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your work methods for beginners

posted on #1
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Hello everybody,

I do not know if I can post it here but nevermind, I dare

I have a great backing track that comes from wiki, without guitar (I'm a guitarist)
but I do not know how to approach it to register on it is annoying

Do you have any advice or methods of "work" to offer me which could also be used for any beginner ?
do you improvise?
or do you write the music you have in mind somewhere and learn it before you register?

I guess there is not a single good and true method, everyone works in the way that suits him best, but I must confess that I turn around a bit there xD

help me please x)
Let's rock \m/
posted on #2
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Hi Tony, I usually just play along once or twice, and then do a few takes until I'm happy with the result. Don't overanalyse, just go with the flow.

-- Joe
posted on #3
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Let it flow! And when it´s good enough for your ears, load it up! ;)
Rockin´ in a free world !
posted on #4
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If it isnt fun, its all wrong.
posted on #5
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Just jump in and go for it I always say. Here to have fun and enjoy if you are not having fun your doing it all wrong....Lot of great talent out here ....:W:Y:W So get her done ... Happy playing ..
posted on #6
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Hey, as the guys above me said: just start recording and see where it gets you. I started recording, and then after a while I found out that I really enjoy spending time with the recording process, the effects, mixing etc., and also writing specific parts for specific parts of the track... so basically, congratulations, you may have found yourself a WONDERFUL hobby where you can spend a LOT of time, have a LOT of fun, meet GREAT people in a friendly environment, and one of the cool things is: Once you are set up with instrument, interface and software, you don't need to spend a lot of money compared to let's say horse riding, skiing or antique watches collecting. So, my suggestion is: Just dive in, try it out, upload it, and if you specifically ask in the track text for honest opinions about the track, then you will get helpful suggestions from more experienced members here.
posted on #7
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I would also add that especially for an instrument like guitar, you don't _have_ to play the whole song. If you just have an idea for a nice lick over the middle eight, it's fine to just add that :)
posted on #8
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I download single HD tracks whenever possible, if not then just the mp3, which I convert into a .wav, then I load it into Ardour. From there on it's like Joe (jmrukkers), Andreas (adu) and others said already, I just play and try to figure out what (and when) to play, until I hit that "record" button.

Like TeeGee said, if I have single tracks of everyone, and I think I can improve something with a bit of EQ, or a compressor or whatnot, then I also do this. For my own instrument I almost always use a high- and lowpass filter, a slight compression, and sometimes even a bit reverb or a chorus (on seperate tracks, so I can fine-tune everything there). This pre-mixing stage is a lot of fun like TeeGee also wrote, since in my youth I also worked in professional recording studios.

When I'm happy I export everything and my bass with LUFS settings according to the EBU recommendations for streaming, which are: -16LUFS (like dB ) average, and -1 dB for TP (true peaks). Then I upload my remix and the HD (bass track alone).

This is some friendly place - sometimes I get positive comments ;)

Hope this helps,
cheers,
Wolfgang
Edited by wjl on August 29 2018 12:01
posted on #9
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Wow, thanks to everyone for all your answers

I understand that having fun is a priority, it's true that I'm here to have fun with you :)

There are some who answered "if it's not fun, it will always be wrong,"

I do not know my scales, my notes, my chords by heart, so it happens regularly to deceive me and to ring false xD but suddenly even if I'm not always sure of myself I can still post my tests at the risk of making your ears bleed? xD
Let's rock \m/
posted on #10
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Let it out ;)
Rockin´ in a free world !
posted on #11
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I get what you mean there is a lot to get a handle on at the beginning of wikiLooping!

First, Don't worry about making a great first track, most people sound really good, and the WL community supports newcomers like crazy! Just make a track, then make nother track, then 10 more and, well, you get the idea. It is fun to play with and hear others play with material that "pushes" their limits! Don't overthink it. new tracks come up fast, nothing lasts long. Like a halloween Jack-o-lantern...

