Using the player to practice imporvisation

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How to use the player

The ideal way to practie improvisation is to be part of a band, and just play. When you improvise you play solo. That is only you and the rhythm group are playing. If you are a lot of members in the band you will only play part of the time. There are very few band that have the time to sit and play the chords while you practice improvisation to the extend that is actually needed for an average musician to learn how to play.

There are "music minus one" records available, on the market. The advantage with these records are that they are made by real musicatians. The disadvantage is that it is difficult to repeat the melody, and it is difficult to slow down the music to the extend necessary.

The player that comes with this course is a good aleternative. With the player you can adjust the speed of playback without changing pitch. (using the slider or the + and - (plus and minus) button on the keyboard. typing 5 will reduce the speed to 50% typing 1 will put the speed to 100% - 6->60%, 7->70% 8->80% 9->90%.

If you want to play just one strophe you can do so by typing A in the start and B in the ending and the music will repeat forever between the two markings. This works also for reduced speed. If you prefer to use the mouse there is an A and a B button. With the fine tune button you can fine tune the A and B markings. (togle between fine tuning A and B by clicking on =>B and A=> buttons respectively) with the B=> you extend the range but keep the A-point. The |<A-B>| button resets the A-B function and the wholre range is played. Clicking on Help will give you more functions.

The songs for the player was made using the Band - in - a - Box software. It is recommended to buy this software at some time, but you can start by using the player here on the internet, and buy Band in a box when you want to extend your repertoire.

Problems with the player:

  • The player works only with Windows
  • The player works only with Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • YOu must have windows media player version 9 or later installed in order that the player will work
  • With MSIE version 8.0 the player sometimes freezes and you will have to restart the player. This is due to an error in MSIE 8.0, so when certain load is obtained the browser frezes with an error message
  • When playing MIDI files and shutting down the browser the built in synthesizer in Windows will sometimes turn volume to zero. You realize that no sound is coming out of the player. If this happens double click on the loudspeeker in the tray and increase the volume for the SW Synth. You may find the volume control also in Start ->Programs->Accessories->Entertainment
  • Only one instance of the SW synth may run in windows, if you are running more than one browser with midi files, or if you are running another program (such as Band in a box)you may not hear any sound when trying to play a midi file.

You must click on a melody in order to start the player.


The player is also excelent for copying other peopls solo that you have ripped off your own CD. You can make wma or mp3 files by ripping your own CD's using the Windows media player or other relevant software.

Download the player. And read in the help of the player on how you go to settings, find files and save the search. You can now play your own files slower cutting exactly the part of the melody you want to learn using the A/B function. This is a great way to copy licks etc. from your own favourite music.