Home »Forum»Open mic at the blue Iguana »So i got to think of a few things..

So i got to think of a few things..

posted on #1
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Since i'm having a pretty bad headache,.. (being the nerd i am, still blowing time infront of the PC, struggling with the headache).

i got to think of a few things.. mainly, regarding music and wikiloops.

1:
How self critical are you guys before uploading a track to wikiloops?
do you just jam until you find something you think sounds okay, press record and upload it, or do you REALLY put time into it, listen through it 200 times, really digging into it, and doing your very, very best?

2:
When are do you become a musician? Does it take 1 track to be able to call yourself "a musician" or an album?.. Where's the line between a person, and a amatuer musician? (professional, would obviously be getting paid for their music)

***

My own view:

Personally, i don't really describe myself as a musician, and i'm not sure why, i love music, i listen to it all the day, i write my own music, and i'm really proud of it (atleast some of it :P) but i don't feel like i'm at the point where i could call myself a musician, or other people would think of me as a musician.

Also, i put a lot of work into my music here on wikiloops, not so much on the computer made music (my classical pieces, and drum machine stuff), now don't get me wrong, i do put a lot of effort into my drum machines, or my classical music. but it's not the same as i do when i try to record some guitar tracks, mainly because of.. well, i don't really have to record the machine made stuff, and i really don't need to practice it either, i just place my ideas in, and then the magic happens.

i got plenty and plenty of ideas for my guitar tracks, and i really want to upload them to wikiloops. but i'm kind of struggling with it, i never seem to think theyre Good enough, and i always think they need that extra bit of "salt" before they're done cooking.

I'm sorry for spelling errors, and grammar errors. i hope you can get some sense out of it. :)

- Søren.
posted on #2
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Myself I listen to the track find one I like and play it til it sounds good to me and then record it and upload to the wiki
posted on #3
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1: It depends on the song. If a song has the potential to become a "full" song I will put more time and effort into it than if it's just a jam.

2: I never think of myself as a musician but since I play musical instruments I guess I am one. I am, quite clearly, just a hobbyist.
Edited by DannyK on 27-03-2016 04:46
posted on #4
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Pretty much what DannyK said. It depends on the track's complexity. If it's a straightforward structure and/or style, I just have a test jam along to it. If I like it, I hit record and that's it. Other tracks I mark out the changeovers so I know where breaks are but I still largely jam it. Then, every so often, tracks come along which require a real investment in time and effort to not only learn but also figure out parts for.

The toughest jams for me, usually, might be quite simple but if they're not done to a metronome, I struggle to get a good take down and often give up. If the track isn't clear enough at the volume I have my headphones at to record, then I will struggle to keep in sync without a guiding click. And a drummer not in sync is a no-no. If I sound like I'm 'chasing' the track, it goes in the bin. When I add drums, it must sound like they were always there for me. This is my only rule for uploading - I have to 'belong' to the track.

As for 'being a musician'? If you play an instrument, you are a musician in my book. I may be experienced but I'm no more a musician than the next player.
posted on #5
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I am very self critical. Not only regarding quality but also originality. And when i am under the impression that somebody else is better suited to the task i often don't bother to upload my mix. I think everybody here deserves the best possible tracks so i do not want to spam this site.

The easy answer to when you are a musician is: The moment you make a living out of it. But i feel i have to comment some more on that. In music as in almost every field there are two kinds of participants: amateurs and professionals. Lets reflect on the meaning of those two words.
Amateur is derived from "amare" which means to love. So an amateur is simply someone who participates in some activity just for the love of it. Even if the sound of the word amateur often is perceived condescending there is actually no reason for that. An amateur can be as good or even better than most professionals and often is.

A professional on the other hand is getting paid for what he does. And getting paid in my world means committing to the requirement the payer makes. These requirement can be almost anything, quality just is one of them. Others can be documentation, delivery time, consistency, adapting to the customers wishes etc.
Pure fingerstyle
posted on #6
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nilton wrote:
I am very self critical. Not only regarding quality but also originality. And when i am under the impression that somebody else is better suited to the task i often don't bother to upload my mix. I think everybody here deserves the best possible tracks so i do not want to spam this site.


This is a very good point, Nilton and one I didn't think to mention (in an effort to keep a post mercifully short for once!). I, too, am highly critical of my performances and have a minimum standard to meet before I upload. It's entirely of my invention but it helps push me to improve. The point about originality is equally important to me. One may think that, with drums, there's not a lot of originality to be had and, to an fair extent that is very true. But 'original' drums, to me, just have to fit 'right' with the music. It might be simple playing but the 'originality' comes from judging everything well, in my musical opinion. There are good and bad rhythms and fills for all types of music.

To many, including me, 'originality' involves stepping out of their comfort zone. When I have to play beyond my everyday ability, that is when I have to decide between the quality of the track or the effort involved with getting what I need to learn fluid. I often don't upload if I just plain don't have the time to get on top of a drum pattern - the quality of the music always wins over the desire to upload 'something'.


nilton wrote:
The easy answer to when you are a musician is: The moment you make a living out of it. But i feel i have to comment some more on that. In music as in almost every field there are two kinds of participants: amateurs and professionals. Lets reflect on the meaning of those two words.
Amateur is derived from "amare" which means to love. So an amateur is simply someone who participates in some activity just for the love of it. Even if the sound of the word amateur often is perceived condescending there is actually no reason for that. An amateur can be as good or even better than most professionals and often is.


