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Re: loop device endorsement - was Santanas looping bassist

ALL HAIL KIM FLINT! Goddammit! These words are what I would like to have
said but cant due to my recently discovered stupidity! Like 5 minutes ago!

as a PS Id just like to say that If I get famous I would date Jennifer 
and/or Matt Damon in a second either, dont care which! both maybe?

m  a  r  k        r  e  d

----- Original Message -----
From: "Kim Flint" <kflint@loopers-delight.com>
To: <Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com>
Sent: Friday, August 23, 2002 9:00 PM
Subject: Re: loop device endorsement - was Santanas looping bassist

> well, this is an interesting thread, I think about this subject a lot.
> I think it is a little too easy to say that looping (or any other new
> instrument) would be more popular if only manufacturers ran another ad, 
> did a clinic, or made a video, or did more sales training, or whatever.
> That stuff helps for sure, but I think it only reaches people who are
> already familiar with the idea and pretty close to making a decision to 
> for it anyway.
> I don't think that is the big driving force that causes a lot people to
> adopt something new, especially with music gear. I think it has a lot 
> to do with what is popular in music and culture. A manufacturer can't 
> that happen, they can only hope to be in the right place to ride the wave
> when it does. The musicians are ultimately what makes it happen.
> In dealing with musical instrument industry for a few years, I've found
> that musicians are incredibly conservative people when it comes to how
> make music. Sure, they'll get funny haircuts and wear crazy clothes, but
> they won't try a new sound. Most of them don't want to try new things,
> unless they see somebody else doing it successfully first. "Successfully"
> is the key. When they hear music that they like and see that others like
> too, then they want to emulate the music and the musicians doing it. They
> become willing to try whatever technique or box is necessary. No video in
> store gets them to that point.
> I think the steps for a new instrument becoming a popular instrument go
> something like this:
> - a new idea/instrument comes along from some bright person or company.
> - a few innovator/experimenter types try it out and find they like it.
> Often they are in the more academic circles and not popular music.
> - time passes while these musicians learn how to play the instrument,
> figure out how to incorporate it in their music, develop techniques for
> and begin creating music with this new instrument.
> - Since they are experimenter/innovator types, they make music that most
> people don't like. They are probably proud of that. But they do reach a
> new people who also see the possibilities in the instrument once they see
> it used.
> - Gradually, more people pick up on the idea of this instrument from the
> early adopters, and begin making more music. These are still the more
> adopter type, but not necessarily the ones who want to be first in line
> everything. Again, time passes while they really learn how to play it, 
> reach a point where that instrument is key to what they do and the music
> good.
> - A few people eventually do make really, really good music with that
> instrument that a lot of people listen to and like. They become really
> famous and date Jennifer Lopez and/or Matt Damon. Their fans want to be
> like them.
> - Now many people want to try that instrument and make the music they
> listening to. They buy the instruments so they can.
> - Little cottage industries develop as the new users want to learn to 
> their favorite music on that new instrument. The experienced users become
> teachers and make some income showing people how to play like the famous
> - More people learn to play, more good music comes from some of them, the
> cycle grows....
> The key to it all is that popularity contest, in my opinion. When you 
> good, compelling, and popular music being created on a particular
> instrument, a lot of people are going to want it.
> Putting a picture of a famous guy in a magazine holding the instrument
> doesn't really do much good by itself. The guy has to really use that
> instrument while creating and performing the music that people like. That
> fact is what will draw people to the instrument. The ad is just a
> Even with no ad, the fact that he creates his famous music with that
> instrument will make a big difference and sell a lot of them. Like Trey
> Anastasio and the Boomerang. He doesn't do ads or endorsements for it, he
> just uses it all the time. So his fans buy it.
> Another key is that it takes time. People need to learn to use the
> instrument well enough to make good music with it, which can take years.
> The biggest mistake I see manufacturers of new instruments make is their
> time horizons are too short. They don't wait long enough for people to
> really figure out their creation and put it to good enough use to inspire
> others. I think that is why so many things only become popular after they
> go out of production. It isn't because people only wanted it once they
> couldn't have it, it's because it just takes a while for them to figure 
> The independent cottage industry of teachers is important too. Sure a
> manufacturer would be wise to teach people how to use their stuff. But in
> many ways, that never feels as honest as a real independent teacher. Half
> the lesson is an ad. When the teaching breaks free of that and people 
> the initiative to teach on their own, I think it really starts to click.
> becomes real somehow. For one thing, the teacher's whole focus and
> resulting income is focused on good teaching, whereas a manufacturer just
> wants to sell you their product and are just using the lessons to get you
> to buy it. That's a step I've been waiting to see happen with looping.
> historical analogies:
> Electric guitars were not very popular 50-60 years ago. The guitar itself
> was not popular 100 years ago. That didn't change because Leo Fender made
> an instructional video. It changed because some people made music with
> guitars that other people liked. The music became hugely popular, and
> people wanted to make music like that too. So they stopped buying
> accordions and banjos and bought guitars.
> Jim Marshall did not offer clinics about how distorting the crap out of
> amps was a really useful technique. No, Jimi Hendrix got on stage and got
> on the radio and played great music that many people loved, and they all
> wanted to be like Jimi. He happened to play a strat and a cranked
> so that's what they bought so they could do it the same way he did.
> Nobody wanted Les Pauls in 1985, but they were huge again by 1990. Did
> Gibson run an eye catching ad in Guitar Player with a nice font choice?
> "Welcome to the Jungle" blew away all the pink Charvels and all the kids
> wanted to be like Slash. That wasn't Gibson's idea, they just got lucky.
> Guns n' Roses made the instructional videos, and MTV played them all day
> George Van Eps and Steve Vai both are known for playing seven string
> guitars. Steve Vai was in plenty of ads holding one. Charlie Hunter plays
> with 8 or nine strings. I don't think Ibanez sold many seven string
> because of those guys. It seems to me they sell a lot more now. Why? Korn
> uses them. Korn sells more records than those guys ever have or ever 
> To get that nu metal guitar sound you need low tuned guitars, and what
> better way to do that than with a low B string, the way Korn does it?
> and Head are not anywhere near as good as guitarists as those other guys,
> but a hell of a lot more people listen to them play. So a lot more people
> buy 7 string guitars.
> where does looping sit then? More later, this is long enough....
> kim
> ______________________________________________________________________
> Kim Flint                     | Looper's Delight
> kflint@loopers-delight.com    | http://www.loopers-delight.com