Can Cubase AI Be Used as a Practice Tool?

I have a Yamaha practice amp called THR31ii. It came with Cubase AI.

What I want to do is practice lesson material that is usually in notation or tablature format. Some lessons have jam tracks but some don’t.

I thought that maybe I could use AI to scratch together simple drum and base tracks where need to use exclusively for practice session. These would not be kept, nor would they need to be perfect. Just. something to practice guitar with and to make playback recordings to see how I’m doing.

But looking at Cubase, it seems that there really is no simple way to accomplish what I want to do.

So the question is whether there exists a simple way to assemble practice track? Maybe Cubase isn’t geared or what I want to do?



Sure it can be used as a practice tool, why shouldn’t it?
The question is what obstacle(s) did you encounter that prevent you from using Cubase AI as such a tool?

It is definitely possible, but “simple” is of course relative. If you don’t know your way around the software, it isn’t simple, you have to learn a bit first, like start with this tutorial series:

You can e.g. create drum tracks with GrooveAgent SE (it even has several drum loops included) then record guitar over that.

If you want fully automated creation of backing tracks though, something like Band-in-a-Box is perhaps more suited for you.

Yes but if you want notation then it has to be Cubase pro

For a simple backing track you just need a beat and chord changes right? So you need drums , keys and maybe a bass track. I don’t know the limitations of the AI version but you can program a simple midi beat and put the chords and melody in the midi editor. Then create an audio track to record your play along into to see how it’s going. This is the fundamentals of DAW music tech. Once you learn how to do this you can make any music you want, from backing track to film score.

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All great questions which really highlight the nub of the problem.

I don’t play bass guitar well enough to make my own base line. I don’t know how you take a baseline from the many loops offered and somehow change chords throughout the harmony.

The drums are a similar problem. I don’t know how to play the drums so I can’t write my own patterns. I can see that there are tons of patterns available but I don’t know how you pick out the right one from a list that just contains a bunch of exotic names.

So in essence, Cubase has a pile of good musical material, but with my limited musical knowledge I’ve no way to cull out the necessary information to make even a simple song.

My father used to joke that it’s easy to sculpt a statue of an elephant. You just remove all the pieces of stone that don’t look like an elephant and you’ve got an elephant. I’m in a similar situation, I guess.

As I say, your questions really bring out the heart of the problem.

Thanks for your comments.

Michael. .

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Hi @goofeyfoot,

welcome to the forum!
Perhaps you could use my following fast link search as a starter, since all of us - at some point - had to start to learn something specific about an instrument, from scratch.

In order to learn any track instrument characteristics (acoustic, electric, electronic), and to constantly improve, one needs to find some good music examples and then stick to them, so one can become familiar with every aspect. All in all, this is just a matter of close and repeat listening and - of course - also of enough free time (and about being in an attentive / positive mood).

  • A fast search:

how to write professional bass lines at DuckDuckGo

  • An interesting article on “what bass is” on Native Instruments’ website:

How bass works | Native Instruments Blog

  • Another article:

How to Write a Bassline: 5 Steps for Songwriting Success

  • And another (very short) one:

  • And yet another one:

How to Create Bass Lines | Tutorials by ujam

  • Concluding with some basic information about that instrument class:

Bass guitar - Wikipedia
Acoustic bass guitar - Wikipedia
Double bass - Wikipedia

Best wishes,

In my experience learning all the aspects that make up the music we are making is part of the journey to becoming a well rounded musician . Start with your ears. Listen to what all the different instruments are doing in the music you like. Learn a bit of theory, learn a bit of music tech. Socialise with like minded musicians and all this knowledge will seep in.

I can’t play the drums, but I could have a conversation with a drummer about snare rudiments, time signatures, sub divisions and styles etc. And when I work with a drummer or drum machine, I can express what I have in mind.

If you just want quick and dirty backing tracks immediately, YouTube has tons of them available.

Reading your second post in the his thread it sounds like @fese’s recommendation of Band in a box might be a more suitable software. It lets you enter the chords of the song, pick a style/genre (out of hundreds) and click “generate”. You’ll have a backing track in a matter of minutes.

Maybe the name of the software misled you a bit? Cubase AI does not mean “artificial intelligence”. It is an entry level software for musicians or those who chose to learn to become one. So, maybe Band-in-a-Box might be better suited for you?
However, to just create a basic drum beat and a most simple bass pattern is all you need to be able to strum along? With a little bit of effort you might be able to do that in Cubase AI.