They’re like backing tracks on steroids.
They’re real songs, divvied up into individual instrument tracks, and preloaded into the DAW, so you can loop, slow down, isolate, mute, play along with, record yourself, and share with bandmates.
That’s a giant word salad. Let’s break it down.
- “Real songs…” – Not “here’s a blues backing track in A.” Kick-ass songs you’d play to an appreciative audience. Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith. Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, Bruno Mars. Dua Lipa, Taylor Swift, Kacey Musgraves. Keith Urban, David Lee Murphy, Chris Stapleton. The Cure, Tears For Fears, Elvis Costello. STP, Foo Fighters, RATM. Radiohead, The Killers, The Strokes.
- “…divvied up into individual instrument tracks…” – Bass, drums, keys, horns, vocals… they’re all on their own separate “stem” track. The half-dozen guitar parts on that song? They’re each on their own track.
- “… and preloaded into the DAW.” – The individual stem tracks are ready to go inside Logic Pro X and Studio One. Prefer a different DAW? I’ve included a drag & drop MIDI “tempo map” and the mp3s so you can easily recreate my work in Reaper, Ableton Live, GarageBand, etc.
- Loop – Make your practice 100x more effective by playing each little piece of the song on loop. Because it’s in the DAW (and the tempo is sync’d to the recording), it’s a snap to loop the section you want to learn.
- Slow down – Without altering the pitch, you can slow the music down to a manageable tempo while you get it under your fingers.
- Isolate – Press a single button and you can hear the guitar part on its own. Hearing better = playing better.
- Mute – Once you have that part down, you can click a button and create a “guitaraoke” track.
- Play along & record yourself – Play along until you’ve got it, then hit record and lay down your best take (I promise you’ll learn A TON about your own playing this way).
- Share with bandmates – How much more effective is rehearsal when everyone shows up prepared? Stem packs aren’t just for you—the bassist, keyboardist, drummer, singer, horn section, etc can all use them.
Stem track audio in the DAW is a completely different experience for learning songs. But that’s only half of it.
I’ve also included a chart, TAB, explainer video, theory walkthrough, tone breakdown, & a Helix/HX Stomp patch.
- Chart – The music that pros read onstage & in the studio. Even if you don’t read music, you’ll find the chart illuminating. It’ll help you understand the form, remember the chords, and make sense of the tune. [example]
- TAB – I’ve tabbed out the trickiest bits of the song in SoundSlice, which lets you hear the audio as the cursor moves through the tab. You can slow down & loop, and it’s a fundamentally better way to do tab. [example]
- Explainer video – Even with all these sweet tools, it’s still massively helpful to see someone else play it. I’ll walk you through the trickiest bits, and include any “metadata” I think you should know. [example]
- Theory walkthrough – We’ll look at how these chords fit into this key, how the licks & riffs outline the chords, talk about the form, and get clarity on the rhythms. [example]
- Tone breakdown – How did they get these sounds on the original recording? I’ll do my best sleuthing and explain what I’m hearing. [example]
- Helix/HX Stomp patch – If you’re in the Line 6 Helix ecosystem, you can download my patch for the song.