The Guitar Jam Tracks series from Ninebuzz Software LLC is a collection of cool apps featuring a variety of jam-ready backing tracks.
Ninebuzz offers apps in five different genres, including Acoustic Blues, Humbucker Blues, Jazz, Reggae and Rock, each for $1.99, and a Combo App with all five styles for $5.99. Each style features a major and minor jam track that can be transposed to the keys of A, B, C, D, E and F, as well as charts of each chord progression and scale diagrams of the corresponding major and minor pentatonic scales.
For this review, I downloaded the Rock Jam Track version and took it for quick a test drive.
The first thing I noticed when I plugged my iPhone into my stereo system was that it sounded pretty good for a compressed MP3. The guitar had a nice crunch and good dynamics, and the drums sounded live with a crisp snare and high-hat. There didn’t seem to be any bass line in the mix, but who really listens to the bass player anyway? I kid, of course.
The E major track I selected started off with a tight descending guitar line of A-A flat-F# minor and then transitioned to a series of distorted open chords in E major played over a straight-ahead rock drumbeat. Alternating between the F# minor tonality of the A section and the E major tonality of the B section made the track more fun to solo over than a typical one chord vamp.
The E minor track I tried out next modulated from a slightly funky verse in E minor to a power rock chorus in the relative major of G, which quickly led me to a short workout of some Angus Young-inspired pentatonic licks.
I found being able to transpose each track into a variety of keys to be the coolest function of the app, as it was helpful for practicing licks and soloing ideas in different positions across the neck.
Overall, I’d say the audio files off Ninebuzz’s Guitar Jam Tracks series are comparable to most backing tracks you could download online; however, having the ability to transpose each track into a variety of keys makes the app a truly useful practice tool and worth the download.