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#1
Here are a few things I have noticed about guitar players.

-Guitar players often seem to think that because they can play guitar they are entitled to play every other musician's instrument (generally if it has strings but sometimes even if it doesn't). They usually either genuinely expect to be able to play any string instrument well despite not only having never played it but also possibly having never even heard of it just because they play guitar or else that act like hot shit because they manage to (very poorly) produce a simple guitar riff or melody on a different instrument, which often is accompanied by their friends saying, "dude, nice!" and giving them a high five.

I do have a good anecdote involving the former. I got a lap steel about a year ago because the pedal steel is too much to just casually bring places just for the hell of it. So my dad, who plays guitar (not well) asks if he can try it and I tell him that he's not going to be able to play anything with it. He gets all mad and says "[he] just wants to try it" so I let him and he is all disappointed when he can play anything that even resembles music. I mean he legitimately couldn't play a single barred note in tune. I have had many guitar friends try the same with my lap steel (I of course tell them that they won't be able to play it but they insist that, because they play guitar, they will be fine) and all have failed to produce a simple melody.

And I'm sure any bass player can relate to guitar player friends asking to try their bass only to play it exactly like a guitar.

-Many guitarists seem to not understand transposing keys, especially ones that don't play jazz or bluegrass or folk music or other genres where the key of a particular song commonly varies. They seem to think that because a band recorded a song in a particularly key, it is law that you must play in the same key. Many rock and metal and-core guitar players also seem to have the same problems with tuning and for some reason seem to think that if you play in a particular tuning, you have to play songs recorded in that tuning. You may recall seeing "What are some good songs in D/C#/whatever tuning?" threads from time to time.

-Many guitar players similarly seem to believe that two guitar players can't play together if their guitars are not in the same tuning. It gets even worse when they decide that if they record a song, just because the song is played down 3 half steps in in C# tuning or whatever they have to tune their acoustics to the same tuning to record an acoustic section for that song, which often turns out to just be the intro melody played acoustically a couple of times before playing it electrically.
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#4
jerrykramskoy

It was something I was thinking about recently after seeing a number of threads on *songs in X tuning" threads recently. I just happened to have time to put it down.
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#5
Quote by theogonia777
jerrykramskoy

It was something I was thinking about recently after seeing a number of threads on *songs in X tuning" threads recently. I just happened to have time to put it down.


I think those threads are sometimes silly, granted, but I'd say it's less about the instrument, and more about the fact that the guitar is very popular among self-taught bedroom players. If someone started to play the piano or drums on their own without education, I'm sure they'd ask all sorts of silly questions as well.

So imo a more appropriate title would be that "sometimes self-taught musicians with little experience are very stupid".
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#6
Even if you know you're not gounna have a deft hand or even any technique, sometimes it's nice to see what something is like. The experience of sitting down and trying a lap steel will always be superior to imagining it, even if it's not a fruitful one. My ex let me try her violin a few years ago, and told me that, despite my poor intonation (if that's the right term), my bowing was okay for someone with no experience. Stuff like that is what might encourage someone, or just excite someone, into learning a new instrument (in this case violin).

It's good to try things and fail because it might spark something in you. Kind of like how the first five hours of Dark Souls is (usually) spent sucking and the rest is an exponential improvement, should one get invested. Maybe, if you encouraged your dad and showed him some very basic pointers, he might have gotten a bit more interested. Sure, the passive "oh cool that's a cute toy" is perhaps irreverent towards serious practitioners and their tools, but if it's a genuine "what's that like?" I fail to see the problem. He might not have done well splitting his efforts between two very different instruments, but to some people that's just another challenge to beat.
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Last edited by Banjocal at Jul 27, 2016,
#7
^ Yeah, I agree. I see nothing wrong with wanting to try different instruments. You will never learn to play them if you don't try them first. I wouldn't really consider myself a guitarist (that's not my main instrument) but if my friend had an instrument that I'm curious about, I would ask them if I could try it. Why wouldn't I? And what's wrong with asking? What's wrong with sucking at something?
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#8
Your point is? Rock guitarists play riff based ideas. Sometimes that might include the usage of open strings. Jazz guitarists think more in terms of functional harmony, it wouldn't really matter on what strings you would play the Cmaj7 chord in jazz, because it's about the function.

