Better for practice: GuitarPort or Band-in-a-Box?

Pedro58

Silver Supporting Member
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5,992
That's my question... which one do you guys think is better for practicing in front of a computer? What are the issues? Which one will make me want to practice more (I'm thinking Line 6 wins here)? Which one is more flexible (BIB wins here)? I could be wrong on those issues and have overlooked plenty. Comments?
 

spaceboy

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256
never heard of these, but they sound very interesting. wanna post a link to a homepage or describe them for me? :D
 

EricT

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1,010
I think it's two different things, and that they would work best together. You use Guitar Port to learn some new licks, and BIAB to play them over backings.
What I don't like about BIAB is that a lot the styles are pretty cheezy, the time feel is very stiff, and it's not very good for making arrangments(intros, fills, bridges etc).
Haven't used Guitar Port much, but it seems like it's good for learning some new licks, and the backing tracks are fun to play over.
 

bluestein

Member
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419
BIAB used to be the only/best option - but now that MIDI programs for the computer have come of age, it's a bit dated.

I would use the Guitarport......but consider your goals - Guitarport is more to get your guitar INTO the computer.

You might not need anything more than Windows Media Player if all you want to do is practice with MIDI backing.

Try this: Search Google for "MIDI" plus the name of any song you're interested in - download the file and double click. It might be all you need for practicing.
 

Pedro58

Silver Supporting Member
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5,992
I have looked at those MIDI files and they are pretty cool. Band-in-a-box allows you to program your own... a distinct advantage, I think, over just downloading MIDI files.
Of course, that's what GuitarPort lacks also...
I see how I am trying to compare things with different purposes. I just wanted to know how well each worked as a tool for practicing. I know that with GP you need to subscribe to their service to get a lot of the practice functions. But the tones are good, compared to BIB's wanky computer sounds. Maybe I should buy both...
 

EricT

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1,010
What style of music do you play? And in what area of your playing do you want to improve?
 

Pedro58

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5,992
Mostly blues and rock, but I'd like to be able to play over changes better, particulary jazzier arrangements. I'm not looking to be Joe Pass or anything. It's just that playing over blues is second nature to me (though I still goof from time to time...) and it's getting a little old, the I-IV-V thing. I also need lots of improvement in my rythym chops and different time signatures besides straight 4/4. I'm your typical blues rocker!;)
 

EricT

Member
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1,010
BIAB is handy in the sense that you can easily change the chords to work on different substitutions, slow down the tempo etc.
There aren't many styles in time signatures other than 4/4, though.
 

bluestein

Member
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419
Originally posted by Pedro58
Mostly blues and rock, but I'd like to be able to play over changes better, particulary jazzier arrangements. I'm not looking to be Joe Pass or anything. It's just that playing over blues is second nature to me (though I still goof from time to time...) and it's getting a little old, the I-IV-V thing. I also need lots of improvement in my rythym chops and different time signatures besides straight 4/4. I'm your typical blues rocker!;)
Pedro, it sounds like you're trying to get some jazz chops....


The best computer program I've come across for self-instruction in this area are the Jazz Guitar Masterclass discs by Oliver Gannon. These are from PG music - at the link for BIAB you posted earlier.
 

Pedro58

Silver Supporting Member
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5,992
Okay, I looked. Gannon does a series that's just on guitar, not jazz-specific, that comes with an upgrade pack for the BIB. Maybe I could go with that. I'm not sure if I'm looking for jazz chops, that's a lifelong pursuit! In any case, bluestein, thanks for pointing that out to me!:dude
 

Jim Martin

Member
Messages
309
I dig the GuitarPort, if only to put on a backing track recorded by the Blue Line and wail over it. OK, maybe only noodle. The also have a bunch of songs you can learn and play along with.

However, most of the songs are classic rock, heavy metal, blues, etc. Not a lot of jazz offerings. And you're limited to their selections - you can't enter a chord sequence like you can in BiaB.

The backing tracks are fun, the lessons are sometimes useful, plus you can use the GuitarPort to record your guitar into a computer-based recorder.
 
P

Paul Skidmore

I user the guitarport for practice & the occasional attempt at recordings. The backing tracks are pretty cool & fun to play over, I've got a subscription & I enjoy it a lot (although Guitarport Online could do with a bit more content). The backing tracks are on the whole good quality with decent session players. Here's an example with me playing over the top:-

http://www.paulskidmore.com/mp3s/ThrillIsGone.mp3

Cheers,
Paul
 

aeolian

Member
Messages
6,358
For practicing/studying, I find BIB to be great. It's easy to set up what you want to work on. Practice some 2-5's? no problem, work though a circle of 4ths? One or two chord vamps to try scale substitutions over? Or maybe try to keep up with Giant Steps at 180BPM?
I agree that the canned sounds and arrangements are a bit cheesy if you're trying to record clips or perform over them. But for practice, it's awesome.
 
A

AlexT

I much prefer standalone v/s computer based backing tracks. I use:

- Tascam CD-GT1 for backing CDs.

- Boss Jam Station to program practice loops.

- Roland MC80 for MIDI loops.

Of the three, once a library of quality MIDIs is built-up, the MC80 is my favorite.

Alex
 




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