by David Hodge, October 10, 2005
Rock Tracks Volume 1 is a CD of eleven songs to jam with. The music is wonderfully produced and each title gives you the key so you can know how to go about soloing. The inner notes also include scale suggestions for soloing.
I had a lot of fun playing along with this. The songs do shift in tone and dynamic and the CD doesn't come with any kind of written music or book to follow along with while you play. Tom tells me "...about the Rock Tracks CD, I teach lessons here at my studio, at the college and also via the internet.. For my students that have the Rock Tracks CD, there are a series of lessons that go along with it, but the CD itself is sold on its own." That would certainly be one way to learn more about them. You could also make notes yourself, which would also be a great learning exercise for anyone serious about music. Or you could simply play along with it enough times to get all the changes down!
Rock Tracks Volume 1 is very open, meaning that there's a lot of space to play around with. You could jam with your guitar or try your hand at bass, keyboards, or any number of instruments. I had a great time playing along with Acoustic in A minor (track 5) and Ballad in C major (track 9) on my mandolin.
I've been seeing (and hearing) a lot of these types of CDs in music stores these days. Rock Tracks Volume 1 will definitely appeal to players who like these discs and want something challenging to play along with.
For more information on Rock Tracks Volume 1 as well as other music from HESS, visit the official HESS website.