Get answers to most of your questions about PlayJazzNow right here.

If you can't find the answer you need, please contact us via email: techsupport@playjazznow.com





What are play along tracks?
Play-along (or backing) tracks are pre-recorded accompaniments for jazz musicians. Each track leaves musical space for the user to "fill in" or play-along. For example, if you are a pianist, you can practice with bass and drums; if you play the saxophone, you can work with the whole trio (piano, bass and drums). More details are available here → → →

How do you create the play-along tracks?
We digitally record the tracks with top-notch live musicians in Chicago, IL USA. No midi files or synthetic sounds are used.

What kind of files are your tracks?
Our play-along tracks are high quality mp3 files which use minimum compression for maximum fidelity. You can import them into iTunes, Windows Media Player or any other mp3 player. You can burn them to a disk, take them with you on a flash drive, or play them on your iPod (or other mobile mp3 player).

Do you sell CDs?
By popular demand, we now offer a small selection of our tracks as physical CDs via CDBaby. In order to contribute to a healthier world and to keep our prices low we specialize in selling downloadable products. If you prefer lossless audio files, please visit our Bandcamp or Soundcloud pages.

What if I play an instrument not listed on your website?
In general, if you play a melody instrument (ie an instrument that primarily sounds one note at a time) you will probably want to work with our tracks for HORN PLAYERS. These kinds of instruments include the violin family, french horn, harmonica, english horn and so on.

If you play an instrument that can easily play chords in addition to melodies, you might want to play along with our tracks for PIANO PLAYERS. Accordion, harp, banjo and all keyboards fit this category. If you need advice feel free to contact us.

Why are your tracks better than the Jamey Aebersold play-alongs?
Jamey's LP or CD and book play-alongs set the standard for helping jazz musicians learn how to play decades ago. PlayJazzNow was created with the goal of bringing play-along quality and technology into the 21st Century. We're setting contemporary standards for backing tracks by offering all of our standard chord progressions in all 12 keys, by posting instrument-specific mixes of all of our tracks, by making our tracks available via instant download and by keeping our pricing within the reach of any musician with a computer. Musicians all over the world have been writing to tell us how much more they enjoy working with PJN tracks than the old Aebersold recordings.

Is it OK to use PlayJazzNow tracks for public performance?
Yes, you may use the tracks you purchase from us for live shows. We'd appreciate it if you'd mention that your "back-up band" was provided by PJN but you're not obligated to do so.

Is it OK to use PlayJazzNow tracks for recording?
Please contact us if you would like to license our tracks for use in commercial recordings.

Can I make copies of your tracks for my friends?
C'mon, you already know that's not cool. HERE'S WHY.

There are so many choices! How do I find the right play-along tracks for me?
Navigating PlayJazzNow is easy. Click your instrument in the right navigation bar visible on every page. Then you can choose what KIND of tracks you'd like or search by your LEVEL of ability for some suggestions of tracks that will help you achieve your musical goals. You may also want to take the VIDEO TOUR.

How do I find a particular song?
Peruse our SONG LIST

What does "mm" mean?
"mm" is a standard abbreviation for "metronome marking". So when a set or track is marked "mm = 100" that tells you that the tempo (speed, pulse) of that selection is 100 beats per minute.

What happens when I make a purchase?
After you purchase your tracks through PayPal or 2Checkout we will immediately send you an email with a link to a secure download page. Just click the link in the email, which will open up a web page with a clickable download link. The download might take a few moments (longer if you have a dial-up connection). Un-zip (or decompress) the folder and you'll have a set of mp3 files that you can play on your computer, on a mobile device (such as an iPod) or that you can burn to a CD.

Click HERE for a short step-by-step video downloading tutorial (PC/Windows).

Click HERE for a short step-by-step video downloading tutorial (Mac).

You have up to 5 attempts over the period of 5 days to complete your download. If you have any problems just let us know and we'll send you a renewal link.

Is PayPal your only payment option?
No. You can use PayPal or 2 Checkout. Google is no longer processing orders for digital downloads. Both methods are fast, safe and efficient. Please note that if you use a PayPal "echeck" it is their policy to wait for the check to clear before releasing the funds to us. It will take a few days for this to happen. Our payment systems only work if you have cookies enabled in your browser.

Can I download tracks to my iPad, iPhone, Android or other mobile device?
Yes! Now you can download your AppTracks AND any of our mp3 backing tracks to your iOS device. Androids and other mobile operating systems...not yet. If you purchase any of our play-along tracks on your mobile device, just click the "download onto your iOS device" in the email we send you. To transfer files from your Windows or Mac maching, use the File Sharing function in iTunes. More information on how to do that is HERE.

