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What type of player are you?

posted on #1
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Always dangerous to set up categories when there is so much grey area (50 shades?).

Safe to say we'd all like to be technically proficient, great composers, and able to add meaningful and beautiful parts to great compositions of others. A few here meet all these qualifications...not most of us, or me.

The first and most appreciated category are the composers. Those bold and talented individuals work out a template for the rest of us to have a play with. There are also those who compose less, but lay down rhythms or other sounds to stimulate our imaginations and give the rest of us a start. The last of this group are the “sharers” who don't necessarily want adds, they just want to post a fairly complete track.

The rest of us add to these and make it into a variety of finished or unfinished tracks. Some hear their part and try to play so that their addition is “seamless” and it sounds like they were playing together (live) with the composer or previous players. Others use the track to express themselves and play the most challenging (difficult) lines possible. For them it's an exercise in honing their skills and less about fitting into the music. When it's a less experienced player it's usually heart-warming to hear how the community gives support, even if critical comments could help more.

Another category are the jammers (I'm one). They don't put in the time that others might and as a result don't always produce optimal results. Jammers are found in all levels. They hope for happy accidents or have a level of competence that lets them correctly guess where the music is going.

Mixing egos into these categories gives various results from competent soloist to incompetent loud playing narcissist. All are indulged with varying levels of collective acknowledgement.

A special category also exists that I've got to admit bugs me: the tagger. They find tracks they like and try to be the first to add to it. The time between posting of a track and the tag can be just a few minutes. They seem to just want their name attached regardless of the musicality of their add.
It's like having a community mural that similarly gets tagged over the names of those who created the work.

The site has always had the lofty goal of being a safe place in which to learn, play, and find musical connections. It's always been especially good for those wishing to better their skills by playing with fine musicians and being able to hear new music rather than playing standards or covers. It's a musical community emphasizing cooperation. Comments are encouraged to be “compliments”. It's debatable if this always helps when constructive criticism may do more for some players who wish to learn.

Where do you fit?
You're only as old as you smell
posted on #2
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Dear Wade.
Thank you for this detailed analysis. I think that many people will recognize each other on the different approaches that you have described.
The link common to all (to make an addition) is "the heart touched" by a track or a template. Indeed, some will jump on it, and others take time in the general construction.
Personally, I am like you and go where the wind leads me.
It is the heart that guides me, but I am realistic in the choice of my additions related to my level of play.
The challenge is ubiquitous and I sometimes try something bold. The notion of rhythm saves me often. Offering this type of work is sometimes better than offering false notes ...
My approach is always improvised and instantaneous, but there is always in my mind the desire to wear more. Tell a story and give a feeling. Respect for the other (or others) by listening in the idea of ​​giving a finished product homogeneous and comprehensible. Finished product that also passes by the quality of the mix.
I therefore qualify as an epidermal player.
posted on #3
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That is a great break down Wade. Pretty much describes the various types of players. "Tagger" .. haha!! You don't get the glory unless you get at it .. that's our motto!! :D:D hehehe
posted on #4
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I’m a jammer :)
Better “finisher” than “Composer”
... because I need other(s)
(Great Chorus Lyrics?!? :))

And I use to tag too (I hope in a good way) when the lineup is attractive:)

This place (all of you) gave me confidence from my first steps

Viva la musica :J

posted on #5
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I'm a Jammer I don't typically practice or rehearse it's usually a 1 take sometimes it sucks but I'm here to have fun not become a professional musician. I probably dumped half the tracks that I add to and never upload because I didn't like the result. But I enjoy myself and sometimes come up with a pretty damn good track
Edited by axenvocs on July 20 2019 14:39
posted on #6
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axenvocs wrote:
I'm a Jammer I don't typically practice or rehearse it's usually a 1 take sometimes it sucks but I'm here to have fun not become a professional musician. I probably dumped half the tracks that I add to and never upload because I didn't like the result. But I enjoy myself and sometimes come up with a pretty damn good track