And so what if guitar players only play a song in one key? There is not a single rule in music that has you obliging to learn every song in 12 keys. You don't have to be an elitist to play the guitar. You call out people for being stupid while they really just do whatever pleases them. Some people don't want to play jazz. Not being able to play jazz doesn't make you a worse guitar player. It makes you less of a well rounded guitar player. Then again, who cares? Whatever it takes for a specific guitar player to be happy with his own playing.
#9
Quote by liampje
Your point is? Rock guitarists play riff based ideas. Sometimes that might include the usage of open strings.


-guitarist plays in D standard
-wants to learn a song in C# standard
-decides he can't learn to play the song on D standard

There's no reason why you can't play the song tuned half a step higher than it was recorded. It's the same fingering but you're just playing the whole song up a semitone. There's no reason why you can't and yet for whatever reason some guitarists think that they have to be tuned to the same tuning.

Quote by Banjocal
Even if you know you're not gounna have a deft hand or even any technique, sometimes it's nice to see what something is like. The experience of sitting down and trying a lap steel will always be superior to imagining it, even if it's not a fruitful one.


It's not even that. It's more like:

-hey can I see that for a minute?
-oh, do you play that?
-no, but I play guitar so I should be fine.e

Then they proceed to diddle out something stupid. Maybe it's not something that guitarists notice since other people aren't constantly trying to play their non-guitar instrument.

Maybe, if you encouraged your dad and showed him some very basic pointers, he might have gotten a bit more interested.


No, it wasn't that. He genuinely thought that, because he played guitar, he would be able to play it. This has generally been my experience. It's never, "oh yeah, I've never tried that and would like to see what it's like" but rather, "I bet I can play this instrument because I play another instrument."

And then they seem to be genuinely frustrated that they can't play the instrument and often seem genuinely surprised that it isn't tuned anything like a guitar.

Like I said, ask any bass player and I'm sure that they can tell you stories about guitarists asking to borrow their bass and trying to act like because they are good at guitar, they are automatically some great bass player.

It's probably the worst for keyboard players since every guitarist asks to try it out and then they are slamming on the keys trying to figure out a melody. And it's not even like a keyboard is a unique and rare instrument. If you want to try a keyboard, go to a damn music store.
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#10
Quote by theogonia777
-guitarist plays in D standard
-wants to learn a song in C# standard
-decides he can't learn to play the song on D standard


A lot of bedroom guitarists like myself want to play along with the music. And when I want to learn a song that utilizes open strings and is tuned to Eb. I will change my tuning as well. I don't like the sound of transposed vocals.

Ofcourse you can learn it in E standard. But it's not so much fun to not have the original song to jam to. And making your own backing track for that song is not an option for most bedroom guitarists. When you do a full band cover you can do whatever tuning you like.

Also your initial point was very vague. One might interpret you that a drop D song can be played just fine in E standard.
#11
Quote by liampje
Also your initial point was very vague. One might interpret you that a drop D song can be played just fine in E standard.


for some reason seem to think that if you play in a particular tuning, you have to play songs recorded in that tuning. You may recall seeing "What are some good songs in D/C#/whatever tuning?" threads from time to time.


Really isn't vague.
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#13
Well, I guess that it is healthy to make sweeping generalisations based on limited and admittedly unreliable anecdotal evidence. Throwing in an adhom is also healthy, as is sarcasm.
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Last edited by Banjocal at Jul 27, 2016,
#14
Quote by Banjocal
Well, I guess that it is healthy to make sweeping generalisations based on limited and admittedly unreliable anecdotal evidence. Throwing in an adhom is also healthy, as is sarcasm.


Yeah. You shouldn't make sweeping generalizations based on one time that you tried your girlfriend's violin since your one experience is obviously not indicative of all experiences, especially since your perspective is from the opposite angle. As far as sarcasm, that's all on you. If you don't want to be sarcastic, don't be.
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#15
I never actually offered that as a generalisation - simply an experience that disputes your generalisations, and extrapolated how it may be useful for others to have similar experiences. Thus my frequent use of "mights" and other such words.
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Last edited by Banjocal at Jul 27, 2016,
#16
Quote by liampje
A lot of bedroom guitarists like myself want to play along with the music. And when I want to learn a song that utilizes open strings and is tuned to Eb. I will change my tuning as well. I don't like the sound of transposed vocals.

Ofcourse you can learn it in E standard. But it's not so much fun to not have the original song to jam to. And making your own backing track for that song is not an option for most bedroom guitarists. When you do a full band cover you can do whatever tuning you like.

Also your initial point was very vague. One might interpret you that a drop D song can be played just fine in E standard.


