Been working on my video production skills, have my nano pog vid out, and working on a sonic maximizer. I really want to do a Beat Buddy vid; now there are a ton of reviews by players far more capable than I am, but I want to focus on the noobish player. Personally I think once guitar fever hits you, that’s when you need to get a Beat Buddy, but I’d like to hear thoughts about musicians more accomplished than I am (that means the rest of you. :D)
For me it’s about a time when one “upgrades” from an acoustic guitar solo play to more professional (yet homemade) sound. Just about the same time when you understands you want to play duo, however you don’t yet want to commit to playing with someone else - and you buy a looper instead.
BeatBuddy is a perfect helper for managing a looper PLUS it actually adds drums. The only thing that a looper must be MIDI enabled to get the most out of the combo.
From the moment you pick up any instrument, you need to start training your internal clock to keep time. Whether it’s a metronome, drum machine, backing track, an instructor tapping on your shoulder, or something else entirely, get something with which you can practice your timing. The BB is a great choice because it will grow with you as your skills progress.
I agree with Scudd. I play much better guitar and my vocals are much more in time than before BB. There are still some songs that just do not match up with the BB. I do a lot of Mariachi music and most of the beats are unusable, so I have a set list that is fluid when I am performing and if I am doing more spanish and mariachi music, I do not use the BB much but when I do a song that I have nailed as a match, it feels to me that it is a better performance.
My thoughts: IMO where Beat excels for the beginner is twofold; easy of use and quality of sound. I’ve used metronomes, countless pieces of software and the drum machines built into the Boss BR600 and Micro Cube amps and stuck with none of those but the Beat Buddy has been my constant companion, because it is stomp box simple and sounds gorgeous! …and as I’ve grown as a musician, I’m using more of what the Beat Buddy is capable of. While the initial investment for the beginner may be very substantial, there is no upgrading from the Beat Buddy, unlike that first guitar or amp.
Secondary benefits for the beginner is learning early on how to create a proper tone to sit in a mix. This was brutally difficult for me because I had been playing a long time without the Beat Buddy so for a few months I had to relearn how to dial in a usable tone. Find that compromise between what I wanted to hear and what would compliment a drum track.
Next benefit would be versatility. There are so many ways a guitar can be hooked up to a BB. You can use a ios app as your amp or a POD type device via easily available cables and some cheap computer speakers as an amp.
I agree with the bit about the quality. I’ve heard people trying to do solo shows using drum machines or loops, but it sounded cheesy. the midi loops played via a standard midi sound cheap and cheesy, but played though the beat buddy can offen sound very powerful, actually sometimes TOO powerful!
I played another whole set tonight with only Beatbuddy songs (with bass, for the most part), with varying degrees of success. Its a learning process Im sure.
I’ve played live music all my life. I never used a Metronome either. I learned timing the hard way. It has been just in the last few years that I started using Loopers since I don’t play out anymore and was stuck with very few loopers with a decent electronic drum track. They are far and few between. I was ready to hire a drummer to come to the house just to sit in with me to create a few good songs. I don’t have to do that now since I purchased the Beat Buddy because it uses actual drums sounds and they sound about as real as it gets. Using the “Beat Builder”, I can create my own tracks the way I want them and I am having a ball. I do miss playing for the people but this is also great for me now. Everything has a few bugs, but the BB team have been wonderful in getting it right. What makes it nice is you can talk to the man himself (David Pakouz) which is very unusual anymore. He has been very helpful personally along with everyone else which makes owning the pedal even better. The advice to a beginner is to find a way to get a Beat Buddy. You will never regret it. It’s a good practice tool and it will also be great for learning timing which is important to have. A little advice, don’t play someone else’s music after you have learned it. Play it your way. That’s what people want to hear.
David is a unique individual. I was very humbled when he recognized me by name at a guitar show, for the next one I do want to buy the man breakfast to rant about the Beat Buddy trolls…
I used the BB in church the other day, leading a small group with my guitar, with the BB going through the house PA, after practising with it for just a few hours. Was a brave thing to do, and considering that the BB is my first ever pedal, it tells you how user friendly the BB is.
Using a pedal while playing and singing into the mic definitely takes practice. I can hardly see my foot. Actually, I haven’t even decided whether I should use my left or right foot to work the pedal/foot switch. Any suggestions on this?
I never use the standard beats, but use custom ones made for the particular songs that i’m playing (plus, i only want ones with bass, too)… I do have to look down sometimes, cause I have to see the metronome countdown in order to trigger the next part… if you use the default songs, they are specifically designed to be very lenient on you… you dont’ have to be precise to trigger a fill, cause it will fix it for you and usually end where you expect it. Despite that, though, you still need to see the pedal sometimes not just for the metronome, but for the color, which tells you if you are in a main loop, or fill, or outro, etc. Unfortunately like everything else, the real answer is just “practice practice practice”
I’m right handed and use my right foot. I have my BB positioned to the right of my mic stand with the external pedal next to it. My Bluetooth foot pedal is the middle and I now also have a play acoustic to the left but I may try that on the right as well.