Yup...Same here..but one thing I'd like to mention is this...We all play and upload here based on our schedules, etc. I don't particularly download tracks for working on at a later time, as I have plenty of time on my hands(Like right NOW), and for me..my MO is just come here and start with the most recent uploads, and If I find something I like..I ad. OR..I may ad something to the track that "I" like, then play along. To me the definition of "jam" is not something I spend hours on perfecting..moreso like axenvocs mentioned..pulling up a chair and playing with musicians that are way better than I consider myself to be. I like to think of it as painting a picture...We all have different ideas, none of which may line up with "everyone's" ideas. Kind of like discussing politics..not everyone is gonna like what you say. I'm here mostly because I enjoy playing..and because this is a great place to express myself:D Getting to know the people here also is a benefit as well.
Edited by Fishinmissio on July 20 2019 15:00
posted on #7
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As always Wade you have a great sharpness of thought. You described the situation as best don't could it done but what is difficult, at least for me, is to give the right answer. Every day I ask myself musically what I am and what I am looking for. A few years ago I wouldn't have hesitated to call myself an instinctive, a jam sessions lover, a jammer, not by chance I grew up listening and playing Blues. But today? It may be age and the desire to experiment other musical territories. I discovered more and more the importance of the melody that for me is essential in every musical genre. When I enter into this dimension I must reason in different terms perhaps to the detriment of instinct. But I believe that making music and enjoying of the music is a continuous compromise between instinct and reflection.
I am very surprised and with admiration by those who churn out remixes one after the other and it is not genres like the Blues, where this can be understandable due to the importance of the improvisational component, but of genres of different complexity. How do they do it? I do not know! But I know for sure that I couldn't do it.
But in the end I think that what really matters is making music the way you feel at that moment and this site, which is really a mine to dig with bare hands, offers all of us this great opportunity ..... the magic of making music with musicians of all kinds and from all over the world.
posted on #8
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Im a Jagposer.

I, like TOf ,am a finisher here at the loops but at home , personally I compose. Often two different recording setups for me.

Its evolved for me because Wikiloops now for me, is where I get my kicks playing with real live musicians. I dont EVEN own an amplifier yet I have 9 guitars and playing in a real life band and gigging repulses me. (Been there done that). Not doing it. So Wikiloops has become my "live audience".
No desire to carry an amplifier even 2 feet.Yet I still want the audience feedback.

The tracks I do that get very little attention are just as important then the popular ones as they are my constructive feedback from you all.

So if Im not adding , Im posting home studio projects or idea tracks I feel deserve others touches.I do projects now with people outside the Loops and have alot of song ideas and sketches in a folder that make great track templates.

I very rarely tag, but if so ,Id have to say I follow probably six people at a stalker level because they inspire me or else I feel we gel together good.
Edited by LittleWing on July 20 2019 19:51
posted on #9
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I am just in it for the fun. Its been great getting to know so many here and work with all the great musicians I get to bounce ideas off of. Sometimes I work on a song for days, a lot of times I upload the first or second take I make because I really enjoy the raw energy of live performance and too many takes can steal the energy right out of the sound. I enjoy composing too and Have a lot of fun learning how to play any instrument and any genre or sing. Everyone I have worked with here and especially a few of you have helped me grow as a musician in ways i never would have without you
posted on #10
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Great topic. One I will have to ponder on for awhile with a response.
I had a chuckle with your comment "happy accidents".
I always welcome those happy accidents when I play because usually mine are not very happy :)
posted on #11
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Wasn't "Happy accidents" the motto of Bob Ross ?? :D

I'm not sure i could give a definitive answer as to what kind of player i am ... Generally speaking i can't deny that it's more the refined polished tracks that will get my interest because i like what it takes to achieve this kind of result. And as long as the musical content moves me it could be about any style or genre !

Sometimes i will also enjoy a nice jam with the very same dedication and enthousiasm : keeping it fresh and not overworked is the first goal though it still has to sound interesting ... if i find it doesn't in the end then i won't post (there are quite a number of these discarded jams that i never posted).

Defining who you are musically speaking is quite an internal trip that every musician has to take sometime on their journey ... i found one of the hardest part is accepting that there's no way you'll be "perfect" each time you're going to play so better lower your own expectation ;) We're only human !
clusters Clusters CLUSTERS !!!!!!
posted on #12
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A very interesting subject by Wade ...

I will not reproduce here what is already written on my presentation page ... Free to go read it. :)

I'm in the composer category (a kind of Sunday musical handyman) who composes to fill a natural need to create something. Unfortunately, I am a musical illiterate and too often the musical ideas that come to my mind are forgotten. However, I still have a dozen of them simmering while waiting to be able to reproduce as best as possible on an instrument and sometimes I wait months before my fingers can produce a relatively acceptable result, so I let simmer in my head.:D

I strive for my musical structures to be built for both singers and musicians ...:W

I really like collaborating on compositions of other members but I have more difficulties to find ideas ... often I do not think to be able to bring something of interest so I pass ... but I I always have some waiting ...:)

I compose, participate on compositions of other composers and I also like to involve other musicians as an example: https://youtu.be/2UqbzO3_RQw

I am the type of self-taught player who has accepted the fact that he will never have the skills to reproduce in the heart of the moment what he hears in his heart and in his head! But I'm less and less demanding and I try to balance things out with me as it's just a hobby and not a job.