I did consider that point that it's when you make a living from it are you truly a 'musician', from a definition perspective. I think it depends on context. And I've learned something new too! :)

nilton wrote:
A professional on the other hand is getting paid for what he does. And getting paid in my world means committing to the requirement the payer makes. These requirement can be almost anything, quality just is one of them. Others can be documentation, delivery time, consistency, adapting to the customers wishes etc.


Important point. I know many working musicians who just will not bend to the will of the 'employer', citing various 'musical differences'. If you are paid to do something, then do as you're told and swallow your pride. Do you play in an orchestra and then decide to ignore the notes and jam The Four Seasons? No you don't. You are a hired gun - act like one.

Nevertheless, as an amateur (I *like* that word now!), I approach everything I play as I feel a professional should. That means being on-time (v. important to me), courteous, helpful and doing my utmost to do a high quality job. It may be a £50 gig in a pub, but I have been hired to stand in for someone. £50 or £1000. The same rules apply to me.

And then there's my real pet hate: people who place value on what a gig is worth. I operate a strict 'first-come, first-serve' policy for my music engagements. If a better-paying gig comes along, tough. I have to turn it down. But I know so many pros who will drop a gig if a better-paying one turns up. I think it's unprofessional and also damaging to one's reputation. But, to be fair, I don't need to make a living from it.
Edited by mpointon on 27-03-2016 10:49
posted on #7
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Beautiful thread you started here Pederson!

1) I spend quite a lot of time on songs, I really like to try to get something that I can hear afterwards without getting embarrassed by it. Very seldom do I get a single take that I think is good enough for publishing, and I don't mean a single note that is out, I could live with that. I know this is a jam site, but I am simply not good enough for single take jams, and this is not because of false modesty. I am more like the theory of the 100 monkeys with typewriters that you put in a room which eventually come up with Shakespeare - I play and record stuff and occasionally I get lucky. I might often have a very nice lick during a song and directly after that a horrible horrible mistake :D . So I am one of those that will listen 200 times to it and try to get better at at.

2) For me a musician is someone who KNOWS his instrument, and can properly play. And it does not matter to me if someone is getting paid for it or only uploads on Wikiloops. I would say my definition of a musician is someone where the instrument does what he wants it to do (and not the other way round). So for me, there are really plenty of proper musicians here on Wikiloops, and plenty of amateurs too - and it is great that we have that interaction. Where else would I have the opportunity to murder a perfectly good track and still get "likes" for it ;)? Wikiloops rules! \m/
posted on #8
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Awesome replies guys! it's nice reading your thoughts about this. i'm also glad to see that you guys seem to agree on the "quality over urges" before uploading.

i think we all agree on when you make a living out of your music, you're a musician.
i like the way Danny thinks of it, that his a Hobbyist. it doesnt sound over-confident, or anything.

Thanks a lot for the awesome replies guys!
posted on #9
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The more you focus the more out of focus anything becomes.
-Zamzam & the MellyOmatic-
posted on #10
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Every discussion benefits from alternate points of view, otherwise it's cheerleaders cheering on a team without opposition. No sport in that!

Modesty is an excellent human attribute, yet often inverted with the most modest being the most talented and the least modest...well, you know. Then there is false modesty...fishing for compliments? Any bites or are all the fish too smart today?

Who can call themselves a musician? Do you have to be earning all your income from music to be a musician? If that's the case then those people are becoming a very rarefied group, and I don't think it has to do with talent and ability as much as the lack of demand and positions for musicians in today's world. I know of several wikiloops members who were professional musicians. They can no longer earn a living from music...are they suddenly amateurs? IMHO anyone who devotes a considerable amount of time and themselves to music could and should be honest and call themselves a musician. The fact that they may have a day job that pays bills is of no consequence. A few of the members I would call musicians would be OliVBee, Tof, Mpointon, Cody, Aleonz, Liesching, Acousticeg, YoWild, Shi, RobM, and many many more. My apologies for not naming everyone and to those who actually do earn their living from music (didn't know). These are people for whom music is either their life or a very big part of it, and it's obvious. Of course they are musicians! Do you have to earn a living from dancing to tell people you're a dancer; a sailor; mountain climber; environmentalist; gardener; poet, etc. No, all it takes is passion. Doesn't mean they are any good at it, but for them it's what makes their life worthwhile and it's how they spend their time, kind of like "you are what you eat".

I can't claim to be a musician first and foremost, not because I don't love music, but I'm foremost a forestry researcher and live that life. Music is a spare time activity, not what I live for. Do I jam on tracks and post a lot of first takes, yes. But I also hold back around 80% of what I record because I don't think it's good enough. Do I want to play a track 200 times to get it or play it 10 times before recording it? No. Never! It either resounds with me or it doesn't. Having to try that hard is not fun and this is my avocation...you know...for fun? After going through my own elimination process it's for others to judge whether what's posted is OK or not. I'm a jammer and make no apologies. Those of you who only relate to music as something to do by yourself in isolation may create wonderful music after working for tens of hours on one piece. What are you going to do in a live situation? Do you never want to play with other human beings and have the buzz of live interaction or an audience?