If you want to play along with a song but want to play in standard tuning, you can change the pitch of the song. For example Audacity can do that. Another thing would be using a drop tune pedal.
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#17
Maggara, I redirect you to my quote. "I don't like the sound of transposed vocals". It just doesn't sound as good as the original when you transpose digitally.
#18
^ Yeah... But you need to make some kind of a compromise, unless you have many different guitars tuned to different tunings. I wouldn't care that much about what the backing track sounds like if I just want to play along with the track. Of course the more you need to change the pitch, the worse it will sound. But a half step or a whole step up or down most likely sounds just fine.

I think transposing is a better solution than not playing the song at all. And it's IMO also a better solution than changing the tuning of your guitar all the time.
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#19
Instruments are cool As a guitarist, or rather a musician, I'm interesting in trying out instruments When I see a drum kit I want to go have a bash on it, will I sound good? Probably not. Can I hold anything more than simple beat? No. But who cares? I'm having fun trying something I normally don't get to do. I've often been told I play the piano like I would a guitar. But what do you expect? It's my only frame of reference. It's like asking a person who's only ever driven an automatic to step into a manual and suddenly drive like Schumacher.

Instruments and music is fun, first and foremost. If I pick up a 12 string guitar, as a guitar player I expect myself to be able to play something interesting inside of a few minutes, nothing wrong with that.
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#20
Quote by MaggaraMarine
^ Yeah... But you need to make some kind of a compromise, unless you have many different guitars tuned to different tunings. I wouldn't care that much about what the backing track sounds like if I just want to play along with the track. Of course the more you need to change the pitch, the worse it will sound. But a half step or a whole step up or down most likely sounds just fine.

I think transposing is a better solution than not playing the song at all. And it's IMO also a better solution than changing the tuning of your guitar all the time.


I change my tunings all the time actually. But that's mainly because I don't listen to stuff that's in B standard or something. 99% off the songs I listen to are either Eb, E standard, drop D or drop C#. But I have an Edge Zero II guitar on which you can change tunings relatively easy.
#21
Quote by Anthony1991
But who cares? I'm having fun trying something I normally don't get to do.


The drummer cares. While you (not you as in you specifically but you as in people in general) are having fun there, you're choking the drummer's cymbals and adjusting the throne for your height and getting your muddy shoes all over their hardware and rug. Then you decide to try the keyboard and you're smashing the keys and slamming on the pitch bender and roughing up the faders. And let's hope there isn't a string player around or else you'll be scratching up the top of their unfinished, softwood top with your pick and messing with their friction pegs because you think it's out of tune and who knows what else.

But who cares? You're having fun.
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#22
Quote by Anthony1991
It's like asking a person who's only ever driven an automatic to step into a manual and suddenly drive like Schumacher

#23
Quote by theogonia777
The drummer cares. While you (not you as in you specifically but you as in people in general) are having fun there, you're choking the drummer's cymbals and adjusting the throne for your height and getting your muddy shoes all over their hardware and rug. Then you decide to try the keyboard and you're smashing the keys and slamming on the pitch bender and roughing up the faders. And let's hope there isn't a string player around or else you'll be scratching up the top of their unfinished, softwood top with your pick and messing with their friction pegs because you think it's out of tune and who knows what else.

But who cares? You're having fun.

Well, if the drummer is concerned that you will change his setup and destroy everything, then they should explain and not let you play their drums. Simple as that. But I see nothing wrong with wanting to try other instruments.

If you are concerned about other people damaging your instrument, of course don't lend it to anybody. But there's no need to be a dick about it. Just explain that the instrument cost a lot and means a lot to you and you don't trust on other people being able to handle your instrument with care.

All I can say is that if somebody asked me if they can try my trumpet, guitar, bass, piano or drums, I would let them. I would tell them to be careful with it. I would most likely let them play for a minute or two and then ask them to give the instrument back to me. If I wanted to try somebody's amp for example, I would ask if I can tweak the knobs.

Not everybody feels the same way as you do. But people will understand if you explain it to them.

My point is, don't be a dick if you are trying other people's instruments, but there's no need to be a dick if somebody wants to try your instrument either.
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#24
Quote by theogonia777
The drummer cares. While you (not you as in you specifically but you as in people in general) are having fun there, you're choking the drummer's cymbals and adjusting the throne for your height and getting your muddy shoes all over their hardware and rug. Then you decide to try the keyboard and you're smashing the keys and slamming on the pitch bender and roughing up the faders. And let's hope there isn't a string player around or else you'll be scratching up the top of their unfinished, softwood top with your pick and messing with their friction pegs because you think it's out of tune and who knows what else.

But who cares? You're having fun.


