The 7 Best Backing Track Apps For Guitar

The 7 Best Backing Track Apps for Guitar

Backing tracks have come a long way from the old CD’s (or even cassettes). Remember those? There would be several versions of the same song on a CD – one with the lead melody, and then several versions in different keys without the lead melody.

Those backing tracks (or “accompaniment tracks”) were versatile because you could practice playing melody, comping, or soloing. And no need to worry about the rhythm section getting bored!

A variety of apps have now made backing tracks even easier to use. Features like looping, selecting any key, and changing tempos allow you to dial in exactly the type of background track that you want to jam to.

Here’s a list of the top 7 backing track apps for guitar.

About this particular list of backing track apps for guitar:

  • App store reviews are shown for both the most recent version of the app and the overall history of the app.
  • This list is decidedly slanted towards the iOS world, but Android versions have been noted where applicable.

Amkpit App

1.  AmpKit

by Agile Partners | Website
Platform: iOS
Reviews: 13 (5 stars)
Overall Reviews: 1,276 (3.5 stars)
Price: Free with In-App Purchases 

The Verdict: Well reviewed by the New York Times and Wired, AmpKit is a high-powered package of effects, multi-track recording, online sharing, tuner, and metronome.  The software is well-built with low latency and great performance. Recent versions of the app get very high reviews.  More importantly for us here, it also has the ability to play background tracks from iTunes while you jam along.  Works best with a line-in adapter like the Apogee JAM 96k.

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Jam Tracks App2.  Guitar Jam Tracks: Scale Trainer & Practice Buddy

by Ninebuzz Software LLC | Website
Platform: iOS and Android
Reviews: 115 (4.5 stars)
Overall Reviews: 632 (4.5 stars)
Price: $3.99 with In-App Purchases

The Verdict: This is the most popular of the “Jam Tracks” series of apps from Ninebuzz.  This version – the Scale Trainer & Practice Buddy – is geared at beginner guitarists just figuring out how to use scales over chord changes. It’s an excellent solution for this goal.  It provides guides to scales, breaks down the chord changes, then gives you five jam-along tracks to begin with.  Additional tracks require In-App Purchases.  To dig more into specific styles, see the Jam Track apps for Acoustic Blues, Humbucker Blues, Rock, Jazz, or Reggae.

Download_on_the_App_Store_Badge_US-UK_135x40  Google_Play_Icon

 

Chordbot App3.  Chordbot

by Contrasonic AB | Website
Platform: iOS and Android
Reviews: 14 (4 stars)
Overall Reviews: 139 (4.5 stars)
Price: $4.99  

The Verdict: Chordbot is part songwriting tool and part practice tool.  You can create your own backing tracks by selecting chords to create a chord progression, than selecting a comping pattern.  Using these building blocks, you can create your own sections, loops, or entire song structures.  This can help for songwriting, or just for creating a groove to solo over.  It gets high marks for being well laid out and easy to use.  Try the free Chordbot Lite version first to get a feel for it.

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JamUp Pro App4.  JamUp Pro

by PositiveGrid| Website
Platform: iOS
Overall Reviews: 866 (4.5 stars)
Price: $19.99 with In-App Purchases 

The Verdict: Similar to AmpKit, JamUp Pro is a multi-purpose app with effects, amp modeling, a phrase sampler, and the ability to access tracks from your iTunes library for jamming along.  While it has high quality and lots of features, it’s a bit pricey and additional expansion packs require In-App Purchases.  Works with the full range of iOS audio interfaces like the IK Multimedia AmpliTube iRig.

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JamPlay App5. Guitar Lessons – JamPlay

by JamPlay, LLC | Website
Platform: iOS and Android
Reviews: 6 (3.5 stars)
Overall Reviews: 527 (4.5 stars)
Price: Free

The Verdict: The JamPlay app is put out by the same folks at JamPlay.com, where you can get some excellent video lessons in different guitar styles and skill levels.  The app includes some of those lessons, as well as a large chord library, tuner, metronome, and more.  It includes “jamtracks”, backing tracks that you can use to practice your newfound scale skills.

Download_on_the_App_Store_Badge_US-UK_135x40  Google_Play_Icon

 

Pro Band App6.  Pro Band Backing Tracks

by David J Chura | Website
Platform: iOS
Reviews: 17 (4.5 stars)
Overall Reviews: 66 (4 stars)
Price: Free with In-App Purchases  

The Verdict: The Pro Band app’s claim to fame is that the backing tracks are made from real, live studio musicians.  No midi tracks or synth loops here.  Even though the tracks are recorded live, you can still change the key and tempo for each track.  The free app comes with 2 tracks (a blues and a rock tune).  For more tracks, you have to buy In-App Purchases.  Tracks are available in Blues, Rock, and Jazz.

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Jammit App7.  Jammit

by Jammit, Inc. | Website
Platform: iOS
Reviews: 39 (2 stars)
Overall Reviews: 307 (3 stars)
Price: Free with In-App Purchases  

The Verdict: A mobile version of Jammit.com, the Jammit app allows you to play along with original multitrack recordings from popular artists. The app lowers the guitar track from the original multitrack recording so that you can jam along in their place.  Jammit teamed up with Line 6.  If you use a Line 6 Mobile interface to connect your guitar to the app, some songs will automatically take advantage of Line 6 modeling presets to make your guitar tone sound just like the original recordings.

There’s lots of great features here – tablature, recording, slowdown mode – but the drawbacks are that songs have to be bought through In-App Purchases and the reviews report some bugginess.

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What backing track apps do you like?  Let us know in the comments below: