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Thoughts from a wikiloops newbie...

posted on #1
Member
Posts: 4
Joined: 28.08.13
Hi Wikiloopers!

I've been hanging around wikiloops for almost a month now, and I thought I'd share some of my thoughts to see what anyone else might have to say about them...

-- I really like this place! Thank you to Dick and everyone else for putting this together. It's a great site filled with very talented musicians, and I'm extremely happy to have found it!

-- I love the format. As a guy who has a family and a job and a hundred of other life obligations, it's awesome to have a resource that allows me to interact with great musicians on my erratic schedule. I don't have to be here at a certain time -- whenever I'm open, there are hundreds of amazing drummers, bass players, keyboardists, guitarists, and others all waiting here for me to jam with. And I can take as little or as much time as I want to work on a track, with no pressure to have it done by a certain time. This is such a fabulous benefit to me.

-- There are SO MANY amazing jams here to listen to! This is both wonderful and concerning. It's awesome to have so many great things to jam with or to simply listen to and enjoy, but it's also impossible for me to hear them all. My first track uploaded was [url=http://www.wikiloops.com/backingtrack.php?jamsession=10940]10940[/url] uploaded on Aug 30; my latest track uploaded was [url=http://www.wikiloops.com/backingtrack.php?jamsession=11560]11560[/url] from yesterday Sep 22. That means a total of 620 tracks were added in the 24 days between my tracks -- an average of 25.8 tracks per day. At an average of, say, 3 minutes each, it would take 31 hours to listen to all those tracks. Or, if someone was listening every day during those last 24 days, they'd have to spend over an hour each and every day just to keep up. And that's not counting trying to hear the 10,939 tracks that were already on wikiloops before my first upload. I'm sorry, but I just can't hear them all. I wish I could...

-- Thumbs are awesome. Comments are even better. I really appreciate all the feedback and support that you wikiloopers have given me in the short time I've been here. I've tried to do the same. So far, I've received 105 thumbs on my 13 tracks, and have given 192 thumbs and written 169 comments on as many tracks as I could. I love the supportive nature of the wikiloopers and I also want to show that to as many other people as I can.

-- But how important ARE thumbs? I feel great when one track gets 18, but then feel bad when another track has only 3. Was that track really terrible? Maybe my playing completely sucks! I'm trying to remind myself that getting thumbs is not the reason I'm here. It's to get practice, have fun, share my work, and play with some incredible musicians who inspire and challenge me to improve. Growing a s a musician is the real goal. If something I upload gets lost in the deluge of other tracks and only receives a few thumbs, I have to learn to not take it too personally.

-- I wish the forum was a little more active. My "hi, I'm new here!" post from weeks ago has never gotten even a single reply. I see the real-time chat that takes place on the side of the page when I'm logged in, and it's great to see that interaction, but my schedule just doesn't allow me much time to stay and take part. One of the beautiful things about wikiloops is that real musicians can jam together without having to be in the same room or even being online at the same time. The forum would be a way to interact in that same way, but it seems to be pretty dead. That's too bad. Maybe my post will inspire a few others to post some of their own thoughts and kindle some of that interaction here, too?

Well, I guess that's it. The bottom line is that I just want to say thanks -- Thanks to Dick and everyone else for creating this place; thanks to all the musicians who have given their creative talents to fill it with such amazing playing; and thanks to everyone who's commented and thumbed my work and welcomed me aboard. I really appreciate it!

:)
Edited by StratPlayer on 23-09-2013 17:36
==========

"My technique is laughable at times. I have developed a style of my own, I suppose...I've developed the parts of my technique that are useful to me. I'll never be a very fast guitar player (but) there's always a melodic intent in there."
-- David Gilmour
posted on #2
Supporter
Posts: 2083
Joined: 30.12.10
Hey Stratplayer,
let me appologize if my reply took a little longer again :)
First of all, let me thank you for the positive feedback you gave - yes, I've been working hard to make it look fun :)
About the forum livelyness - well, I guess you are right about that, people mostly use the forum to report bugs or suggest improvements :) I believe its not that much of a surprise people rather hang around making music than posting forum threads on wikiloops.com... you may be assured I do check the forum a couple of times dayly, so whatever comes up here will go across my screen.
As for the thoughts on thumbs - thumbs are important so the search engine has a means to know how to rank a track. There are some quite delicate other factors that play in this process, too, but thats propably the most basic thing to know about the thumbs. Always compare the number of thumbs to the number of listeners to be able to estimate listener appreciation - and, bottom line, I dont think its about a thumb-getting-race (adam won), but about the process of creation itself. If you take part for some time and share a track here and there, besides all remixes and thumbs, you will grow a nice little musical history and be able to check out how bad your playing was some time ago... I really like this diary-type aspect of the loops, too. I guess veteran members have diffrent feelings about the use than newbees who might find it difficult to get an audience. For the future, the "follow" function will play a growing role in getting your tracks heard - like on all social networks, your posts will go unnoticed if theres not a self-created group of people that get a hint about the new content. Making remixes of other users tracks before sharing new templates is a good strategy to get known a little :) I believe this development is due to the growing community, gone are the days where I knew exactly where each member was coming from and what their musical tastes are... we're running on 7000 registered people now, so thats not a big surprise...

