How to enter a musician's role/instrument that is not in 'the list'?


I keep stumbling at almost every new step :slight_frown:

I have a CD sleeve in front of me, where the musician for a track is credited as:
“drums, keyboard, bass, synth loop & sample programming”

But the panel for entering ‘performer > instrument’ has a predefined list, and I think it is not possible or allowed to enter something not present in that list?

What should I do here exactly?


It depends:

If the instrument is absolutely not in the list, you can’t enter it via the instrument relationship. In this case I would add the credits from the liner notes to a comment on the release or recording. If it is a valud instrument you could also open a ticket to have the instrument in question added.

If the instrument is actually there, but the credits use a different name for it, you can select the proper instrument but enter the actual credits in the instrument credits text field. We had that recently in your drums vs drumset discussion :slight_smile:


You can enter multiple instruments, so enter:

drums (or drumset? :slight_smile: )
bass (if you know the type, specify - electric bass guitar? double bass?)
Not sure about “synth loops”. If that’s something played on a synthesizer, then “synthesizer [synth loops]”, but no idea what it means so :confused:
programming (it’s a separate relationship), I assume


To complete what others wrote: If I/we understand you correctly, you cannot find the appropriate instrument in “that list”. If no Instrument Request fit your needs, you can ask for it in a new ticket.


Ok, thanks again for the fast replies guys.
This forum and it’s contributors are really great.
I mean that!

But, I think I am stepping out of the game.
I recently joined with the intention just to contribute by entering some data I have available and is missing at MusicBrainz, and was expecting I could more or less enter what I would find printed on the covers and sleeves that I own.

But I have been getting the feeling that machines, theorists, and analists have set most of the the rules, and less-smart/computer-savvy/logical-thinking ‘humans’ with all their idiosyncracies are being curbed to adapt and conform to the existing theories and schemes layed out.
Music is made by musicians. Albums, credits, covers are usually created by creative people. And it’s not always ‘logical’ or conforming to ‘rules’.
I have stumbled upon more small roadblocks, restrictions, and other minor issues than I currently have the flexibility, energy, and time for to adjust to, or to be of any help improving on.
I think I would be spending more time producing ‘tickets’ than actually adding useful content to the database.

I am really sorry if this comes across as a bit bitter, and it is certainly not intended to be that, but I am writing and explaining this because I want to be honest to the members of this great forum.


That’s definitely the case (that’s also part of why guidelines aren’t exactly rules and can be ignored if the situation requires it). That said, there has to be a limit on how “creative”, so to say, one can get, before the data stops being useful for machine use, which is part of the goal of MusicBrainz :slight_smile:

Not to say that makes any of your issues invalid - there’s definitely a sweet spot between machine and human, and we might be somewhat too far towards the machine right now. Definitely something to work on.


I understand your frustrations and your decision to spend more or less time on MB, but I do think you’re making life unnecessarily hard for yourself

If this is the kind of information you care about (non logical/ computer readable information, then why are you so bothered about trying to fill out fields in MB that are purely there to be machine readable?
I’m not interested in that information so much, so I rarely enter relationships, and upload a lot of scans, which achieves a 1:1 creative match.

Instrument trees and the like become useless if we don’t logically order them - so we have free form text fields for whatever you desire.

I would say- if you’re not that interested in their function, don’t worry so much about relationships :slight_smile:
Hope you stick around, we appreciate your contributions so far!


Thnx aerozol.
I think you have a valid point that I might be making it hard on myself.
Instead of just going with the flow, I would notice and run into all kind of things in Picard, the style guidelines, the atmosphere and procedures on this forum, etc. etc. that I would either not understand (yet), would find illogical, or would believe being ‘wrong’, and then feel the need investing time and effort getting those things changed or improved.
And I also underestimated how vast and complicated this whole MetaBrainz/MusicBrainz/Picard universe is.
This ‘attitude’ (and lack of patience ;-)) would hinder me too much in just worry-less contributing here by entering data.
And since that was my main objective for joining, and I currently don’t have the ‘drive’ to contribute to much more, it’s better to let it rest for now.
But I think I’ll be back later. (or sooner ;-))


Honestly, if you want The Full Experience™ of editing MusicBrainz right from the get go, you should seriously consider joining all the editors in #musicbrainz on IRC:

There’s almost always a number of other (long time) editors and other contributors hanging out there, so you will most often be able to get immediate answers/feedback if you don’t have the patience to go for hour long hunts through various documentation (the actual documentation on /doc/, forum posts, the blog, IRC chat logs, archive of old forum, archive of mailing lists, random 3rd party sites, …), which it sounds like you don’t. :wink:


haha, that sums up a part of the challenge very well.


One of the stand-out feature of musicbrainz forums, is the preparedness by most experienced people to answer beginner level questions.

That this attitude could extend onto the IRC chanel I had not imagined.

One aspect of makingPicard/MB accessible to new users is understanding the pre-conceptions that they are bringing to the inter-action.

And , on the other-side, the difficulty that experienced users have with understanding the problems faced by new users may come from the very different conceptions of norms around who can ask what where.

It was with great trepidation that I … ahhhh … just a sec … oh no that was the JIRA thingy that had the secret log-in method, … posted a bug on IRC.
That IRC is open to just any old Joe/line who needs a hand is good news.