Drooble: An All-in-one Platform for Musicians, Teachers, and Music Lovers.
Drooble is a new social networking website that aims to foster a sense of a genuine community while providing services for a wide spectrum of musicians. Joining the site is free. Signing up requires setting up a profile, with a picture and cover photo, and tagging yourself — for example as a musician, singer, music fan, or producer. The site also asks that you list your preferred instruments to play and the specific equipment that you use. This helps other users seek out musicians that might play in shared style or with a preferred sound.
The Social Network
The format of the site combines aspects of MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Skype and in some ways Chatroulette. The main page has a message board that puts all the posts from members’ individual “walls” which can include text, video, and audio. In addition to a personal profile, members can set up an artist or band profile that can be followed. You can also browse all of the members of the site by clicking on the tab for “People”, or search by equipment or style tags. There is a section for “Cool Stuff” which currently includes only one app, an online metronome. The “Funky Readings” tab reveals a magazine like blog featuring playlists, reflections on music in general, playing tips, and interviews with members of the site.
Members of Drooble can opt to take lessons in the available styles and instruments. At the moment the roster includes lessons in rock, pop, blues, jazz, opera, or classical styles on guitar, piano, bass, or voice ranging from free to $200. Drooble handles payments and includes a scheduling application. There is no membership fee for this service to the teachers, although Drooble does take a 20% service fee. Anyone can sign up to be a teacher, uploading videos to demonstrate their styles, as well as offering personal one-on-one sessions with students. This allows musicians to earn some money through the site, as well as to practice teaching, or learn new musicianship skills. Signing up as a teacher requires setting a price per hour, filling in a timesheet and finally sharing your profile as demonstrated below.
Drooble was founded in Bulgaria and the majority of users are Bulgarian, though the language of the site is English. I felt heartened to find out there were roughly the equivalent membership level of men and women. I did spot a few teachers from the UK and a new member from Bangladesh who plays the harmonium. Searching is really easy and there are multiple filtering options to help you find not only teachers but Jammers or bands too.
If you do become a teacher then to get clients to reach you they will have to sign-up first to access your profile. After becoming a teacher a ‘Book A Session’ button will appear to anybody wanting to have a music lesson. Notice also the ‘Jam’ button which we shall talk about in a moment.
Drooble’s Jam Session application allows you to search for another musician to set up a jam. Sessions can be arranged instantaneously if the other person is online, or you can send a message to arrange to meet in the future. The interface for jamming is like setting up a Skype call.
The aspect that seems similar to Chatroulette is that you are connected to a network of strangers, requesting to peer into their personal studios (or bedroom studios as they may be) to play some random music. The jam session that I played was with the only available jammer, who happened to be the founder of the site, though she did not reveal that in our conversation. She said that she had never had a random jam. We played some Jimi Hendrix tunes and a few riff-based blues jams, and exchanged links to favorite music. The connection had extremely low latency and only glitched once in the thirty-minute session. However I was disappointed that she did not know of any David Bowie songs. With more use, familiarity, and increased global reach it could truly become a community that would allow you to be playing tunes with folks all over the world every night.
As the site is still new, it requires you to invite five people to Drooble after you have browsed three members for a “jam request.” This makes sense to grow the community, but does feel a bit invasive.
Summing up Drooble
Drooble is a website which is aiming to create a global community for musicians. The friendly feel of the site comes out through messaging boards, which are daily populated by favorite music and music related trivia as well as encouraging posts on members’ pages. The supportive environment provides a chance for people who are less experienced to easily find music tutors, and for experienced musicians to earn money for teaching. The “jam” session application is an interesting idea that I could see really appealing to people in isolated social environments where like-minded players can’t be found. Because the site is relatively new and the membership base is small it seems that there is a majority focus on rock/pop/classical styles. To make this site a truly global community it would be amazing to be able to access teachers and players from all the continents, not just Europe and North America. With a founding team extremely dedicated to outreach, the site is bound to grow. Drooble is definitely worth watching if you’re a teacher or a player and if you want to check them out you can do so here.
Drooble is definitely worth watching if you’re a teacher or a player.
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Musicians, bands, and music fans can establish profiles to share and connect with others.
Enables free live jam sessions with musicians from around the world.
Allows potential music teachers and students to connect.
Musicians can earn money through setting up teaching sessions
Provides a supportive environment for beginning musicians.
Teachers pay a 20% service fee for using the platform to source and host lessons.
Drooble is still new so the user base is relatively small.
Browsing more than three jam session participants requires inviting five people to Drooble.