Finally, I have a simple effective-enough file structure i have evloved over the past 6 months. - i would love to hear others strategies, let's do a new topic!-

I have a series of directories and files that moves from general to specific. Ultimately each template.mp3/wav and all my musicfiles.wav
are in one folder like this example:

folder- Wikiloops projects 2018
folder- Wikiloops projects March 2018
folder- Wikiloops project #145148
file- wikiloops_jam_145148
file- Vocals
file- guitar


looking forward to hearing you.
Edited by BuzzBomber on August 30 2018 01:10
Ain't too young to admit it, And I'm not too old to lie,
I'm just another empty head - Bon Scott
posted on #12
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TonyGates wrote:
Wow, thanks to everyone for all your answers

I understand that having fun is a priority, it's true that I'm here to have fun with you :)

There are some who answered "if it's not fun, it will always be wrong,"

I do not know my scales, my notes, my chords by heart, so it happens regularly to deceive me and to ring false xD but suddenly even if I'm not always sure of myself I can still post my tests at the risk of making your ears bleed? xD


I have fun figuring out cool things in songs. That means retake after retake.

Its still fun. I sit and figure out a lick or a part I hear in my head but my hands wont play it. A funny thing happens ...within 48 hours with a little effort, whatever is in my head will suddenly come out of my hands and forever be part of my playing.

So not knowing scales, chords etc...is usually a temporary thing. the Loops makes me learn it.
posted on #13
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Okay :)

Thank you to everyone for your answers and your advice :)

I would try to put them into practice soon, I should have time for that weekend ^^

thanks again ^^
Let's rock \m/
posted on #14
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Relativity wrote:

I have fun figuring out cool things in songs. That means retake after retake.

Its still fun. I sit and figure out a lick or a part I hear in my head but my hands wont play it. A funny thing happens ...within 48 hours with a little effort, whatever is in my head will suddenly come out of my hands and forever be part of my playing.

So not knowing scales, chords etc...is usually a temporary thing. the Loops makes me learn it.


I do that too.
But many times what I hear in my head never finds its way to my hands.
Edited by FrankieJ on August 30 2018 09:46
posted on #15
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Frankie J wrote:

But many times what I hear in my head never finds its way to my hands.



Hahaha yes I know that feeling all too well. But I keep trying, the hope never dies :D And still having fun while I am at it :W
Edited by TeeGee on August 30 2018 10:09
posted on #16
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You guys can do stufff intentionally?
Ain't too young to admit it, And I'm not too old to lie,
I'm just another empty head - Bon Scott
posted on #17
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Hey Tony,

you have already taken the most important decision: You want to participate. And like BuzzBomber said, the hurdles are really low. This place really welcomes you and gives you all the time and opportunities to learn and grow. And there are many many ways to go. And I believe they depend more on the amount of time you want to spend here and how you distribute it over a day or week, than your skills, creativity and equipment.

I spend most of my time here on WL just playing along to tracks without recording. That is a fun way of playing and practicing. And only once in a while I record something.

Nevertheless, I think we need to tell you that recording, mixing is something that needs learning too. There are good reasons why professionals make a lot of money in this business. You can start very fast and it is not hard to get a decent first recording, but don't get frustrated too soon that it does not sound like the stuff you hear in the radio. You will get better the more often you do it. And the internet is full of useful hints. So go ahead and embrace the opportunities you get here to evolve your skills not only in playing but also recording and mixing.

Just do it!

And by the way: The stuff I learned about recording and mixing helps me to better communicate with the tecs behind the board on gigs. It was really eye opening to me.
Edited by Lirare on August 30 2018 16:42
posted on #18
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TeeGee wrote:
Frankie J wrote:

But many times what I hear in my head never finds its way to my hands.



