Do you play along with songs?

BKS

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If you have a Katana Mk2 you have all you need.

Computer or phone audio out to Katana aux in. Guitar to instrument input. You can output to Katana speaker or headphones.

I'll second Chordify. As mentioned it isn't spot on, but it is an easy interface to jump around the song and play the parts you want to work on.
Even the katana mini has an aux in
 

flamesarewicked

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It’s pretty much how I learned guitar.. I learned some chords from a book. Once I had those well enough I played along with songs exclusively there after.. I still do it to this day.

I try to blend in with the mix but not totally.. I wanna be able to hear myself and be able to tell when I hit a sour note. The goal is to disappear in the mix. If means I’m hitting it spot on. I guess after 25 years I’ve developed quite the ear. Being able to hear a chord and tell what it is on hearing alone. It also helps with your timing.
 

Phylodog

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If you have a Katana Mk2 you have all you need.
Computer or phone audio out to Katana aux in. Guitar to instrument input. You can output to Katana speaker or headphones.
Wow, I'm an idiot. I never noticed the Aux In jack on the back until you mentioned this. I can't wait to get away from pain meds, just three more weeks.
 

MichaelAndrew3435

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I turned one of my rooms into a small rehearsal space for me and my group. For practicing along with a song by myself, I use one of my PA speakers that has an auxiliary output and hook it up to my laptop. It's plenty loud enough for practice.

I find myself ALWAYS playing along to some kind of track these days, especially since the start of COVID-19. I've been working from home and have had more time to play my electrics. When I used to have to travel to work during the week, I usually wouldn't be in the mood to crank my shit up after a long day and would opt to noodle on an acoustic instead.
 

st.bede

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I have spent a lot of time playing to music. I like using play alongs (Ambersold). I also use irealpro. I also have a midi keyboard handy, so I can throw down a prog real fast and have the clarity of root position chords. That is really useful when I am working on new idea. That allows me to see how well things gel. I sometimes have a loop pedal (but I like midi more). I also really like playing songs off of youtube, and then after a few times through check out what chords were being used, and then play it a few time more.

When I was growing up, I used the radio a lot. That way I had to figure out stuff on the spot from a randomish bunch of songs.

The other thing I suggest, is to write your own songs. That way you are cementing in your brain what you are doing.

I do believe that over all, the very best way to learn is to play/jam with other musicians. Things feel different when you have to make things happen on the spot without a safety net.

Peace
 

Rds

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I did this for many years. Not so much last several. Its fun. I used to play along to acdc, fastway, zeppelin, nugent. At least to learn the riffs. Believe it or not twisted sister stay hungry is a great rock and roll album to play to.
 

jwalker99

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Another idea is to recreate a whole song starting w the backing track. I do this and re-record guitar, bass, vocals . And convert drum Audio to midi and run thur Superior Drummer plugin. All this easy to do in logic.
Here is an example

 

dasherf17

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I have spent a lot of time playing to music. I like using play alongs (Ambersold). I also use irealpro. I also have a midi keyboard handy, so I can throw down a prog real fast and have the clarity of root position chords. That is really useful when I am working on new idea. That allows me to see how well things gel. I sometimes have a loop pedal (but I like midi more). I also really like playing songs off of youtube, and then after a few times through check out what chords were being used, and then play it a few time more.

When I was growing up, I used the radio a lot. That way I had to figure out stuff on the spot from a randomish bunch of songs.

The other thing I suggest, is to write your own songs. That way you are cementing in your brain what you are doing.

I do believe that over all, the very best way to learn is to play/jam with other musicians. Things feel different when you have to make things happen on the spot without a safety net.

Peace
I usually have a jukebox in my head...what I want is a drummer to keep time with...my neighbor is a drummer, but we haven't gotten together yet due to COVERT (I mean it that way, just heard a story as to the beginning, I'm cynical at times, sorry).
I found a very adequate app called Loopz to back my effort. Throw it thru the hif or another amp, and away I go...or, throw on a groove and play random things to that, maybe recording.
 

landguitar

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Lots of to the point answers here. Another option to consider is that you can certainly use Garage Band if you have a Mac...it has basic guitar plug-ins/sims that work fine. I use a more complicated set-up in my home studio, but essentially it's guitar into interface, into Mac (I use Studio One as my DAW), and play along with iTunes, YouTube, whatever on my studio monitors. And I can adjust or select the amp sims for clean, light dirt, crunch, whatever.

