Band In A Box For Bass Players

How To Use The 'Flight Simulator For Bass' Program As Your Dedicated Practice Partner!

Get The Most Out Of The 'Flight Simulator' For Bass!

Before I get started a caveat: Band In A Box is a program sold by a company called PG Music. I have no affiliation with them...if you purchase a copy I get the same amount of renumeration from PG Music as if you don't purchase a copy.

That's Zero Dollars and Zero Cents!

IMPORTANT NOTE: A copy of the program is NOT included with this course...that's a separate purchase.

So when I tell you that I believe Band In A Box is the best practice tool a bass player can have in his practice space (short of having an actual bass of some sort), you can be 100% confident that my recommendation is not based on any kind of sponsorship from PG Music and is my honest assessment.

The obvious way to use Band In A Box is to create a chord progression, select a 'Real Tracks' style (note: Real Tracks are loops played by studio musicians that the program use sto create practice tracks), set the tempo, mute the bass and hit play.

Here's a two bar practice groove in a blues rock style using 'Rocco Prestia' Triplets. I'm playing the bass line and Band In A Box is playing everything else:

Or this practice exercise is a Motown 16th note style line with "stop and go" in the bass line - again, I'm playing the bass, Band In A Box is taking care of everything else:

Or this practice exercise is a James Brown style two bar groove - again, I'm playing the bass, Band In A Box is taking care of everything else:

Now if that was all you could do with Band In A Box it would still be worthwhile using it as a practice tool - and far superior to playing with drum loops or drum grooves because you get chordal instruments so you get harmonic backing as well as rhythmic backing.

But that's barely scratching the surface of what you can do with Band In A Box to make it your dedicated and effective practice partner. (And if you listened to any of the slowed down versions of the lines embedded above you'll have heard a 'chordal metronome' being used...more on that below!)

I've heard from numerous students who have the program that they've found it complex to use and never really got results from it....

Here's The Reason Why....And What We're Going To Do About It

Band In A Box was originally designed as a tool to create practice tracks for jazz players to jam along with. That original design is still built into the program in various pieces of jazz terminology like 'choruses' for repeats, and the default screen loading with a 32 bar blank chord progression. (Most jazz standards are 32 bars long).

Over the years it's been enhanced and expanded. The biggest enhancement was around 2007 with the introduction of real tracks. Real tracks are 'loops' of information played by real musicians, and the program manipulates these loops to generate its tracks.

It's the closest thing I've ever come across to playing with other the privacy of my own practice space.

In all this though it has to be remembered that Band In A Box isn't designed to help bass players practice. It's designed for musicians in general. And it's designed to do lots of things that bass players don't necessarily need or need to know about.

Here's what one of my students, Henry M, who is a software engineer by profession had to say about Band In A Box:

"I agree that BIAB is straightforward to get up and using, and like any software tool that has 1000’s of features it can overwhelm a person if they don’t constrain their usage. 

I also take the 80/20 approach to complex software (e.g. DAW, word processor, etc.):

20% of the features are used 80% of the time

I happen to be a SW engineer, and when developing we make sure the 20% feature list is as solid and bug free as possible or we will lose customers."

So the first task to reduce the possible overwhelm people find with Band In A Box so that we can use it as a practice tool is to identify the 20% of the features that provide 80% of the results.

In most programs that's done by turning to the 'Quick Start Guide' section of the User's Manual.

Unfortunately that doesn't work so well when the program is written for musicians in general. And not bass players in particular.

Introducing The "Band In A Box For Bass Players" Program

I've put together a series of lessons that help bass players with the 20% of features that will enhance their practice. Currently that's around 95 video lessons.

To tie things off I just need to add a practice index so that you can go to that practice index, identify which type of practice exercise you want to implement, and there will be links to exactly the content that you'll need.

This series of lessons is combined into a  course is called Band In A Box For Bass Players.

(Remember: a copy of the program ISN'T included in this course.)


Why Should I Listen To You?

Here's A Picture Of My Bookshelf (end Sept - 2022)

Since July 2021 I've been turning my years of teaching into books.  So far I've written 15 (plus am working on more to be published in 2023).

My advice: click this link for LEARNING FROM JAMES JAMERSON VOL 1 and then check out some of the reviews. That will tell you more about my teaching than almost anything, though there are some testimonials below too.

One other fact to consider about this: Amazon's data says that most books get 1 or 2 reviews per 1000 copies purchased. Jamerson Vol 1 currently has 192 reviews on (at 20th Jan, 2023) from around 2100 copies sold since its release 18 months the fact that it's getting 50X the number of reviews that Amazon's own data suggests it should be getting, tells its own story.