How do I play my tracks?
You'll need an mp3 player like iTunes or Windows Media Player. Simply import (or drag) your PlayJazzNow tracks into iTunes or WMP and you'll be ready to go.

I'm having trouble hearing your SAMPLE tracks.
We recently upgraded to a new Flash / HTML 5 based player (no more pop-up windows!). The SAMPLE players look like this:
Just click the arrow and the SAMPLE track will play - it might take a few seconds to load, depending on your browser and connection speed. This player should work with every current browser and OS, with the exception of Internet Explorer, specifically IE9.

If you are using IE9 either try another browser or use this workaround: In the URL address bar, turn ON compatibility mode. See the image below to locate this.

(screenshot of broken link)

How do I get my free chord chart?
Links to the pdf files are called SEE THE CHANGES and are located right next to the ADD TO CART buttons for all of our products. The link opens up a new window, at the bottom of which is a download link for the charts.

I don't like the count off (or stick clicks) at the beginning of each track. How can I eliminate them?
Download the FREE cross-platform audio editing software Audacity. Import the track you want to edit into Audacity, select the area where the offending count-off or clicks are (at the beginning of the track - you'll easily see where) and delete. Then export the track as an mp3 file. It's quite simple and fast.

What is the JazzPlayer app?
It's our new state-of-the-art 4-channel music player that gives you full control of the mix of your play-along tracks. Each instrument - KEYS, BASS, DRUMS and GUITAR - has a separate channel so you can adjust the volume and other parameters to your particular taste.

Is JazzPlayer a mobile app or what?
There are 2 versions of the app: DESKTOP and MOBILE.

What are the system requirements for JazzPlayer?
The iOS version of the app works on any iPhone (4 or later), iPad or iPod Touch.

System requirements for the desktop app are as follows:
Mac: Intel Core Duo or faster processor
Mac OS X v10.6 or v10.7
512MB of RAM (1GB recommended)
Windows: 2.33GHz or faster x86-compatible processor or Intel Atom 1.6GHz or faster processor for netbooks. Microsoft Windows; XP Home, Professional, or Tablet PC Edition with Service Pack 3; Windows Server 2003; Windows Server 2008; Windows Vista Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise (including 64-bit editions) with Service Pack 2; or Windows 7
512MB of RAM (1GB recommended)

What kind of tracks does JazzPlayer play?
The app plays our new format called AppTracks. Clever, eh? For more info and a list of our current AppTracks catalogue, please go HERE.

How do I find the chord chart for my AppTrack?
For the MOBILE app, tap the small 8th note icon in the lower right-hand corner of the screen to see the chord chart. Chord charts for the DESKTOP are accessed via the "Open" menu. Just click the "Chord Chart" command and the chart will magically appear.

How do I operate all the various JazzPlayer functions?
Here's a couple of brief videos that show you how everything works:



The MOBILE app works like this:

Can the app play the mp3 version of PlayJazzNow's backing tracks? Yes. If you purchase any of our play-along tracks on your mobile device, just click the "download onto your iOS device" in the email we send you. The benefit of playing your PlayJazzNow's backing tracks via your JazzPlayer app is that you can access the chord chart for whatever track you're using right inside the app. You can play ANY mp3s by using the File Sharing function in iTunes.


Why would I want to use play-along tracks?
The best way to learn how to play jazz is to play with other like-minded musicians. Unfortunately, we don't always have access to a rhythm section so play-along tracks are the next best thing. You will need to practice the technical aspects of your chosen instrument by yourself, of course. But it's valuable and fun to be able to work on your sound, time feel, licks, chord voicings etc. in the context of the other "parts".

What are jazz standards?
Compositions from a variety of sources that are widely known and played by a majority of jazz musicians around the world. Standards are analagous to "classics" in literature, theatre, film and other musical genres. While there is no "official" list of these compositions, most musicians share a basic repertoire, consisting of tunes drawn from the "Great American Songbook" and original pieces by well-known jazz composers.

This repertoire is in constant flux, and certain tunes go in and out of fashion or were only popular during a certain era. The standard chord changes we've chosen to include at PlayJazzNow are based on tunes that have demonstrated their "staying power". They've been played for many generations of musicians and continue to be among the compositions mature players are expected to know.

What is a turnaround and why are they so important?
A turnaround is a kind of musical cadence, a progression of chords that provides harmonic "punctuation" in a composition. Turnarounds are used to establish a tonal center (or key), to mark the end of a section of a tune, to return to the beginning of the previous section or to prepare for the beginning of a new section. A turnaround can also serve as an independent repeating section of a tune, often occurring in the form of a coda.

