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Looping because you suck?

Terry Blankenship <electricgypsys@yahoo.com> wrote:
> > > David Torn's looping CDs are good to me because he
> > > can actually play the guitar great and is not 
> > > using looping as a cover up for an inability to 
> > > play well (as is sometimes the case). 

To which I replied (Greg House <ghunicycle@yahoo.com>): 
> > Definitely in my case. Is that a problem?

Then Terry followed up with:

> No, Brian Eno created some wonderful music and he
> claimed to be a non- musician. I though the music he
> created was very musical.
> I just like David Torn's CDs because he plays guitar
> really well. 

That's cool, thanks for the distinction. I was also thinking about that, 
and came
to the conclusion that skill does not necessarily equal musicality. I know 
who have very little musical skill, or even technical knowledge, who 
wonderful music. Now, the combination of a high degree of skill WITH 
musicality can produce some amazing results (as you note about David Torn).

Now to turn the discussion a little bit, I've been thinking about this 
for a day or two now, the idea that we would use loopers to cover up the 
that we are poor instrumentalists. 

I'm wondering if that's really possible. When I loop, the results are not 
better then when I play without looping. In fact, it can be worse if I'm 
having a
bad day or something, simply because there are more layers of my suckage 
to hear
at the same time. Looping has challenged me as a musician in a way that 
solo and
ensemble playing haven't. For me, making good music while looping seems 
difficult, in a way, since I need to be more careful.

...but it's also easier and more enjoyable from another perspective, since 
I tend
to respond to sounds and textures I'm hearing. When I play alone, I don't 
those, so my playing can often be stale. If I can create some interesting
textures in the loops, which I can then respond to, the solo 
improvisations are

It's just the way the musical part of my mind works. I've never been good 
remembering specific parts, playing the same thing consistantly every time 
a song
is done. I tend to respond out of how I'm feeling at the moment, what else 
hearing in the music, what color the lights are, and all that. I'm not a
playactor, where the performance is the same every night. This also leaves 
subject to a lot of stuff I don't have much control over, and my playing is
therefore very inconsistant. On a good day, I like what I do, on a bad 
indescribably hideous. I'm sure this all relates back to a lack of solid 
education, a lack of personal discipline in practice, an incoherency in 
the way I
think, and probably many other personal flaws. However, for whatever 
failings it
demonstrates in me, the fact remains that this -is- how I am presently. 
helps inspire me in a positive way, that's why I do it.


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