Plus I've been using Band In A Box as a practice partner since 1993 with one of the first iterations of the software on an Atari St Computer. And working on tweaking what it can do to make it the best practice parner every bass player could have!  Which is all detailed in this program.


Some Of The Things You Will Learn (That Will Help You Become A Better Bass Player)

Creating a chord progression, selecting a style (preferably a Real Style), muting the bass and pressing play is the most obvious way to use Band In A Box.  (And even that can seem hard when you first open the program!)

And I do use that facility.

But I made a list of TWENTY other practice activites you can do with Band In A Box. And I'm listing those below. Some of these will have short videos to explain, most won't.

Practice Activity #1 The "Woodshed" Feature

This feature was introduced around 2015 and used to be buried away in the program - fortunately it's easy to find now and easy to use too. This feature allows you to set a loop of some sort - 2 bars, 4 bars, 8 bars or more - and select by how many BPMs you want the tempo to increase every time the loop starts again. Might sound simple...but it's a fantastic practice tool if you're working on technique practice. Especially when combined with the 16th Note Technique Development System that I've created. (See Bonus Items.)

Practice Activity #2 Create Grooves, Bass Lines and Sight Reading Etudes

To really use this idea effectively you need to program your own 'bass styles.' Once you have though...creating bass lines can be as easy as opening a chord file, loading the style and hitting the GENERATE button. Here's an example - the line below is based on a style I'm developing (a 16th note blues rock ballad style) using the chords of a well known Hendrix ballad and the line was generated by Band in A Box (though I did make some post-BIAB edits):

Practice Activity #3 - Using A Chordal Metronome

If you listened to any of the slow versions of the three grooves at the top of the page you'll have heard the chordal metronome. It's a block chord at each chord change (or the start of a bar) with a metronomic drum beat that clearly defines the time. Great for getting started learning more complex lines at slow tempos.

Practice Activity #4 - Using A Harmonic Metronome

You might be thinking: WTF is a harmonic metronome? It came about because when practicing walking bass, a common idea is to play with a metronome clicking on beats 2 and 4. I ALWAYS want to hear harmonic content where I swapped out a metronome click on beats 2 and 4 for a muted guitar chord (as heard in say reggae or Motown). And that gives us a harmonic the following video it's used with a Motown 8th note style bass line:

Note that the harmonic metronome is a great way to practice your time feel. It's about the only bass exercise that gets harder as the tempo gets slower!

Practice Activity #5 - Taking The Harmonic Metronome To The nth Degree

If you find your sense of time is such that having a muted guitar chord sounding on beats 2 and 4 of your practice pieces or practice songs doesn't challenge you, then you can set the guitar to sound on either beat 2 or beat 4 only. Making you responsible for 4 beats of time.

If that doesn't challenge you, you can use BIAB "punctuation" to ensure that the muted chord sounds on beat 2 or beat 4 of every other bar! Now you're responsible for 8 beats!

Practice Activity #6 - Inserting Beats Of Silence

If you are doing "maintenance practice" - e.g. practicing the bass lines to songs that you know for upcoming gigs - then make that "maintenance practice" a "learning zone" activity by programming the chords, selecting an appropriate band style, and then insert beats of silence (up to 4 bars). Your job is to play your lines and make sure you come back in on the downbeat!

Practice Activity #7 - Using The Drop Series

You can actively practice playing over beats of silence by using a series of exercises where you drop a specified numbers of beats every 8 bars or 12 bars or 16 bars. Again the target is to be in time when the band comes back in. (See information on Bonuses below for more on this.)

Practice Activity #8 - Practicing Specific 8th Note Rhythms

When you're focusing on specific 8th note rhythms, a great way to practice those rhythms is to program a quick and easy drum style that matches the rhythm with the hi-hat.  Then all you have to do is listen to and mimic the hi-hat to practice that rhythm. (The 10 most common quarter note and 8th note rhythms have been programmed already as styles and are waiting for you in the Members area.)

Practice Activity #8 - Practicing Specific 16th Note Rhythms

You can practice the six foundational 16th note rhythms in the same way as 8th note rhythms described above. (The six foundational 16th note rhythms have been programmed already as styles and are waiting for you in the Members area.)