I would like to add that, in my opinion, finally we for the majority are here simply that to 'make music' between people who really have this same common passion ...

Thank you Wade for initiating this topic,
Edited by StJray on July 28 2019 05:23
posted on #13
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Wade did a good job trying to define the types of players. I think that I am all these types and probably more. I love to play music, I compose, play on other's tracks, sometimes very early and sometimes lately. I have a good teacher who teach me to be "part of the song". It is very hard.

I try different styles, not always perfect but I enjoy trying. I tried classic, rock, bossanova, samba, country, Blues, Folk, Funk, HopHop and Pop music.

Our societies always try to categorize, place people in a definite positions. I feel free and I couldn't stand to be put in a "category".

My journey on WL is not perfect. I am very poor on recording technics. Sometimes my strings are weary but I try to do my best with the tools I use.

The only important thing for me is to express my feelings and if I can touch someone's heart or soul I am happy.

Anyway I am almost always happy...
posted on #14
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I am a "Jack of all trades, Master of none"...:P
Edited by mortheol on July 23 2019 03:04
posted on #15
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Well, here are my two cents speaking as a simple Wikiloopser: All my life people attempt to classify, categorize and analyze me (and everybody else), and I have always resented it. Why? Because I am a rocker. A biker. A smoker. A joker. Because I am nothing and everything of what they think I am or should be or what they would like me to be. Usually just when they thought they had me figured out, I did the absolute opposite of what I should have. Untamed and wild and mostly ducking annoying :J

The only thing that really matters to me is if those people that I value think I am an honest person...

Coming back to Wades thing, I guess I have done all types of uploads, fast, slow, composed, deliberate, spontaneous, some good, but many more questionable ones - you name it I did it or will do it.

I for one won't change the way I upload - I do what I feel on the day. I have and will apologize for murdering or overpowering a track - but did I have fun? You bet your wild donkey I did :W

That's what Wikiloops is for: Have fun with music & be nice to everyone. Peace :--

P.S. and thank you Dick for giving us this website so we can make music
posted on #16
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:)Interesting post by master Wade.
I landed in WL in November last year, although I had registered before but did not understand the meaning of the web.
Regarding the categories, I don't know exactly which one to include myself in. Sometimes I like to go into other people's tracks and add things and I think I've improved a lot thanks to some advice that Wade gave me about the ornamental notes.
I also like to create complete templates for others to enter and add.
I don't usually download the most recent tracks to add and appear on the WL honor roll.
I usually listen according to the styles I like, almost always with the guitar in my hand and if, on the fly, I can think of a melody that enriches the track, I download it.
I believe that music is a feeling that leads to a language according to the ability that each one has with their instrument, but in short I believe that it is the most beautiful way of communication that exists.
A hug for everyone

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator
Edited by Andri on July 26 2019 01:04
posted on #17
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I´m "composerjammerimpulsivetagger" multi-instrumentalist spirit with the mind of an amateur sound engineer for mixing records but with a soul of musician, unfortunately with much more music in my head than due to lack of time, and practice can not materialize in good music for other ears. Instead for me, not being a music professional is an advantage rather than a problem, because I do the music I want when I want to the best of my ability self-taught, WL allows me to share my ephemeral work (some could not play them on a second occasion ...) with excellent musicians from all over the world.
WL serves us all to do what we all like in the living room of our house (or home studio) receiving suggestions, criticisms, compliments or comments to improve as musicians, with the sensation of a live jam but thousands of kilometers between us.
Just to meet new musicians of various trends and genres is already worth this place, if you can also meet people like Wade, Andri or Marco (Melinos) in person and play with them live, it is already a dream available to the chosen
Greetings to all ! :)
Edited by GlezBass on July 25 2019 23:22
posted on #18
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Excellent thread, Wade.

I'm without question in the 'Jammer' category. I've always 'winged' my playing. I think it's a combination of laziness and a desire to keep things fresh. But I'm a jammer always striving for context - that is to fit in. And that involves responding to or at least understanding the music I'm trying to fit in with. A huge base for this is my thankfully extensive exposure to playing many, many genres of music over the years. This gives me access to a built-in 'pallete', if you will, of styles I can draw on and default to in order to sound convincing.

So I ultimately rely on my musical intuition and luckily, experience (36 years and counting!) to guide me through tracks - I often only listen through bits of each section to check for any pushes, stops, starts, etc...

This approach can cause a bit of an internal paradox for me though: I want to belong to the track, I want to do it 'right' and to the highest standard possible. To achieve this properly, that involves sitting down and listening to the track to learn its subtleties and structure - I often don't have time so it's rare I actually 'make an effort' with a track, if you see what I mean. But jamming is what keeps a track fresh and you, as a musician, challenged and pushing yourself. In drums, this is especially hard because you have to balance playing, often the same-old, same-old with keeping yourself challenged and entertained.