As said I'm totally an amateur without aspirations (would be a fool to think otherwise at my age Ha!). Given the opportunity I play as often as possible with others and for an audience. It's the real deal. No reason (I guess) why someone shouldn't consider themselves a "musician" even though they may seldom or never play live with anyone else, yet I think they could be missing something.
posted on #11
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Awesome thread and thoughts. My humble .02 follows since there are a couple differences to others thoughts that have been shared so far.

1:
How self critical are you guys before uploading a track to wikiloops?
do you just jam until you find something you think sounds okay, press record and upload it, or do you REALLY put time into it, listen through it 200 times, really digging into it, and doing your very, very best?


There is a mix of things I do here on WL. Sometimes I post a track specifically for others to "use" to work with. An example would be posting a "non-traditional" 12 bar form so that others (bass, keys, guitarists etc) might use it to practice along to and add to their personal bag of knowledge. I have personally learned a LOT over the years this way.

Other times, a song post grabs my attention and I feel I can add to the overall in some way. Sometimes that is simply a solo and I do not do many more than a few takes before posting. Multiple takes as others have mentioned generally suck the life right out of music (in my humble opinion and in my case). I rarely splice my takes for this reason also. I DO however try VERY hard to respect the creators musical piece. I try to be cognizant of that before I post. If I feel the originator of the track will hear it and say "Huh?!?!?!" or something worse, I will not upload it.

Lastly, there are some folks here I have a natural respect for their crazy talent and DO like to take a lot of time to develop the melody or make sure my parts support the piece properly, are completely in tune and there are few muffed notes/chords.

Lots of angles and it really depends on the particular track and the people involved.


2:
When are do you become a musician? Does it take 1 track to be able to call yourself "a musician" or an album?.. Where's the line between a person, and a amatuer musician? (professional, would obviously be getting paid for their music)


I honestly believe that the moment one becomes a musician is the moment you seek to understand why/how music impacts people and then try to create music that you desire others to listen to and HOPE they will be impacted by it. When you realize that music can affect people and you then aim to do that (either with the sadness of the blues, the cool of jazz or the beauty of a classical piece)...that, to me, is that moment that you are a musician.
posted on #12
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Very interesting thread...
Many ways to analyze and classify what the state of being a musician is.
As far as a musician is someone who plays or create music... What is music ?
Recent neurosciences researches show that something happens to your brain when you learn and pratice music. Permanent connections are created between differents areas of your brain.
On a psychologic field... There's the way you consider yourself, the way others consider you and the way you'd like others to consider you.

Some are talented or/and lucky and can earn his living with...
But you just have to listen to the radio to figure out that what is broadcasted as music, and then, considered as musician pro stuff is sometimes just crap.
How many Mozart have never touched keys?

If we want to define what the musician state is, we shouldn't consider it only from our "musician" point of view.

In my opinion, music is a language. And here at wikiloops, we can say it's an international and transcultural language. Ethnoscientists who let people in a deep forest listen to some classical music show us that music can turn on some lights.

Music is a language and it's an evolutive language which can provide hapyness. Self hapyness. But someone said that hapyness is real when shared.

I do remember my first music player's emotions. While drumming on pots under my Mum's sink ^^
I don't know if I can consider me now as a musician, but drumming on pots when I was 3 years old, that's what I was feeling like even without knowing what the word musician was.
And if someone have told me at that time that I was not a musician, I guess I would have not understood the point and I would have tried something else 'cause it was instinctive and intuitive.

I guess a musician is a creative person able to use his tools to express and share something using the music language.
Edited by Funkystan on 29-03-2016 18:52
Funkystan
posted on #13
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Very well put, Stan!

I've had a few discussions about whether a DJ is a musician. I argued that I believe they are - if they're being creative with making new music out of existing, that is (assembling a track list on your Mac for a disco doesn't count!). Especially the guys who mix vinyl 'on-the-fly' - a real skill and talent in my book. This debate could run and run!
posted on #14
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Girard wrote:
LOL!! Reminds me of whether or not darts is a sport.


LOL!! Got any more touch paper?
posted on #15
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The problem here seems to be that many want to be as including as possible since many defining words have additional values associated with them. E.g "he plays like a pro" or "bloody amateur".

But a defining word should not be including. The more discriminating it is, the more useful it becomes. We use words like "electrician" and "musician" to distinguish between people that ARE electricians or musicians and those who are not. (period) The process of moving, especially expanding) definition boundaries is a very dangerous one from a number of perspectives. The reason for that is mainly the above mentioned, that many words have implicit values associated with them. And in a futile effort to avoid those values there seems to be a general tendency to expand definitions in absurdum. Everybody is a electrician, or a musicain, or a professor and so on. The result of this is that these defining words loose their meaning all together.
Pure fingerstyle
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