune for home practice use.

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