Where to Find Guitar Backing Tracks

Kevin Ott
Young man with electric guitar

Learning to play to with a guitar backing track is the training wheel preparation for learning to play with a live band. These websites and apps will be happy to be your practice band until you're ready to do the real thing.

Guitar Backing Track

Guitar Backing Track offers classic rock, metal, and modern rock with full band backing instruments. It is a free site that requires a simple registration that only asks for your email.

To download a guitar backing track:

  1. Scroll through the lists of songs.
  2. Click on your selection.
  3. Below the "play" button, click "Download as mp3."
  4. Register if you haven't yet.

All the tracks are custom-made by one musician who provides surprisingly excellent quality for most tracks.

Agile Partners Amp Kit App

The Agile Partners Amp Kit is an amplifier simulator with backing track capability as a bonus feature. It is featured in The Guitar Journal as one of the top guitar backing apps, and it allows you to play along to any tracks in your iTunes library or upload backing tracks you've gotten from another source directly onto the app.

The app, however, is pricey at about $50 because it is a high-end amp simulator that allows you to plug into your mobile device and replicate the sounds of the best amps in the world.

Guitar Voice

Guitar Voice offers pop songs and classic rock backing tracks with guitar, bass, drums, keys, and vocals, depending on the song, and it is a free site that does not require registration.

To download a guitar backing track:

  1. Browse their lists of songs, click on the desired song.
  2. Click listen.
  3. In pop-up window, click Download MP3.

The site is quick and easy to use, and it has quality audio that does the job.

Nine Buzz's Guitar Jam Tracks App

The Nine Buzz Guitar Jam Tracks App, also featured as a top app in The Guitar Journal, offers a large library of just about every genre--reggae, jazz, acoustic blues, and humbucker blues-- for a rhythm section, and it cost about $5 in app stores.

To download and use the app:

  1. Go to your app store on either Mac or Android and download the app.
  2. After you open it, you can select your preferred style in the drop-down menu at top right.
  3. The chords of the progression are on the screen as the backing band plays, which gives you a visual aid.

If you wish to sharpen your solo skills over these bluesier, jazzier genres, this app is golden.

Backing Tracks Guitar

Backing Track Guitar offers almost every genre that exists--rock, blues, country, "chillout," Brazillian lounge, funk, Latin, metal, ballads--for a full backing band, and it is a pay-per-track site that does not require registration. Each track costs about a dollar, and it is similar in its format to downloading music on iTunes.

To download a guitar backing track:

  1. Click on backing tracks in menu.
  2. Scroll through the genres and select one.
  3. Scroll down to the list of tracks and preview them with the play button.
  4. Click the purchase button for the track you want.

This site has a huge number of genres available in generic chord progressions. The tracks sound excellent, and their anonymous nature (they're not actual songs, just chord progressions in a given style) are perfect for jamming over and practicing your licks without being tied to playing along to a specific pop song.

The Chord Bot App

The Chord Bot App, also featured as a top app in The Guitar Journal, offers a more eclectic set of genres--bossa nova, chill lounge jazz, EDM arpeggio tracks, and two classical piano arpeggio tracks--but its simplicity and eclectic feel makes it an attractive option if you want more creative control and something simpler but a little off the beaten path in styles.

It costs $5, though you can get a free evaluation version before buying it which is another nice feature.

To use the app:

  1. After downloading and opening it, click on top right menu.
  2. Select open.
  3. Choose one of the five styles.
  4. Click on chords, tempos, and other parameters as the track plays to shape the sound to fit the sound you want.

The unusual EDM synth and piano arpeggio backing tracks are what really make this app stand out, especially because you can change the chord progression so easily with many chord spelling options (inversions, sevenths, ninths, etc.).

Guitar Tone Master

Guitar Tone Master offers every major genre that exists with studio-quality full bands playing them for you, and--the best part--it's all free and requires no registration. The site embeds YouTube videos of all of its tracks and allows you to play the YouTube videos on its genre-specific pages to your heart's content.

The one downside to this otherwise brilliant idea: you can't download the songs. It's only for streaming.

To use the site:

  1. online guitar app
    Click on "Guitar Backing Tracks" from the home page.
  2. Select one of the genres.
  3. Select one of the tracks based on tempo and other parameters.
  4. Click "Play Jam Track" to being the YouTube video.

This site is doing a public service to musicians everywhere by putting so many genres of top-notch backing track recordings in a free, streamable format.

Guitar Jam Tracks

Guitar Jam Tracks offers most major genres for full backing bands and, like Guitar Tone Master, it uses YouTube, is free, and requires no registration. It doesn't have as many genres or tracks, perhaps, but it does have an appealing navigation menu with songs divided into interesting categories, including backing tracks by modes, which is an unusual and helpful tool.

To use the site:

  1. From the home page, scroll down to peruse the different genres and other song categories.
  2. Click on the category you want.
  3. Click on the song you want, and the YouTube video becomes available to play.

The sound production is basic but does the job, and its mode category is especially unique and valuable.

Coffee Break Grooves

Coffee Break Grooves offers a long list of genres with special emphasis on jazz genres that no other backing track site has (i.e. acid jazz, jazz fusion, and smooth jazz) for full backing bands professionally recorded in a studio. While each track is pricey--around $3.75 per track--you're getting a major label-quality studio band recording that is good enough to use live in concert if you perform to pre-recorded tracks.

To download a guitar backing track:

  1. From home page click on Genres.
  2. Choose genre.
  3. Sample songs by clicking play button.
  4. Click purchase on your desired tracks.

If you're a serious jazz guitarist or just want an amazing sounding backing band and you don't mind paying extra, Coffee Break Grooves is perfect for you.

Becoming a Great Musician Means Becoming a Great Listener

Guitar backing tracks will certainly build your basics, such as scales, rhythm, and chord changes. However, they also fine-tune the most important thing: your listening skills. The more carefully and attentively you learn to listen to the other musicians while you're playing guitar, the better guitarist you will be.

Where to Find Guitar Backing Tracks