I do hope your positive experience with wikiloops will continue! If theres anything you come across that strikes you as odd, feel free to let me know!

all the best
Dick
"Sorry - had to do it!" - Les Claypool

yes, you are looking at the administrators signature.
posted on #3
Member
Posts: 4
Joined: 28.08.13
Thank you for the reply, Dick!

And, even more so, thank you for wikiloops!

And Adam may have temporarily won the thumb race, but I'm only about 8,000 behind him -- maybe I'll catch him in a few hundred years. :)

Just kidding -- I love wikiloops, and I'm going to not focus too much on the thumb count. But Adam does deserve all the thumbs he's gotten -- he's a fabulous drummer and musician!

And you mention the "musical diary" aspect of wikiloops. That's a great point. In just a month or so, I can already hear the improvement between the first track I did and the last one. Both of which were remixes of YOUR tracks, by the way (see the links in my original post). I must admit that I do like your bass playing! :)

Wikiloops is a great place -- I thank you again for putting it together, and I thank all the amazing musicians who have contributed tracks!

Now I just wish I had more time to visit, listen to all the great music, and also add my own remixes... :)
Edited by StratPlayer on 28-09-2013 04:44
==========

"My technique is laughable at times. I have developed a style of my own, I suppose...I've developed the parts of my technique that are useful to me. I'll never be a very fast guitar player (but) there's always a melodic intent in there."
-- David Gilmour
posted on #4
Supporter
Posts: 469
Joined: 07.01.13
hello StratPlayer

i guess you have summed it up pretty acurately ! it's really hard to catch up with EVERY SINGLE THING going on here ... everybody has a life and we all know life's getting in the way much too often right ?
the best thing of wikiloops is that it doesnt have to be real time or even on short delay interacting ... do whatever your schedule allows you !

wikiloops is great because ppl make it great ! of course we all have to thank Dick for his dedication to this community ;-) that's some abnegation man !!

i shall add a last (but not least) thing here : HAVE FUN !

OliV
clusters Clusters CLUSTERS !!!!!!
posted on #5
Member
Posts: 246
Joined: 19.08.13
Hi Stratplayer. I hope you will read this. Loved your great guitar sound, but you have left allready....?

Let us talk about a folkclub at my (Ex-)hometown. They meet once in a month. No musician can participate every event (8 Gigs the evening?). You play 2 or 3 songs. Change.

Well, I think, as a musician you have to show up sometimes to meet new friends. But no one plays in a club everyday. A band should meet once or twice a week to train a repertoire.

I do not look at numbers, but a time-lag of 250 IDs from upload to upload could not be wrong for an artist on the net. One upload a week is more than enough to my opinion. It is hard to get a remix. For me it is much more easier to post a session start than to join an existing mix.

The gravity of this project with unknown self-organisation-skills is highly interessting to watch and to participate a little bit.

We all need to know: There is no such thing like digital eternity :-)
Hope you will join in a jam again.
PS:
I am just wondering, how the internet and the music on the net would look like if there was a law that every content has to be deleted after 36 month (kind of science fiction).

Do we really need a shoutbox-archiv longer than 7 days in the past...? If we produce 10000 song a year and look in the future 5 years...??? How many songs do the audience need to notice the way you play in time or in tune...? :-)


After 50 years they will remember only one song. Ain't that great? To be that song of a million...?
Edited by Neronick on 08-01-2014 09:59
Was born in an analog world.
posted on #6
Member
Posts: 4
Joined: 28.08.13
Hello Neronick!

Thank you very much for the kind words -- I really appreciate them. :)

And no -- I have not left. Not now, and not for a very, very long time. Yes, I've been gone, but I have NOT left. Wikiloops is too amazing and wonderful of a site to ever really leave. I've just had real life intrude a bit into my online music-making.

After all, I'm just a hobby guitarist -- I have a day job (electrical engineer), a wife, a family (even a grand-daughter!), and many other demands on my limited time. Plus I do have other hobbies, too (trying to be a writer, for one thing).

But I do really love to play the guitar and do it at least some every day. I also play in church and jam with other musicians live when I can -- I've been doing that a little more lately so that's another reason I haven't been wikilooping as much in the last few months.

It's ironic, isn't it? My original post talks about how it would be nice to have more interaction in the forums, and I'm the one who's been gone and not interacting much on wikiloops, LOL!

But my appreciation for what Dick has created here has not diminished -- wikiloops is an amazing site, and while I'm still a relatively new member, I've been around long enough to know that even if I'm gone for a while, I will always still return.

I'm seeing it now more like Dick said -- a bit of a musical diary. I really like seeing how my playing progresses the more I contribute and as time passes.

Plus, I've learned that wikiloops is not something I have to try and be part of, live, each and every day. It's just impossible. Yes, I may miss a lot, but I know that what I do hear from all the incredible musicians here when I come back will be enjoyable and inspiring and amazing, and I will want to take part, even if only until the next time I get pulled away.

