pg music produced this powerful tool, that imho should be in every musicians software library. the ability to insert chords and have a full backing band available at the push of a button is great! you can generate solos based on differen't styles, and you can see the solo played in realtime on the keyboard, or you can print it out in notation. it's a great tool for learning, creating and developing musicians.  

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i m using this great software for 3 years, it s absolutey great,every jazz musician must have it,i can help the one who likes to have it.
i quite agree with these comments about the program (although i also hate some of its quirks) but it's not telling much about the specifics and use of the program.

i've personally found band-in-a-box to be a tremendous practice tool.  perhaps one of us could write and post an article (what room would that be? hmm...) of tips and tricks for using the program for skills development.
post it in here- this area is intended to talk about various music software, reviews, usage, etc.
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Scot is available for skype jazz piano lessons (and google hangouts, phone call, etc...)
Use the contact link at the top of the page.
here's a quote from someone in the lobby lounge:

garyinthailand -- 05/10/2005, 08:21:19 --  

"i'd recommend purchasing band-in-a-box software for about $100. it'll do a few good things for you. (1) it'll give you some backing to jam with when you can't find drums and bass. (2) it's a great tool for driving your woodshedding, doing ii-v-i's in all keys and that sort of thing, and (3) it'll record your playing and export it as a midi file (with or without backing.) i've found it extremely valuable."
If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

Scot is available for skype jazz piano lessons (and google hangouts, phone call, etc...)
Use the contact link at the top of the page.
i hate band in a box.  
it is not worth 100 dollars for these reasons:
the feel is stiff. robots are bad musicians.  
jamie aebersold's books are much better and cheaper for playing with backing players. you get real recordings of pro musicians to play with for around $14.99
lead sheets in all keys too. there is even a 251 book.

the creation of midi files is no big deal, its 2005.
garageband comes with a mac for free and can create standard midi files, audio files, and you can use the loops and samples in the program to sequence your own backing tracks. im sure pcs have some kind of similar freeware online to create at least a midi file.
-chris marx
to play a song, nothing compares to aebersold's books to play along, you're certainly right.
i have to modify a bit my previous post, when i say this tool is "like a teacher", it means the user has already got some knowledge in understanding some notions (harmony, subs, ..., and is also able to read boths keys and some other things that only a teacher will bring !!
i haven't noticed biab to be stiff and play like a robot.  once i choose a swing style it sounds just like a bad university combo out there. good enough to learn a set of changes on at the very least.
If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

Scot is available for skype jazz piano lessons (and google hangouts, phone call, etc...)
Use the contact link at the top of the page.
i understand chrismarx85's objections to biab.  i have to admit, i don't have the latest version, but the basslines are fairly awful and not particularly idiomatic - too many octave leaps and not enough walking.

having said that, i still love it and use it every day as part of my practice routine.  it's ideal for woodshedding and learning tunes and is much quicker to use than creating your own midi files.  

i do agree that aebersold's are more realistic as they feature real instruments played by real musicians.  the problem with them is that they are exactly the same every single time so after a while, you just stop listening to what's happening in the rhythm section because you know it so well.  

the other problem i have with these recordings is that they occasionally feature mistakes which are always minor but annoying when you hear a mistake for the 87th time!  you can't blame them for not wanting to re-record another ten choruses of some standard because the bass player went asleep for a quaver in the sixth chorus!

biab is a more flexible tool overall as it also allows you to change the key or alter the tempo with a mouse click.  also, if you wanted to learn 150 standards, it would be much  cheaper to buy biab and a fake book than to buy 10 or more aebersolds.

i think both of these are useful tools for us but it should always be remembered that they are no substitute for playing with real people.  they are excellent for practicing with but you learn more by playing with a real band, preferably on a gig, than you will with any play-a-long.  use them, but don't let them substitute for real-life playing - after all, that's when music is the most fun!
well, i've picked bib up after getting the demo and finding it a much better sound then i expectd (i like scot's "bad university combo" statement).  it took me about 20 minutes to load the changes for skylark, pick a style that i like for it and start using the loop-section feature to learn the bridge better.  now that i own it i expect to put just about my entire book into it over time.  even without the learning tools that jmderay mentions (chord subs, jazz up, jazz down, melody etc) it's going to help me a lot.

my biggest problem on the rare occasions i can work with someone else is being reliable in the form and in time.  a metronome doesn't come anywhere near to giving you the same responsibility.  bib does.  i also have aebersold books and they are good but as has been pointed out, it's hard to loop a cd or even a decent mp3 player.  bib is a delight.

worth every penny so far!
i'm new to music software (except winamp etc. *ggg*) and got biab 2007 with the real drums for christmas. so far it is very enjoyable and i'm exploring all its features right now. for example i created excercise files to learn all the major scales (see what a beginner i am...)  
at the start the exercise asks (audio voice recording) what accidentals are in that particular scale, some waiting time to answer, and the correct answer is given. after the offer to start playing, some scales are given to play along or without the piano.

i did exercises like this for all major scales.
the upload to didn't work, as i believe i can't save the voice audio recording into a midi file...

if you like to help me by telling what you think about those excercises check my profile and get in touch. i will send you an mp3 file, so you can listen.

thanks for your help :)
has anyone tried their jazz paino master class tutorial software?  is it any good?
i bought the latest band in a box with all the real drums stuff.

i have to say i am quite impressed with it, especially with all the real drums sounds. when they are used it does sound quite realistic, its only really the sound of the bass that can get a bit dodgy on some of the rockier loops. but all in all its quite impressive. definetely its good enought to practice with.
yeah, one could go out and get a drum machine, but why not have a drum machine that plays walking bass lines?
If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

Scot is available for skype jazz piano lessons (and google hangouts, phone call, etc...)
Use the contact link at the top of the page.
band in a box (biab) is excellent. i have the latest version and also a lot of aebersolds. i go to biab every time these days  - firstly because biab now features real tracks - real musicians. it does not sound wooden to me at all, unless you go for old style midi songs - even then it does a respectable job if you get a decent gm synth. aebersold has piano on the tracks and you have to turn down a channel to get rid of it - not a thing to do a lot i think. aeberold is more suited to melody instruments. its a band minus the lead or meody.
biab can change keys, changed harmonies, slow down, speed up, change instruments, change styles and a lot mroe - try doing that in aebersold.
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