Real Guitar Adventure for Grownups

How To Improve Your Guitar Playing Fast Using Jam Tracks

in Guitar Practice | 4 comments

​Practicing chords and chord progressions can get a bit mundane at times. Yet they’re the building blocks of playing songs.

It’s helpful to find ways to practice that make it more interesting.

At the same time it’s important to learn to change chords on time without slowing down or speeding up.

A great way to do both is to practice with Jam Tracks.

So what are Jam Tracks?

Jam Tracks, also called play-along tracks or backing tracks, are pre-recorded chord progressions played by the rhythm section of a band without melody.

How can they help practice chord changes?

Here’s an outline of the system I use…


1. First choose the correct Jam Tracks.


Choose a Jam Track that has one or two chords that you need to work on. It’s best to focus on one, at the most two, chords at a time. It will be difficult to make traction if all the chords are new.


2. Play the chords slowly one at a time without the track.


Practice the chords without the track at first to get the fingering. Place your fingers on the chord, strum the chord, then take the fingers off and repeat the process. Do this until you can play all the chords at about 80% of what you would call perfect.


3. Now play the chords in order of the Jam Track.


Now play the chord progression in the same order as the Jam Track. You’ll be practicing switching from one chord to the other without the pressure of a consistent tempo. If you find you’re having difficulty changing between two particular chords, stop and practice switching just between those chords.


4. Start with the Jam track with the slowest tempo.


Now you’re ready to play along with the Jam Track. It helps to listen to the track at first to try to hear where the chords are changing. Make sure the volume of the Jam Track is loud enough that your guitar is not overshadowing the sound.


5. Go to the Jam track with the next fastest tempo.


Once you feel comfortable playing with the slowest Jam Track you can move up to faster tempos.

Free Jam Tracks (Download or Play in browser):




Try adding this technique to your practice sessions and let me know how it goes in the comment section.


Want More Jam Tracks?

Head over to your Real Guitar Success dashboard. Log in, then go to the "Play-Along Tracks" section on the left menu bar (you won't see this unless you're logged in).

Not a member yet? No problem. Click on this link here to find out how easy it is to get started.

Tomas Michaud

Tomas Michaud

Author - Tomas Michaud at Real Guitar Success
Tomas Michaud is an American born guitarist and music educator with a French Canadian heritage. He first developed the Starland Guitar System in 1982 when his 9 year old daughter asked him to teach her guitar. Since then he’s founded the Starland School of Music in the SF Bay Area, and RealguitarSuccess.com.

When he's not making guitar instruction videos or creating more music to record (currently 7 CDs including Beauty and Fire) he's riding his bike along the beach with his dog Marco Polo or traveling to interesting places with his lovely wife Pui.
Tomas Michaud

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    4 Comments

  1. Very neat. I can see that I need more practise. 🙂

    Barry Black

    February 24, 2018

    • Thanks for commenting Barry. – Tomas

      Tomas Michaud

      March 30, 2018

  2. Thank you Thomas, this has really helped me. I do not have other musicians to play with yet and I am getting my transitioning down and this jam track proved to be very helpful in keeping my interest in practicing. Your videos and instruction have helped me dramatically. Thank you!

    Bradley Ross

    December 17, 2018

    • You’re welcome Bradley -Tomas

      Tomas Michaud

      January 13, 2019

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