Because being here for the time I am here is fabulous.

You're right -- there's no digital eternity, but I will gladly join in a jam again! And again. And again...

Who knows? Maybe one time it will be that song in a million! ;)

And Hello OliveBee! Thank you for your kind words of support also! And you are absolutely right -- the important thing is to have fun. :) And I do!!!

Thank you again, Dick!
Edited by StratPlayer on 10-01-2014 03:56
==========

"My technique is laughable at times. I have developed a style of my own, I suppose...I've developed the parts of my technique that are useful to me. I'll never be a very fast guitar player (but) there's always a melodic intent in there."
-- David Gilmour
posted on #7
Supporter
Posts: 2083
Joined: 30.12.10
about the "have you left" aspect: I never consider anyone as gone for good, I believe its one of the best aspects that everyone can show up on wikiloops whenever they want to, without any blame by anyone. we all have our offline lives (well, you have i hope :P ), and its one of the good things about wikiloops its there when you want it.

And about the "expiration date" on web content... well, thats a quite philosophical issue there. Of course one might argue there is no need for a zillion tracks, but if you notice theres a zillion creative moments documented that way, I dont see any sense in saying "There have been enough creative things on this planet, lets stop it." There is no such thing as the radio charts on wikiloops, and its not a competitive sport we do here, so focusing on the ratings too uch leads nowhere really. Sometimes, one honest comment, and may it be a constructive criticism will make it worthwhile, and even if no one seems to have taken notice of your great track - if you spent the time recording something you want to share on wikiloops, the motivation you had and that kept you going should be accounted for. If we were wasting vast amounts of ressources by piling up this huge collection (imagine a wikiloops project done on burnt CDs for a second!) I would see it as problematic, but since we are keeping it digital, that aspect isn't really relevant.

Thanks for the positive feedback all, btw :)
"Sorry - had to do it!" - Les Claypool

yes, you are looking at the administrators signature.
posted on #8
Member
Posts: 246
Joined: 19.08.13
Dick wrote:

"And about the "expiration date" on web content... well, thats a quite philosophical issue there."

Yes. That is right. And that it should be. I do not do things without reasoning about it. And I like to understand what is going on in our culture and civilisation.

For me, I do not post songs just to do a post.

To be honest, I think a main reason for many people - in my age - is to get "resonance". Resonance makes you feel alive. Resonance makes you able to find friends. A chord progression is a very easy thing to do instead. Resonance is the value of wikiloops.

This actuell concept of wikiloops will not fit a database like youtube with 1000 uploads a day. The social concept could be the most important thing. The existing social concept can be focused by simple data-mining.

Philosophically, yes, I believe that that complete Web-Content will not exist anymore in 10 years. No Microsoft, no Google, no Facebook. Not a single bit will stay unchanged. And in 25 years they will laugh about the internet of today. Maybe :-)

One though at last: Classical "modern" music (Beatles etc) have one 4 quality steps:
- the band itself, the manager, the professionell producer, - the theme of the LP, -the A&R of the company, -the paying public

So, what we actuell see is a culturell revolution. Isn't it? How to tell the inner progress of an artist without chronologie in an existing "bundle of work" like "Revolver"....??? Is Wikillops a place to form a virtuell band? Yes it is, now. But, at which size, will it fail?
Edited by Neronick on 11-01-2014 22:05
Was born in an analog world.
posted on #9
Supporter
Posts: 469
Joined: 07.01.13
this is an interesting take on many sides ... though i'm affraid i have to disagree on one point that you presented as an always true thing ...

"A chord progression is a very easy thing to do instead."


Don't get me wrong it MIGHT be true sometimes ? but i think it's not easy in most cases ... building a chord progression requires various knowledge that is not such a common thing !

In some cases achieving a good and interesting composition / chords progression can take several years (speaking for myself here) : i have some songs that i could only finish after many years on and off !
Edited by OliVBee on 18-01-2014 13:18
clusters Clusters CLUSTERS !!!!!!
posted on #10
Member
Posts: 246
Joined: 19.08.13
OliV,

of course you are 100% right. I feel the same and made the same expirience. I am very happy that I have written so many songs as a "boy" just to learn that I start to play them in a better way as an old man.

On the other side: Some times you can work the soul out of a song, I then move a step backwards to fit the song again to the originell "intuitive" idea... there have been years I made everything to complicate. The songs I really love where written almost at the same month in some years.

So, what I can state, after writting 500 songs you will not discover a problem to write the next 500. Some good, some bad, some too complicate, some to easy, some to dance and some to feel happy, some to forget until you find them again. I do not know why, but creativity never stops when you get older. Finding friends could to be more difficult at this stage of life.

E-G-C-A is not a song. But you can make a really good song out of it! :-)

And it is a good idea to understand the sophisticated musical theory hidden in this special progression...I believe, you know it!!!
Edited by Neronick on 12-01-2014 09:53
Was born in an analog world.
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