Practice Activity #9 - Creating Random 16th Note Rhythm Sheets For Counting And/Or Playing Practice

To assimilate 16th note rhythms I've created a style that allows you to literally work out how many bars you need and create a BIAB Song that will generate that many bars of random 16th notes. There's a PDF in the members area with 80 pages of random 16th note rhythms that I generated in Band in A Box, exported the midi file to my desk top and then loaded into my music notation program, cleaned it up and exported it as the PDF. Took less than 10 minutes.

Practice Activity #10 - Cycle Tracks For Device Practice

In all of my 8020 Method Books I talk about foundational practice exercises I refer to as 'Origin Exercises.' The majority of those Origin Exercises are done with cycle tracks...and blank versions of those cycle tracks are waiting to be downloaded in the Members Area. (Blank means that style is set to a default piano can choose whatever style suits your practice!)

Practice Activity #11 - Common Chord Progressions For Device Practice

A more realistic form of Origin Exercises is to apply device practice to Common Chord Progressions. There's a (growing) library of common chord progressions in the Members Area.

Practice Activity #11 - Common Chord Progressions For Device Practice

A more realistic form of Origin Exercises is to apply device practice to Common Chord Progressions. There's a (growing) library of common chord progressions in the Members Area.

Practice Activity #12 - Programming Specific Drum Loops

One of my students was working with one of Anthony Vitti's books and wanted to know how to program specific drum loops. It's straightforward....and how to do it is shown in one of the screen capture videos in the member's area.

Practice Activity #13 - Using Band In A Box For Deliberate Composition

If you've been through any of my 8020 Bass material you'll know the importance of the deliberate composition process that I teach. Because the process relies on composing lines a device at a time with tempo taken completely out of the equation, there's a way of entering your compositions directly into Band In A Box and then pressing play and being able to get an immediate audit of whether they work or not (do they sound good?)

Practice Activity #14 - Device Ear Training

One of the benefits of practicing devices in the manner i teach, is the subliminal ear training that you get. But if you want to more actively train your ear...I created a short 'ear training with devices' course by programming a series of specific styles that you can use to train your ear to hear the foundational devices of the 8020 Bass Language. (All the styles are in the Members Area.)

Practice Activity #15 - Improving Your Mental Representation Of Bass Lines

When I create specific player styles in Band in A Box, it's an iterative process. But the earlier attempts that don't work are perfect to create bass lines that don't work! WTF you might think. But if you take those lines, analyze them, identify WHY they don't work and FIX'll improve your mental representations of how bass lines DO work. Great practice when you don't have your bass with you!

Practice Activity #16 - Creating Bass Lines On The Fly

Band In A Box is a great practice partner for doing will play as many times through a chord progression as you require it to and never ask for a break!

Practice Activity #17 - Transcribing Chord Progressions

Using the melodist feature, you can get Band In A Box to create short chord progressions that you can then try and work out by listening. And then check to see if you got it right. Great ear training practice.

Practice Activity #18 - Walking Bass And Trading 4s

There's a way of using Band In A Box to 'trade fours.' If you're a walking player you'll know what that is...but actually practicing it has been next to impossible outside of a live band. Now it's not.

Practice Activity #19 - Generating Solos And Learning Them

Band In A Box can generate solos - if you've got a gig coming up with a designated solo and are short of ideas....let Band In A Box generate a bunch for you and learn them!

Practice Activity #20 - Generating Unusual Melodic Bass Lines

This is an interesting activity I've done a few times....generate a melody for a chord progression (using the melodist feature) and then edited it to turn it into a bass line incorporating some of that melody line. If your band mates want an unusual line for a song...this could be a way to create one!

What Other People Say?

Here's What Bass Players Just Like You Say About My Teaching - here's Rodi:

And Paulia:

And Rob (and Goran):

Delivery and Bonuses

Here's How The Program Will Be Delivered...and Details of Bonuses

  • Delivery

    The content for Band In A Box for Bass Players is around 99% complete. It will never be 100% complete because PG Music release new features and I discover new things that you can do from my own practice.

    Each time I do, I’ll create a new lesson.

    And each time a new lesson goes live…you’ll get an email update.

    Each ‘lesson’ is a screen capture video where you can see my Band In A Box screen and I talk through what you can do, how to do it, and so on. The lessons include ‘How Tos’ as well as guides to using the common chord progressions and cycle track files and so on.

  • Original PDF

    There’s a 250 page PDF alrady locked and loaded in the Members Area. This was written in 2012 so it’s outdated in two ways: the screenshots are from BIAB 2010 (I think) so the interface looks pretty different ; and there are things not included in that PDF that I’ll be covering in the main program that I hadn’t thought of as practice activities 10 years ago!

