NOOB HOME RECORDING (001) - The Scratch Track

On NHR (000), you've heard the cover version done though very meager recording setup and little to no recording experience. Had I taken the time to actually listen to the original song to figure out the key, I wouldn't be griping about it today.

This brings me to the importance of scratch tracks. So what is it? I found an explanation on Wikipedia. It pertains to animation but I think it can apply to recording music as well:

... a preliminary soundtrack or "scratch track" is recorded, so that the animation may be more precisely synchronized to the soundtrack. Given the slow, methodical manner in which traditional animation is produced, it is almost always easier to synchronize animation to a pre-existing soundtrack than it is to synchronize a soundtrack to pre-existing animation. A completed cartoon soundtrack will feature music, sound effects, and dialogue performed by voice actors. However, the scratch track used during animation typically contains just the voices, any vocal songs that the characters must sing along to, and temporary musical score tracks; the final score and sound effects are added in post-production.

A scratch track does not have to be a perfect performance. It serves as a broad stroke to guide the musician on the song's timing, notes, structure and arrangement.

 If this song was my original, the scratch track would be a live recording of me singing the entire song on acoustic guitar played to a click track. But since I'm doing a cover, my scratch track would be the original song.

I found a suitable "scratch track" on Youtube:

NEXT: NHR 002 - Lining Up Drum Beats