A couple of "help" aids also:
I got a Vidami for Christmas - I spend a lot of time learning songs for the bands I play in and YouTube is a great help for that. The Vidami works as advertised, allowing you to stop, start, loop and slow videos without using a mouse (it's a foot controller). Will be a big timesaver! Will also be good for learning and practicing with the many teachers on YT!!!
https://vidami.com

While I still like to practice with a louder amp at home sometimes, after many years of playing, I like to play "softer" when just practicing. For one, it saves what is left of my hearing (!), and another, I can actually hear what I am doing on the strings which helps me practice being more precise and accurate. Depending on what my practice is for - if I am learning a song, I want to hear me AND the part(s) I am learning; if I am just running songs for muscle memory, I like to "blend" in as others have said and play my guitar a little louder in the "mix".

Another software tool I Highly recommend is Transcribe! (the exclamation point is part of the name).
https://www.seventhstring.com/xscribe/overview.html

I found that on YouTube - I think Pete Thorn uses it - and it is the best app/software I am aware of to help learn songs. It is easy to use, does a great job of changing keys, and you can slow the song down to practice phrases or parts, plus run loops to practice a part over and over. I use it constantly. It's now $39 - I think I paid more well over a year ago...
Typically bands I play in (except of course the Praise Band - they are notorious for changing song keys!) play songs in the original key, but there are situations that make using Transcribe! a lifesaver - like, most of the music we play is in standard A 440 tuning (standard E tuning) , but we play Sweet Child 'O Mine in E, rather than Eb, because I'm not going to tune to Eb for one song or use one guitar just for that song (which of course has to be played on a Les Paul!!!). We have a few others like that that are capo'd, for instance, and so are in G# (one with open G tuning - see Eb tuning above!). Anyway, being able to learn and practice them without retuning a guitar is HUGE!

I know all of this is more than you are asking, but sometimes answering the question(s) not asked can reveal paths not initially perceived!
All the best!
 

Gas4LPs

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When I a practicing for a gig I just use my headphones, amazing slow downer, and my guitar not plugged in.

For my lessons I use a Line6 HX Stomp, and Ableton Live. I drag the mp3 into the project and then record myself playing along with the track. Currently, I am working on VH Panama. :)
 

danohat

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My guitars and amp are in the main living room. We have an Alexa thingy there. We listen to music all day. I play along with guitar, not too loud, anytime. Nobody cares. It's so normal to my family they don't even notice. If the kids' friends come over, they aren't as okay with it. Ha. I've had more than one plugging their ears in terror. Yesterday, I was learning some licks from a song. Play the song, listen, play the lick, rewind. I mentioned to my wife how when I started, that was the ONLY way to learn a song unless it came out in one of the guitar mags.
 

monstruo_loco

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I like the earlier post by @Caretaker about playing with the tv & have done that since I was a kid, movie soundtracks are great along with commercials to pick up bits and pieces playing along. Something that helped a great deal was meeting a really good blues harmonica player when I lived in AZ named Bob Corritore who was playing regularly at a club in Scottsdale & had a several hour blues radio show on NPR that I’d record weekly and play along with all week, he always played great stuff & would take requests which I’d use as an opportunity to ask for stuff like Charlie Patton, Bukka White, Tommy Johnson, Blind Lemon Jefferson, etc. & he even ended up having a prewar blues segment of the show, the show was a treasure trove of blues to practice. One of the tools I’ve used in recent years is an iPhone app called Anytune + that is a great training method that allows reducing tempo yet retaining pitch & which includes looping with markers & uses songs downloaded from your iTunes library which for me is extensive, such a great tool to learn parts slowly increasing speed like with a metronome. I’m sure there are many things out there that work like this, but this one works for me.
 

zdoggie

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yes I still use this tecnique to figure out licks and passages I also agree that playing with others causes the brain to want to become unison with the other players and deffinately hone your edge unfortunately I don't get to play with others as i'm too old and ugly LOL!!
ZDOG
 

goodvibes

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If you have a Katana Mk2 you have all you need.

Computer or phone audio out to Katana aux in. Guitar to instrument input. You can output to Katana speaker or headphones.
+1. If you already have a Katana you don’t need a Spark really.
 

Goober

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That is a great and fun thing to do. Yes it is.
 


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