Best way to find backing tracks for popular songs?

Been thinking about recording my self playing some of the songs I’ve learned but I’m no singer and some songs sound much better with other instruments. At first I thought I’d record myself playing in the song app, but the song app only has me playing chords and the app plays some of the riffs that I want to play so it ends up sounding weird. Same with with playing along with the original recording; my guitar gets pretty drowned out and it ends up not sounding too great. It’s fine for practice, but not great for recording.

For those experienced in this, what do you do? Do you find backing tracks without guitar parts? Where? Is there another solution I’m not thinking of?


I usually find backing tracks on youtube without electric in just by searching phrases like “song title backing track no guitar”. The more famous song the better chance you have.

Alternative is having guitar pro and downloading song files off sites like songsterr or ultimate guitar and then within the software you can mute guitar bit or any bit you wish. Hope this helps.

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Alexis this website will give you either isolated instruments or isolated vocals. It’s free, with a daily limit of 2 or 3. The quality varies, but it’s worth a shot.

You need to have a file to upload.

If you want to get an mp3 from a YT video this is a good free source.


Alexis, there are also websites from which you can purchase backing tracks with options to include or exclude instruments in the arrangement. I know @Kasper makes use of a couple but I continually forget the names, not being sites I use.

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Moises, another App which can separate voice and instruments. It can also alter the key of the song. I use it a lot.

I invite you to my learning log, almost all songs with original singing are made with Moises.

FirstRazor’s learning log

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Hi Alexis
The above option are all good and have worked for me recently. I agree with Adrian in that the more popular song the song then the better chance you have of finding a quality backing track on YouTube.
If you want to get more serious and have the will then there are several highly rated software applications that can isolate specific track stems from MP3 files. These can not only be useful for creating authentic backing tracks but also for isolating the guitar part that you went to learn. I cannot vouch for any one in particular as I have not gone down this route - but have been looking into it as an option.
Here is an article that reviews 4 such applications:


Thanks everyone for all of the suggestions. I’m looking into all of them!

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I was going to create a new topic when I came across this one.

I’m massively disappointed for the same reason. When I connect my phone to my amp and select a song from youtube, either the song goes over my guitar and I can’t hear my guitar or my guitar over the song and I can’t hear the song.

I wonder how people do it!

One workaround I tried is to have my headphones connected to my phone and play the song listening through my headphones while the guitar… well, still through the amp… that way I can hear both the song from my headphones and the guitar from the amp. What I find incredibly difficult is to focus on both simultaneously so… my timing gets all wrong and the whole thing goes south pretty soon :frowning:

I’ll play along to the song on youtube with my headphones only covering one ear, that way I hear my acoustic guitar through the ear without the headphone.

I found it impossible to play along to songs when I first started playing (beginner level). As time went by it got easier. As your skills progress, much more happens automatically and playing along to youtube / originals is easier as a result.

A slower downer also can help. I use either Riffstation (no longer available) or Song Surgeon for that, they also allow changing to a different key.

I started by using Justin Song app heavily as a beginner, but after around 3 months later switched to Ultimate Guitar. It has a very nice feature: in a song tab, I can click the YT link to play the original video. I’m using it almost everyday, so playing with original has never been a problem for me. Usually I use iPad to play the song, with a proper volume, never have the problem to hear my own acoustic guitar.

Is that YT link just the original recording, guitar included?

It is the original song, normally the official MTV version.

If you use web version, it shows more videos, including tutorials from YT. And it can also scroll the song in sync with the YT video.

I’d say ‘experimenting’. At least that is how I do it.

YT has a playback volume. Your phone has a playback volume. I suggest dial in your tone and volume of the guitar first. Then plug the phone into the amp and use the YT and phone volume controls until it is sitting at the level you want. Perhaps a final ever so fine adjustment on the amp volume.

I’ll try that!

I feared it would come down to that… I need to keep practicing then…

Yes, I get that. It kinda gets overwhelming though so I thought there would be a hack (with me being lazy sometimes… :laughing:)

I just bought a Fender Micro Mustang amp…about 100 USD. It plugs into your guitar and your headphones, which means you can jam to lots of different amps without upsetting your neighbors! More importantly to your comment, it also has a Bluetooth settings, so you can play a backing on, for example, You Tube while also playing guitar through the amp…seamless sounds of the backing track and your guitar playing right into your headphones!!

This! I have a Katana Air Mini which allows for the same: guitar amp and bluetooth connectivity as a speaker. Great for practicing with Justin’s song app! I just fiddle a bit with the volume on the amp and my phone until I get the desired blending.