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Question i want to play to backing tracks. I know my sax is a Eb instrument, so when i download a backing track what key should the track be in, or does my sheet music need to be in a different key?

:mrgreen:
 

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It doesn't matter what key the track is in, what matters is that you have sheet music in the correctly transposed key. You need sheet music a sixth higher (or a minor 3rd lower) than the concert key. So if the track is in C concert, you need sheet music in A and so on.
 

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Yep,

A lot of the backing tracts I use seem to be in concert C Major or concert Bb Major. These make it pretty easy if you play Bb sax.

My experience is that backing tracks usually come in the key of the original music whatever that is. Or if they are for singers, they will come in the original and a higher and a lower key. Unless they are specifically written for sax, there will be no conscious effort to put them in easy keys for Bb or Eb instruments.

But sometimes you can use the program Audacity to raise or lower the key by a few half-steps without making it sound bad. And as far as making it sound bad, that varies a lot depending on the recording.
 

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I am not sure if you are using midi or pro backing tracks. If you are using a midi file, a program like Finale will do the transposing for you, if Finale is able to separate the different instruments of the song. You can find old versions of Finale for really cheap. I bought my copy for $20.

Another route would be to buy books with backing tracks. I am hooked on these. Hal Leonard jazz play along series is outstanding. Each book is about $15 and you get 10 songs.
 

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Another option you might enjoy is iReal Book if you have an iPhone, iPad or iPodtouch. I have been using it for a while and it is truly outstanding. You get a large library of standard, it can plays the backing, transpose etc. Of course you need to plug into an amp. It is a chord chart and allow you to edit and add your own.

It is not cheap at around 8$ for an iTune app but to me it's been really worth it: a portable real book + simple backing tracks.

And before you ask no I am not the maker just a very happy user :)

addendum: you can set a default transpose for your instrument AND independently select a "concert key" transpose. Really nifty when playing with others!
 
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