Backing tracks of original material

Will from Australia asked a question about creating original backing tracks so he could use them to teach his pupils to sing or play an instrument:

I am looking for someone to create some custom play-along tracks for me to use with some of my students. I am looking to have some tracks made that cover some of the most common genres like rock, funk, jazz, etc.

So they are basically jam tracks that students can use to practice and jam along with. I want to be able to use the tracks for my students to play along with and practice their playing style and musicianship, as opposed to just playing along to a metronome.

Because I teach some different instruments like drums, guitar and piano, I would need the tracks to be recorded with all instruments and then made into separate tracks by taking one instrument out – ie a track for our drummers would have the drums taken out, etc.

Is this something you guys are capable of doing, and what sort of price would I be looking at per arrangement of around 4 minutes long. I don’t have any songs to base them on, I am looking for just some simple and original tracks to be recorded.

Also, I may end up selling them on a CD to my students – is that something I can do? Do I own the rights to the recorded songs to use them for anything I like? Look forward to your reply.

Kind Regards,


Hi Will,

Thanks for getting in touch.

Yes, we do create special arrangements of songs for our customers but we never take on any work where the customer can’t supply us with reference material to base it on. 

When we take on special arrangement work, the customer needs to send us the original recording of the song. We then create all the individual instrument parts in our studio, taking care to make them all sound as close to the originals recording as possible. We leave out the vocals and/or any instruments that you may want to play live, and that’s pretty much how a special arrangement backing track is created.

But if you don’t have any reference material  that we can work from (i.e you don’t have an original recording), it makes it very difficult for us to actually quote you a price for the work. Without reference material we have no definite idea of exactly what you want so can’t estimate how long it will take us to produce.

One option would be to enter in to an open-ended type of deal whereby you pay us by the hour and it “takes as long as it takes” until it’s the way you want it.

However I’m not really comfortable with deals like that. I prefer to give a firm definite quote for work we do for customers before we undertake the work (and I’m sure you’d prefer that too). It’s much fairer to everyone involved and everyone knows exactly where they stand and how much it’s going to cost before a single penny has changed hands.

Regarding transferring rights to work over to you upon completion, that actually wouldn’t be a problem if that’s what you require. Under normal circumstances we retain the rights to any work we create, but for a price we would be happy to relinquish our copyright and transfer those rights to you.