BackUP Trax: Swing & Jazz, Vol. 1 by Dix Bruce. Learn leads and practice soloing on twelve of the most popular and important chord progressions in the swing and jazz repertoire — cycle of fifths, major and minor progressions with two-five-one, one-six-two-five-one, one-three-six-two-five-one chord changes, major, minor and 6/8 blues. You play along while the band backs you up. It’s tons of fun to jam!

Concert Edition Book with downloadable audio.
Concert Edition is for guitar, mandolin, banjo, and other “concert” or “C” instruments.

This book is sold by Mel Bay Publications.
Click the button below to view and purchase the book from Mel Bay.

Editions for other instriments (Eb, Bb and Bass) are currently out of print. You may be able to find them available through Amazon, eBay or other online shopping sites.

Additional Details

All with chord changes and etudes based on your favorite swing and jazz hits like “Sweet Georgia Brown,” “Georgia On My Mind,” “In A Mellowtone,” “Honeysuckle Rose,” “I Got Rhythm,” “Lady Be Good,” “How High the Moon,” “Summertime,”* blues in several keys, and more!

Play along with a uniquely hot string rhythm section: guitar (Dix Bruce), mandolin (Bob Alekno), and bass (Mike Wollenberg) — excellent for string players. Especially designed for string musicians and includes guitar and mandolin tablature & chord diagrams. Great primer and transition tool for bluegrass, old time and country players interested in branching out to swing & jazz. We’ll jam all night long!

Students play all the leads while the band backs them up. Beginners can practice basic skills while more advanced players can hone their improvisation chops, each at their own individual learning pace.

Melodies are first presented on the recording at a slow speed with just guitar, then each is repeated at regular speed with the band. Split track mixing on the recording allows the student to hear just the melody (while reading along in the book) or just the rhythm section, or both for maximum flexibility and specific study.

Finally the band plays several choruses and you play all the leads. Songs may be repeated, at slow or regular speed, as many times as you wish in order to perfect phrases, melodies and solos in a band context. Potential for improvement is unlimited. All books include chord notations in the accompaniment.


Attention Guitarists: A wonderful companion volume aimed specifically at teaching you all the rhythm chords you need to play Swing & Jazz in a systematic way is Mel Bay’s “Rhythm Guitar Chord System.”

* Note: The publisher was not able to license the melodies to the standards. In lieu of them we have included etudes or solos to chord changes very similar to those of the original. In the list at right, titles are also based on the original title. For example, “Solo the Sun” is based on the chord changes to “How High the Moon.” All are identified in the text. Etudes can be used as solos on the songs.

Downloadable Audio Contents:
1. Intro :47
2. Tuning tones :24
3. Cycles licks :30
4. Cycles slow 1:28
5. Cycles at speed 3:59
6. Hollyhock lick 0:23
7. Hollyhock slow 1:37
8. Hollyhock at speed 4:39
9. Blues in G licks :22
10. Blues in G slow :54
11. Blues in G at speed 2:57
12. Rhythm licks :23
13. Rhythm slow 1:35
14. Rhythm at speed 5:01
15. Michigan lick :21
16. Michigan slow 2:13
17. Michigan at speed 5:19
18. Fast Rhythm at speed 4:06
19. Fast Blues licks :29
20. Fast Blues slow :38
21. Fast Blues at speed 2:44
22. Gal Be Bad licks :27
23. Gal Be Bad slow 1:42
24. Gal Be Bad at speed 5:04
25. Cm Blues licks :15
26. Cm Blues slow :24
27. Cm Blues at speed 2:31
28. Solo the Sun licks :29
29. Solo the Sun intro & slow 1:50
30. Solo the Sun at speed 3:27
31. 6/8 Blues lick :16
32. 6/8 Blues slow 1:09
33. 6/8 Blues at speed 2:47
34. Yellowstone licks :19
35. Yellowstone slow 1:41
36. Yellowstone at speed 4:51