    But there are some things I won’t cover in the screen capture video portion of the program – e.g. how to use the melodist or the soloist feature if you desire.

  • Ear Training Lessons

    I’ve created a series of lessons showing you how to use a series of styles that I’ve programmed so that you can use Band In A Box as an ear training tool to work on internalizing the sound of the foundational 80-20 Devices from the 80-20 Library.

  • Bonus - 5 Band In A Box "Bass Player' Styles Packs Created By Me (Value $150)

    I’ve been heavily experimenting with creating styles in Band In A Box that can be used to create sight reading etudes, bass lines, grooves and so on.

    Not only will I document the process and share my templates – so that YOU can do this if you want – but I’ll also share 5 style packs that I create that you can load into your STYLES folder of your Band In A Box installation and start creating lines and sight reading etudes with!

    Sidebar: I’ll also include one or two early versions of these styles as they create lines that need editing to make them work…this is a fantastic mental representation exercise.

  • Bonus - Paul's Favourite Band In A Box Styles

    There are a bunch of Band In A Box styles that I really like…and I’ll do short overview screen capture videos of each of these and let you know what they are called so that if you don’t already have them, you can think about buying the ‘pack’ that has them. (I think each real tracks pack is about $29).

  • Bonus - 16th Note Technique Development System

    This is an excerpt from my book DELIBERATE PRACTICE FOR BASS (though it was originally also a part of the 8020 Course) and shows you how to work on your technique in a way that constantly tells you where your tempo ceiling in and how you use the Woodshed feature to build your chops over a period of time.

  • Bonus - The Harmonic Metronome

    This is an excerpt from my book TIME AND GROOVE FOR BASS and demonstrates different uses of the harmonic metronomes with an 8th note groove. Note that there are harmonic metronome styles within the programme that you can download!

  • Bonus - The Drop Series

    This is another excerpt from my book TIME AND GROOVE FOR BASS and demonstrates the Drop Series with an 8th note groove. Both of these Time And Groove exercises are great for your perception of time and are easy to do with Band in A Box.

The Million Dollar Question - How Much Is Enrollment?

Band In A Box for Bass Players is the result of years of experience with the program. But also visualizing practice exercises and wondering how I could use Band In A Box to do that.

For example, the topics of creating harmonic metronomes and creating practice loops where beats are dropped out form the basis of the exercises in my book TIME AND GROOVE FOR BASS GUITAR. Both of these things are reasonably simple to set up in Band in A Box if...and it's a big if!...if you know how to do it. In BIAB For Bass Players I'll show you exactly how you manipulate the program to do these and dozens of other tweaks to make Band In A Box the best practice partner you've ever had!

Being able to do this yourself is simple: watch the screencapture video, check accompanying text and screenshots (where applicable), open Band In A Box and implement. Instead of each of these practice boosting activities taking hours and hours to figure out...we're talking minutes.

So not only are you turning Band In A Box into a dynamic practice partner. But you're also shaving hours off learning how to do it. (For many of the tasks, there will be Band IN A Box files that you can download where the task is done....and you can load it into your copy of Band In a Box, press play, and hear exactly how it should sound!)

That's a dynamite combination: saving hours of time learning how to program something (which can be reinvested in actual practice), and improving the quality of your practice.

To obtain that double dynamite combination, your investment today is...


Just $97

15 Day 100% Money Back Guarantee: This is a unique collection of tutorials - as noted, PG Music sell Band In A Box to musicians and their tutorials are pitched accordingly. There are uses of Band In A Box in this program that they don't even know exist! As such I'm 100% confident that not only will you find the information in the course highly valuable, but that the implementation of this material will make a massive difference to your bass playing.

I want YOU to be just as confident with your purchase though, so there's a full 15 day no questions asked guarantee period.

If for whatever reason you're not satisfied,  all you have to do is drop me an email and let me know.  I'll refund your purchase ASAP with no hassles and no hoops to jump through, and we can part as friends.

What To Do Now:  Click on the big yellow button below and you'll be taken to the enrollment page on the site, where Band In A Box For Bass Players is hosted. If you've signed up there before, just log in and then complete enrollment. If you're new to the site (which is a different website!) then just enter your best email and a password as part of the enrollment process.

Once you've enrolled, you'll be added to Band In A Box For Bass Players and sent a welcome email. If you don't receive that email for any reason, then don't panic, simply send me an email and I''ll work out what went wrong in the process and get you added to the site manually. So go ahead. Click the big yellow button below and head over to the site and Enroll Now!