There’s no way getting around it, away from it or over it, sampling is an important and even necessary part of modern music. I know what you’re thinking: sampling is an evil, soulless practice where phonies and fakes steal original ideas from the talented and hardworking. You’re absolutely right, and you’re absolutely wrong.

How is this possible you say? I’ll tell you. In my understanding of sampling music as it exists today, there are those that sample thoughtfully, taking an artistic statement and elaborating on it and adding to it, and there are those who merely wish to re-package an idea for commercial sale. Hip-hop, neo-soul, alternative, pop, trance, house, etc, and so on; they all make use of sampling to great effect.

In the earlier days of hip-hop, it was the repurposing and repositioning of old vinyl records as rhythmic elements instead of melodic ones that helped to make the genre stand out and give voice to a global sentiment. Trance and house music showed audiences that one song could be reconfigured in countless ways to produce even more numerous responses. When an artist offers up his or her work for critique through performance, they are, in a sense, submitting material to the universal bank of human thought. Yeah. It’s that deep. Once something leaves your mind, it can never be completely yours again. Sorry. In fact, your ideas are more than likely offshoots and running sprouts of the thoughts of others that have inspired you. I’m not saying that no one can ever own anything they create, I’m just saying that works morph and merge and grow in a natural progression that sampling can help facilitate.

So, having said all that, I want to  encourage the Rifflet community to practice thoughtful sampling whenever possible. Download available riffs and converse with the universal human thought bank. There is so much pleasure and fullfillment that can be received from watching what your thought becomes in someone else’s mind. Your contribution to the Rifflet community is more than just  your riffs. You can also process musical ideas and improve upon your peers’ works with the hope that they will do the same for you. So, get to it!