That's far beyond just "trying to play an instrument like a guitar".
My buddy is a bass player and when we are jamming, we sometimes switch instruments.
And guess what: I, as a 1.60m Dwarf try to play the bass like a guitar and my buddy plays the guitar like a bass, trying to slap the strings. Sometimes we show each other how to play the song we are practicing. Do we suck at the other instrument ? Yeah. Does it make us laugh and have fun? Hell, yeah. And that's what's most important when playing an instrument imo.
Who know's, maybe I'll buy a bass when I want something different, just because I had fun playing on a buddy's bass.
And it can be like that with every instrument.
Not being careful doesn't have anything to do with being a guitarist, but with being ignorant.
Last edited by juvion at Jul 28, 2016,
#25
Quote by juvion

Not being careful doesn't have anything to do with being a guitarist, but with being ignorant.
Exactly. It's not that some guitarists are stupid. It's that some stupid people play guitar. There's probably a similar proportion of stupid people playing other instruments too.

In addition - as MM says - some people are over-protective of their own instruments. You just have to keep your stupid-detector on around people who want to play your instrument.
Personally, I'd be happy with any other musician trying my (very valuable, vintage) guitar, especially a good musician, whatever their own instrument is - but not a non-musician. And if a beginner wanted to try it, I'd still let them, but make sure I stood over them. Other musicians, especially fairly experienced ones, tend to be careful and respectful with other musicians' instruments, even if they can't play s*** on them. You can usually spot the stupid ones a mile off.

Having said that, drummers may be a special case. They're used to being the butt of musician jokes, and consequently get very protective about their kits, very sensitive to the common assumption among other musicians that drums are "easy", and fed up with other musicians always trying to tell them (stupidly) what to play. Expect a withering look if you ask a drummer if you can have a go on his kit. Especially if your idea is to show him what you want him to play...

Also, with wind instruments (including harmonicas) there's the issue of other people's spit. Even a very generous horn player doesn't really want that in his mouthpiece. (Unless maybe it's somebody you'd be willing to kiss, anyway....)
Last edited by jongtr at Jul 28, 2016,
#26
Quote by theogonia777
The drummer cares. While you (not you as in you specifically but you as in people in general) are having fun there, you're choking the drummer's cymbals and adjusting the throne for your height and getting your muddy shoes all over their hardware and rug. Then you decide to try the keyboard and you're smashing the keys and slamming on the pitch bender and roughing up the faders. And let's hope there isn't a string player around or else you'll be scratching up the top of their unfinished, softwood top with your pick and messing with their friction pegs because you think it's out of tune and who knows what else.

But who cares? You're having fun.


I get the angst (sounds like a bad memory haha) but it's like, who's stupid enough to let someone like that handle their instruments? If they don't have consent they're not welcome to touch the gear, simple as that. I typically don't like people touching my guitar, mostly because I polish it very often and take great care with the strings; but if someone who hadn't played a guitar before wanted to try it i'd be like sure - but i'm gonna stand next to you the entire time.

At gigs I've offered to other guitarists the chance to share my expensive guitar rig (V30 2x12 Victory, Marshall DSL50w Modded) when their gear went bust. Was I worried? Yeah. Could they adjust the EQ, eh, they could have, but why would you when I've clearly dialed it in? The only thing I ever told them was 'when you're done, flick the BLACK switch to STANDBY, repeat, the BLACK switch, to STANDBY'. If they can't pass that test they can't use it.

Wind instruments and the like are a different story due to the cleanliness aspect, though.

Also to reiterate the others, some guitarists can be very stupid, not all of them.
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#27
Quote by Anthony1991
Also to reiterate the others, some guitarists can be very stupid, not all of them.


Hence the title, "/Sometimes/ guitar players are stupid."
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#28
Quote by jongtr
There's probably a similar proportion of stupid people playing other instruments too.


From experience there really isn't. Maybe guitar just attracts a disproportionately large number of stupid people the same way that ukuleles seem to attract a disproportionately large number of "quirky" people.
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#29
Quote by theogonia777
Hence the title, "/Sometimes/ guitar players are stupid."


Linguistically it still implies all guitar players are stupid, the correct way of phrasing it is 'some guitar players are stupid'. But obviously off track

Do you also rag on violinists who pick up a viola and think they're awesome?
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#30
Guitar players are frowned upon, though. There's no denying it, despite being a guitar player myself.

I think it maybe something to do with our music reading abilities. We get to rely on TAB, other instrumentalists (musicians) don't.
Last edited by mdc at Jul 28, 2016,
#31
Quote by mdc
Guitar players are frowned upon, though. There's no denying it, despite being a guitar player myself.

