A tracking control apparatus, for use with a rotating-head magnetic tape player, provides a tracking control head in fixed rotational association with a playback head so that both scan corresponding parallel paths across the width of the tape in fixed relationship with each other. By so mounting the tracking control head that it overlaps adjacent recorded tracks and senses periodic information included therein, the apparatus provides a control signal for driving a tape capstan servo without need for the additional control track usually required by such apparatus. The periodic information may be, for example, the horizontal sync of a video signal in the adjacent tracks; the control signal is then derived from a comparison of the respective amplitudes of such horizontal component from each track. Since the overlapping position of the tracking head is fixedly related to the tracking position of the playback head, the control signal is indicative of the tracking alignment of the playback head itself. By further mounting the tracking head on the playback head wheel, and by using the record head during playback for such purpose, a dynamic real-time tracking apparatus is provided which additionally dispenses with a separate tracking control head.