Utilizing Background Tracks to Teach Improvising

Utilizing background tracks to teach improvising

Ron Bartol
[email protected]
Duquesne University

TI:ME Technology Areas Addressed:

Electronic Musical Instruments






background tracks using Band in a Box or Finale sequences.


50 Minutes

Prior Knowledge and Skills:

The student should have basic improvisation skills to play over blues or rock or jazz changes.

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 2014: Creating 

NAfME Standards of 1994: Evaluating music and music performances.

NAfME 2014: Responding 


Audio midi sequences with existing changes to present to the student via computer or other playback situations.


Improvise using notes from the blues scale to create meaningful rhythmic and melodic patterns within an improvisation while listening to a background track


The teacher will choose the background tracks and discuss the scales and notes involved in the improvisation. The student should create a melodic as well as a rhythmically correct solo over the changes of the tune.


Students will receive 1 point if their improvisation is limited to notes within the specified scale.

Students will receive 1 point if the improvisation uses rhythmic patterns that imply a valid melody.

Students will receive 1 point if the improvisation is considered musically valid on their chosen instrument.

Follow Up:

Students will be able to play a solo with proper scales and correct notes with a valid rhythmic feel.

Items to Purchase:

Midi sequences, background tracks provided by the teacher

When budget should be submitted:


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top