I think it maybe something to do with our music reading abilities. We get to rely on TAB, other instrumentalists (musicians) don't.


We're still reading music though, it's just a different translation of musical notation If people have issues with that then they need to go home and rethink their life.
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#32
This thread is dumb.

Quote by mdc
Guitar players are frowned upon, though. There's no denying it, despite being a guitar player myself.


You're not wrong, it's pretty trendy to bash guitar players. Then guitar players pay it forward by thrashing bass players.
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#33
Quote by Kevätuhri
This thread is dumb.


You're not wrong, it's pretty trendy to bash guitar players. Then guitar players pay it forward by thrashing bass players.


What's a bass?
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#34
Quote by Anthony1991
What's a bass?


I believe it's some sort of a fish.
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#36
Oh, I completely agree, Kristen!

Most guitarists can hardly play guitar let alone play another instrument. Before I took up guitar, I played violin (and did both while I was in high school), but I never assumed that because I played violin, I could go to a cello and play it. Hell, even when I see a bass, I know that I don't have the chops to play it beyond your typical "pop/punk or metal bassist playing roots in an 8th note rhythm for the song."

The key thing is very agreeable with. Whenever I play 80s rock tunes that were recorded in Eb standard, I always play them in E standard, so the key is transposed up a half step. The only time I play those songs in their actual tuning is if I'm playing along to the record. Since my teacher is heavily jazz-oriented, I know to transpose keys to better suit instrumentation and/or vocalist's range. For example, we're doing a chord melody for Tears for Fears "Everybody wants to rule the world" in the key of C despite it being in D (or is it Db? I forget). Many guitarists will think it's sacrilege to do so.

The "you must be in the same tuning as me is bullshit. Unless you have a song where both guitarists are chugging away on the Low E string most of the time, you really don't need to be in the same tuning. Look at the Rolling Stones for example: Keith lived in Open G while the other guitarist (Taylor/Wood) was in E standard. It's usually beginners who think this about always having to do tunings. Now, if the lowest note both guitar parts have to hit are a C, then tuning to Drop C and/or C Standard for both parts would be applicable.

Guitarists, as a whole, are completely idiots. I hate how I have to be lumped together with such asinine people. Pretty much all of the regulars here who have been playing here for years, though, know their shit and are from the idiots that we see and hear about.
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#37
Quote by Anthony1991
Do you also rag on violinists who pick up a viola and think they're awesome?


No violinist would ever think they were awesome with a viola in hand.
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#38
Quote by theogonia777
No violinist would ever think they were awesome with a viola in hand.


Yes, the cognitive functions of a violinist are inherently superior to that of a guitarist.

Most violinist's wouldn't even want to pick up a viola anyway, given how it's often looked down upon and generally put to one side in favor of the violin. What kind of logic is that? ^^

You can guys can try and feel superior all you like, but where does that get anybody? Whilst you're here why not rag on the guys who just write songs in MIDI on laptops?
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#39
Quote by Anthony1991

Most violinist's wouldn't even want to pick up a viola anyway, given how it's often looked down upon and generally put to one side in favor of the violin. What kind of logic is that? ^^

Yeah, most likely violinist think they would be awesome viola players but they just don't want to play the instrument. Many violinists do see viola as an "easy violin" similarly as many guitarists see bass as an "easy guitar".


I see nothing wrong with a guitarist trying a bass and playing it "like a guitar". How else would they play it if they had never played a bass before? Some styles even require the bass to be played "like a guitar". In many rock songs the bass follows the guitar riffs and the role of a bass is not much different from a guitar tuned an octave lower. But even if they tried to play funk, who really cares? What's wrong with sucking at something? Yes, playing a guitar solo on a bass sounds horrible but again, who cares? It's not like you are only allowed to play an instrument if you are good at playing it.

I think people who think bass is just an "easy guitar" should actually try it to notice that they are not good bassists. Maybe they would start respecting bassists more.

But I also find people who say bass and guitar are so different a bit annoying. Bass and guitar are pretty close to each other and a good guitarist would become a decent bassist pretty easily. And if you told a guitarist what to play on the bass, they could play it, even if they had never played the bass. It of course goes the other way around too - a good bassist would become a decent guitarist pretty easily.
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Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
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Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
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#40
Quote by Anthony1991
Whilst you're here why not rag on the guys who just write songs in MIDI on laptops?


Laptops are for DJing and taking meeting minutes with Microsoft Office. Professionals making bank are writing music with MIDI on desktops.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
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