Luckily, the vast majority of music is based around repetitive themes so often, when jamming, I'll hear punctuations and can pretty much second guess when they'll occur again, this time I've already processed what needs to happen and will try and find a way to pick it out. This has the effect of sounding like I 'know what I'm doing' when in fact half the time I've never encountered that part of the music! By spotting, processing and then performing punctuations in sync with the song and in realtime, it sounds like I've learned the track when I really, really haven't. I'm very blessed with this skill as it's always come naturally to me.

I'm the same with bands I play in. I learn the song structures and any important bits but after that, I just make it up as I go along sticking to the boundary of the music but winging the rest. I suppose you could call it 'structured jamming'? I'll be honest, I've turned up to rehearsals having listened to the tracks I'm supposed to learn on the way in the car yet the band don't notice I'm winging it - and they've been analysing and learning the track themselves!

I cannot learn tracks verbatim. Mostly through laziness, partly because, in truth, the audience really don't give a rat's you-know-what about whether the drummer is playing the track 'correctly' as long as it fits in. But it keeps me fresh. If drumming ever becomes 'going through the motions' for me, I'll be hanging up my sticks...
Edited by mpointon on July 26 2019 12:34
If you make a mistake, do it again and make it look like you meant to do it!
posted on #19
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Great thread Wade.

I have been all of these types (minus the composer, although I made an attempt) in my years on the Loops. I tagged for awhile, but that requires a lot of time online...

When I lived overseas I played on electronic drums using MIDI, and I was able to work on parts over and over, piece them together and make sure everything was perfect (I didn't work for 7 years, Wikiloops and cleaning the house was my job).

Now that I am back in the USA, working, busy etc... I visit the rehearsal studio every other week and record as many songs as I can in 1 hour. I have completely become a jammer! I have to go with what I get, and honestly I couldn't be happier. Real drumming live without a net!

rp3 (Raymond)
posted on #20
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Interesting question and thread, Wade, since it suggests a little self-reflection which is always a good thing in my opinion :)

I remember when I came to the loops short before my birthday in Feb' 2018. I was overwhelmed, so I first made an album of "hit singles" with tracks which really got me at that time (and still do). These had wonderful bass players on them already, or didn't need a bass at all or one I couldn't provide (like a double bass), so I simply made an album more or less for myself, to remind me of what people are capable of around here. In case you're interested, it's this one: https://www.wikiloops.com/album/13092-The+cool+cats+from+the+loops+-+Hit+singles.php

It took me a month or so to come out with my first own addition to a track, and it was a more or less 'classical' remix of the professor, with a wonderful template from Oliv and moonchild's voice which really touched me. I tried to fit in tho I didn't have (or could play) the instrument I would have liked to add, which was a bowed contrabass:


The reactions were - to me - overwhelmingly positive, especially since I was so unsecure about my work.

Now I'm one of the moderators on this board (and, as an aside, maybe because I still remember my insecurity I try to greet new members in a positive way as well), and as such I listen to lots and lots of songs (mostly of new members to check if they understood the rules of 'no covers'). And when doing so, I often add things which touch me onto my watchlist which now consists of 194 tracks as I write this - more than I could actually work on, but I keep adding tracks I like (and which don't have a bass yet or if they do, I first don't listen to these in most cases).

I also have another list which I call 'Even more hit singles', and to which the same applies as to my first album. There are so many good musicians here, and not every track needs something from me.

And if so, I sometimes even remix tracks without playing myself (if I think I can improve things, I do).

That brings me back to the question which type of player I am. I try to add, but first of all I try to listen. If a track is wonderful but kind of 'full' (like for instance #138272 which reminded me of a cool French anime when I heard it), I don't do anything - I've tried, but couldn't improve anything, so I drew that one back. Also, if the first version I hear has a wonderful bass player on it, and I think there's no way I could come up with something 'better' (for the lack of a better word), it probably goes into my 'hit list' instead of my watchlist.

I think I have improved a lot since I'm here, but as a still working amateur (I'm 62, with about two and a half more years before I'll retire) I don't have the time to really practise, and to improve. I haven't played bass for about 35 years, so there's no way to technically play on a level of the best ones here.

But that's not the point, and not even needed in most cases. When I think I can improve a track, or give back a little hug to all who played and sang already, I'll do it.

Phew, lots of words. But since you asked (and thanks for that, Wade - hope to see you again soon in RL as well, my friend!)...

Edited by wjl on July 27 2019 12:03
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