Why do we spend so much time studying and practicing turnarounds?
The harmonic material of many standard tunes consists of nothing more than variations of turnarounds. They can be thought of as essential formulas for understanding how compositions from the mainstream jazz and popular repertoire "work" harmonically. Though there are many jazz composers who've extended the language far beyond these harmonic formulas, the ability to understand and make creative use of turnarounds is essential for the jazz improvisor.

I'm a beginning jazz player and am feeling a little bewildered. Help!
Don't worry, we've got quite a few resources for you right here at PlayJazzNow. You can visit our Beginner's Guide to Jazz Improvisation. There you'll find a step-by-step method for learning "what to play when".

Spend a little time with our JAZZ CHORD SPELLER VIDEOS. These videos are for beginning level non-keyboard players. They'll help you to be able to hear and visualize all the different chord types used in jazz.

You can also visit our JAZZ RESOURCES page for a ton of written and recorded info for your specific instrument and skill level.

I'm having trouble accessing my shopping cart or checking out. What's going on?
Our payment systems only work if you have cookies enabled in your browser.

I didn't receive my email link. Now what do I do?
Please check your spam or junk mail folder using the same email address that you used to make your purchase. The emails are sent automatically as soon as your payment is verified through PayPal or 2Checkout. If you can't find the email please let us know and we will re-send it.

I'm having trouble downloading my tracks. What should I do?
Due to the large file size of many of our sets of tracks, downloading can be a little slow or might not be successful on the first try. We suggest that you use the most recent version of your web browser and de-compression software such as StuffIt Expander.

I bought my tracks on my iPhone (or iPad or iPod Touch) and I'm having some difficulty downloading my tracks. What gives?
Variations in mobile (Wi-Fi and 3G or 4G) connection speeds might make downloading our files take longer than we'd prefer, or might not work perfectly the first time. Give it another try by clicking the "download onto your iOS device" in the email once again.

Click HERE for a short step-by-step video downloading tutorial (PC/Windows).

Click HERE for a short step-by-step video downloading tutorial (Mac).

Occasionally one of our servers will be especially busy at the time you're trying to download your tracks. Please try again a little later.

My download link has expired. What should I do?
You have up to 5 attempts over the period of 5 days to complete your download. If you have any problems just let us know and we'll send you a renewal link.
Still having troubles?
Please contact us: techsupport@playjazznow.com

9 Responses to FAQ

  1. Robert Gass says:

    I love the jazz player app. It is a fantastic way to practice upright bass. I especially like the option of increasing or decreasing the volume of the other instruments. I want the bas track louder when I’m learning a song, but quieter when I’m refining it. I just wish you had more songs available. I’d like Bye Bye Blackbird, Fly Me to the Moon, Al of Me, Autumn Leaves, and other jazz standards. I’d like the options of multiple keys too.

  2. Pingback: JazzPlayer App Bridges Gap Between Mobile Technology and Education | The Berklee Groove

  3. Dave Williams says:

    So far I’m still using the MP3 tracks, and I have a lot of them. I’m still reluctant to go with a new format, but if I could be made to see some real benefit, I might do it. Ability to control the volume of individual instruments is certainly desirable, but I don’t see it as critical with good tracks. Two things that are very important to me are tempo and key…with key being my first priority. I play with several vocalists and being able to work in several keys is a must.

  4. Norman Walsh says:

    Great website. I’ve used in past. I like the idea of the use of “vanilla changes” to quote Lester Young, e.g., Indiana. Aebersold sometimes makes things too complicated.

  5. Joe says:

    What I am finding really frustrating is a lack of clarity (hopefully unintentional) about that extent of the Jazz player apps comparability with ALL the backingbtracks. That is, can I adjust instrument level on app for all tracks on your website, Rhythm changes for example, or just the ones specifically made for the app.

    • admin says:

      Joe, the app’s features are designed to play AppTracks, the 4-channel tracks available on the Jazz Player App website. Any music player (WMD, iTunes) will play all of the tracks (mp3s) we have for sale on PlayJazzNow.com

  6. Neb Ebmoc says:

    I’ve been a longtime user of PJN. I was wondering when you guys are going to put out some new material. Correct me if i’m wrong but it seems you have been using the same catalog for years now. Any hope in getting some new tracks? It would be awesome if you guys could record a track ala the Miles version of Freedom Jazz Dance (Evolution of the groove) and other tracks that might be more conducive for superimposing. Prince of Darkness, Felon Brun, Petits Machin or some of the Bitches Brew era tracks. That’s my two cents. Great job on the original list but time for to add something new.
    -Thanks PJN!

    • admin says:

      Thanks for supporting our site and using our play along tracks. We will not be adding any new material to our catalogue. Many factors play into this situation, not least the high cost of production vs. the easy availability of free backing tracks on YouTube and elsewhere. If it were financially feasible we’d love to be able to do more. But it’s simply not possible.

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