Crossing boundaries: 16 year old metal fanatics playing with 60 year old blues guys

Category: Media & Technology
Published on Oct 27, 2008

A couple of months ago Wikinomics co-blogger Lawrence Chen wrote about Riffworks, an online recording application that allows guitar players around the world to compose music in a collaborative fashion. I recently had an opportunity to chat with Riffworks co-founder, Doug Wright, about Apple II classics, midi keyboards, and notator programs and how much the world of digital recording has evolved since then. Doug had a lot of insightful things says, but I found the tidbit below inspiring. He talked about how Riffworld (the collaboration site for Riffworks users) is breaking down musical barriers and giving rise to global, self-organized groups of guitar players that write new music together.

Normally, if you are a guitar player and you want to play music with people, you put a classified ad out or you look for someone to jam with in your immediate environment. It takes a lot of time and effort to set up schedules to play with other people and get together with all your gear, so you limit your search to only those people who are the best match for your age/taste/style/genre.

With online collaboration, finding other players is much easier, and so people are more flexible in their boundaries. We have 16 year old metal fanatics playing with 60 year old blues guys and both are having a good time at it. So we are not only crossing geographical boundaries, we are crossing generation gaps, genre rifts, style canyons, etc:)

Makes me want to restring my telecaster and start jamming.

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