Hahaha yes I know that feeling all too well. But I keep trying, the hope never dies :D And still having fun while I am at it :W


Well, what helps is having a good memory database of classic albums in the head. Often I can associate a track with something I heard and remember in the past. Ill think "Gee that song kind of sounds like that song the Stones did on the Some Girls album..." then you can take the ideas formulate something with a little effort and practice before laying down your part. You take the overall feel and certain phrasings . Zappa has a "feel". Its the same"feel" that you can recognize its him even if noone tells you its him playing. Same with all the classics...Clapton, Page, Beck, Metheny..etc
The trick has always been to absorb " the essence" of every artist I have ever listened to. I try to identify and store their " musical fingerprints".

I have a very crystal clear memory and remeber the most obscure songs I listened to 15-20 years ago. I just remember music parts and can draw off them.


So basically everything I play no matter how original I try to be , is someone elses lick or idea although subconsciously as the overall feel I heard somewhere or associate with a certain persons playing.
Edited by LeftTheLoops9-18 on August 31 2018 07:11
posted on #19
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your right it's all been done we just need to invent new out of the old
MIKEBINEZ
posted on #20
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Relativity makes a lot of sense and is absolutely correct! In reality, though, the question being asked is very, very hard to answer - in my opinion.

Why? Because any 'method' I or others may have depends on experience. You cannot shortcut this! So this is why I see it as a tough question.

So, to try and answer the question I cannot present a 'method', merely advice on how to acquire any skills necessary so that a method isn't needed. Everyone with me so far?

As advised elsewhere on the thread, noodle about as much as possible until you like the sound of things. There's no time pressure to record so just keep trying. But, in my experience, just hammering away at something and getting frustrated is counter-productive. I'd suggest an approach I've always used when learning/trying out new stuff:

Spend 5-10 minutes (a couple of times through a 3-minute tune) really focussing on trying out what you want to play. If no joy, walk away, have a break and come back in 15 minutes time.

The brain, as a rule, cannot concentrate for more than around 15 minutes at a time. It is this time that you're at your most creative/focussed. After this time, your concentration and effort will wane until you're just wasting your own time and getting frustrated to boot. So work on a tune in 10-15-minute blocks of time with coffee breaks or whatever in between. I promise it will make a difference, if nothing else it'll reduce your frustration levels!

Secondly, going back to what I said at the start, it's about acquiring experience. As advised above, listen to lots of music and don't be afraid to nick licks and riffs and alter them. All music is a derivative of something that has probably been played before! But, as part of learning, listen to as wide a variety of styles and learn their basic make-up. You may not like the style or music, but this is key to having a healthy musical 'palette'.

There's one reason I can jump on almost any track here and hopefully get the gist of it (ignoring any structural complexities). It's because I have a stock of 'basic styles' in my repertoire. If I hear a reggae track, I know straight away to start with the kick drum playing on the 2 and 4 or the 3 in half-time patterns. I also know staying away from the downbeat and playing fills that finsh either before or after the '1' is a signature of the style. If I hear a jazz track, I know to have hi-hat ticking on the 2 & 4 and quarter notes on the ride with a skip beat and fills generally contain phrasing or pushes. This may not be what I want to play, but it's my 'template' to work from - knowledge of the signatures of a style/genre... Furthermore, you'll be very surprised how you can completely change the flavour of a track by mixing these contexts. Take Ska, for example: that's just reggae and punk fused together!

In the guitar world I guess you could, using the examples above, start on a reggae track with a jangly guitar playing on the off-beat as that's the norm, or jazz you'd go for a nice round, clean tone with the top-end rolled off playing all those weird 7ths! Knowing these 'basics of style' really give you a springboard to jump in on a track leaving more time for you to enjoy it rather than worrying about it.

Lastly, learn the basics and learn them well. Rudiments (in the drum world) and scales/chords need to be learned along with basic styles as mentioned above. To me, without this basic knowledge and ability right there at your fingertips, you're just not painting with a full set of colours.

With experience, you'll be jumping on and off loops quickly and with fresh-feeling recordings.

Anyway, I'm rambling now (I've been writing for longer than 15 minutes!!!). I hope that helps in some way. Sorry for going on so long!!!
Edited by mpointon on August 31 2018 10:10
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