Okay, sometimes it is a little overwhelming. I use a foot pedal and an iPad with OnSong and a Beat Buddy. When I do a complicated song with lots of changes like Kenny Chesney’s “Toes In The Water” where you press the pedal for fill and yellow color, but then I have to hit the left button to stop and then hit it again to resume, followed by a double press on the main pedal at the end of the song. I do well until I get overloaded and forget to play the guitar and, oh yeah, sing. I feel a little like the guy playing on the street with a guitar, harmonica, drum tied to his left leg, and trying to keep all that in rhythm and going on at the same time.
LOL! Yeah I know exactly how you feel, Jim. Especially with my other guitar pedals and harmonizer and I have enough problems walking and chewing gum at the same time. I always just say it’s my version of Riverdance.
I feel your pain!
I’ve spent the last 10 years trying to simplify my live set up (Guitar > cord > amp).
The beatbuddy, though it is simple to operate, really changes things. This is the most nervous I’ve been for a solo gig in years.
Yeah when I played in groups it was no problem having all those pedals but as a solo act I have to agree, simplify as much as you can! Quite frankly, the BeatBuddy is so intuitive it doesn’t really get in my way. What I enjoy most is that it sounds and feels like you’re playing with a real drummer. At gigs I usually get at least one person from the audience asking what I use, they usually just assume I have backing tracks. I also play as a duo and like to jam with friends and they always comment on that. Best of all, the more I get past my learning curve the more powerful it becomes.
It’s definitely a powerful tool! I have been loving the Beatbuddy since I got it a couple weeks ago. It even makes practicing more fun!
I think the first couple gigs, using the Beatbuddy, I will lay off the songs that have complicated pause and start parts. Once I get more comfortable I will use it all evening.
I am also having Brain Freeze trying using this thing. Juggling my guitars, my VL3’s Looper and guitar effects, my voice and the BB, and all the while trying to look down as little as possible so I can look “engaged” with the crowd. And all of this at age 59. My brain hurts. New strategy is to use less drum fills, etc.; I refuse to give up!
I know where you are coming from. Play, sing, operate BeatBuddy, adjust the P.A. switch songs on OnSong, use Quantiloop, and keep sane at the same time. Then go on break and trip over a cord. Go figure
That is when I re evaluate my setup and ask myself do I really need that much FX on my guitar? or that much processing on my voice and trim down the Gadgets to what is absolutely a must for the Gig.
You have to practice “playing” the BeatBuddy just like any other instrument. Pipe organ players play with both hands AND both feet. Sometimes, they use their special shoes to play two-note intervals with ONE FOOT on the pedals. You just have to practice. I’ve been considering adding some notation to my lead sheets (charts) to indicate BB controls - T for Tap, H for Hold, DT for Double Tap, etc.
When I first got the Beat Buddy, I struggled to use it musically. At home you can come up with some clever arrangements, but all that goes out the window when you play live.
So here’s my tips/lessons learnt…
Disable Double Tap to stop on the main pedal and use a dedicated footswitch to trigger the outro. It’s far too easy to stuff up a transition or fill and end the song prematurely.
Lots of parts = lots of problems; we’re musicians, not tap dancers. I’ve since created my own custom bank of drums - all have 2 parts. Part 1 is always the hi-hat count, Part 2 is the main beat. So during the intro of a song or a quiet part, I’ll transition to Part 1, otherwise I’m in Part 2. If you’re creating lots of parts to accurately replicate some drums, you’re just making a complicated backing track.
I found drums sometimes sounded ‘busy’ or saturated. So I created a drumkit without the hi-hats; this made a world of difference. Hi-hats just didn’t sound good in an acoustic setup.
If you have EZDrummer 2, you can add the MIDI library of the beatbuddy and search for drum beats using Tap 2 Find.
Yes good advice.I have found it is a little nerve racking playing live with the beat buddy I am getting better at transitioning ,hitting the outro at the right time etc.I have set up folders for the ludwig kit with the more changes etc and a cafe style folder using the jazz brushes kit with extra instruments to add a little texture,going for an ambient portishead sound also using Roland 909 kit which can be download from Resources its great if you like kinda thing.I limit the second folder to the simpler 2 parts or at most 4 parts in a song that way I can focus on my guitar playing more and it really helps my playing shine and me relax because i dont see why anybody would want to replicate a song exactly theres enough tribute bands out there.Keep it on the low down your the artist not the Beat Buddy.
I like this comment, AnthonyR: “your the artist not the Beat Buddy.”