The Learning Track Database

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Track Guide

Imagine having a personal music teacher that learns all of your music and follows you around to sing your part for you any time you want.  Now imagine that music teacher is the size and shape of an iPod and you don't have to pay for their health insurance.  Guess what?  That's a learning track!

Learning tracks are a big part of the reason that so many barbershop groups sing at such a high level.  You've probably sat through one of those tedious rehearsals in other choirs where the director plunks out every note for every part on an out-of-tune piano.  If only the membership could learn the music on their own time, rehearsal could be spent on higher level things like dynamics, interpretation, intonation, vocal skills, know, artistry!  However, barbershop is a mostly amateur artform, and many barbershoppers don't have the time or inclination to go through 4 years of music college learning how to sight sing like a professional.  That's where learning tracks come in.

Learning track artists are accomplished singers, many of them are professional music educators.  They learn the music and "over-dub" their voices into a quartet recording.  They then balance that recording so that you can hear your part and learn it by singing along with them.  If you miss something?  Just hit the "back" button and do it again.  You get all the privacy of individual practice, but the same benefits as standing next to the best singer you know in rehearsal.  It's the best of both worlds!  In addition to notes and words, most learning track artists demonstrate excellent vocal skills and provide ideal technique modelling.  You can learn good habits while you learn the song.

So once you choose an arrangement, finding a learning track starts with a choice:

1) You can find a track that's already been recorded.  Contact the artist, buy it, and you're good to go.  The benefits of this method are that you'll get it quickly, usually within a week.  Also, they're generally fairly inexpensive, and you can usually hear exactly what you're buying before plopping money down for it.  The drawbacks are pretty apparent, though.  It's already recorded, so if you have any specific requests, you're out of luck.  It is what it is.  Sometimes that works fine, but other times (especially with contest ballads) you'll want something more specific to the way your group is going to sing it.  In which case you'd want to go with:

2) Custom made learning tracks!  The learning track artist can put it in any key you want, sing any changes from the page you want, sing it with any interpretation you want.  Put simply, they can record it exactly the way you want!  There are a couple of drawbacks.  It usually takes longer, and costs more, but it's almost always worth it for the amount of rehearsal time you save.

Either way you decide to go, you can find the info you need here.  If you want to purchase pre-made tracks, you can find who's already recorded it using the search bar in the upper right corner of this page.  If you check those tracks and don't find one you like, you can contact one of the learning track artists for a quote.  A list of experienced learning track artists can be found HERE.

All that said, this site it just a database to assist you in finding your learning track source.  It's not a store and we don't sell anything.  To purchase the tracks or ask any specific questions about them, you'll need to contact the artists directly.  If you have any questions about this site, please check out our FAQ or feel free to Contact Us.