Mp3 players - they re so cool

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you’ll know that the most popular mp3 player in the world by far is Apple’s iPod. It comes in all sorts of editions, including the Mini, the Nano, and the Shuffle – and every single one is a best-seller.

What you might not have realised, though, is that Apple isn’t at all the only game in town when it comes to mp3 players. In fact, they’re quite a recent entrant into the market. Companies like iRiver and Creative have been around a lot longer, and their players are usually worth considering too, as they can often be cheaper than the equivalent iPod or have more features.

When you’re comparing the prices of mp3 players, the one feature you should look at more than any other is capacity. Don’t lose sight of the fact that a 40GB mp3 player can store twice as much as a 20GB one.

However, there other features to look for. Even though everyone calls them mp3 players, mp3s are not the only format you might want your player to be able to play – if you want to use it with Microsoft’s Media Player, for example, you’ll need a player that is also capable of playing wma (Windows Media Audio) format files. If you want to buy music from the iTunes Music Store, you need a player that can play aac (Apple) format files.

Another issue is battery life. Almost all mp3 players are now powered by mains chargers rather than by changing the battery, but battery life varies wildly, from as little as 2 hours up to as high as 10. Make sure you don’t get saddled with a player that won’t work for a long time if you want to use it for extended periods away from a power outlet.

Of course, the most important feature to many people will always be how their mp3 player looks when they’re using and wearing it. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but don’t be fooled into buying a turkey just because it has a pretty design

Hip hop beats online new ideas in music

: Selling on the web has become one of the new frontiers of commerce. We find it hard to think of anything not being sold and bought every minute over the internet; just have a look on ebay. Hip-Hop producers were quick to understand the powerful worldwide reach of the internet and started selling instrumentals to artists through this channel. A couple of websites therefore gathered enormous music inventories from professional record label producers, and started selling complete instrumental tracks just like Amazon sell CDs. Pay x amount online, and we’ll ship you a CD with the tracks you purchased. A new market full of opportunities was born. About a year and a half ago we also understood the potential this new market had. Having promoted our own music on websites such as mp3.com and vitaminic. com, we realised that creating our own service would give us much greater flexibility and reach. We also had around 250-300 instrumentals sitting on our hard drives waiting for rappers and vocalists to rhyme/sing over them. There was no way we could’ve used all of these instrumentals ourselves, therefore why not offer artists worldwide the chance to easily obtain top quality instrumentals for their musical projects? Hence the birth of La Cantina Productions. Our aim is to give artists who may not be able to afford to buy expensive instrumentals/beats a fair chance to get their music out there. Our typical artists are talented emcees or vocalists, desperately in need of beats, but with little cash. So how does it all work? Artists just need to visit the website, listen to preview samples of the instrumentals and then purchase the ones they like directly online. We were one of the first websites to offer the possibility to download instrumentals immediately after payment; no more waiting for CDs to arrive through the post, high quality mp3’s can be downloaded immediately. And it doesn’t end here. Artists record their vocals over our instrumentals and we then take care of promoting their complete tracks in the right places. After years of promoting our own music on the web, we know exactly where the online promotional efforts should be concentrated. Promoting music online requires hard work, but when you know where to go, the job is a thousand times easier. So in other words, we produce hip hop instrumentals and promote the artists who use them. We take great pride in what we do and hope to see some of our most talented artists make it big over our tracks. We’re not in this for financial gain, but simply for musical enjoyment. We’re growing fast and are now one of the top online production websites in a market unfortunately already cluttered with “me too” faceless unprofessional services. We’re not trying to be a business, but simply a group of friends hoping to take hip hop to the next level through the reach of the world wide web. Jerry Spina and Stone Tone Founders of La Cantina Productions Find us at : La Cantina Productions Or, email us for further information at [email protected] com ['Hip Hop Beats Online,' article appeared on Fat Controller Issue #2 (the UK National Student Magazine) www. fat-controller. com]

Get 5 guitar playing tips to help you play better guitar

: In this helpful article, you will get guitar playing tips designed to help you improve your playing skills. So let's get started... 1) The first guitar playing tip is to use good posture while playing the guitar You should sit up straight in an armless chair. If the chair has arms, you will not be able to hold the guitar properly for playing. Sit up straight to protect your back. If you get a backache after a bit of playing, you will realize how having good posture while playing the guitar is so important. 2) The next guitar playing tip is to hold the pick firmly but not too firmly. If you do not grip the pick firmly enough, you may lose it during a vigorous bout of strumming! But if you grip it too tightly, you may find your whole arm getting tired. Middle of the road is the best guitar playing tip I can give you where pick grip is concerned. 3) Choosing the right pick is another guitar tip that is important. Picks come in finger and flat styles. Most guitarists use a flat one. They also come in three different levels of flexibility. Several professional guitarists have given me the advice of getting the softest, flabbiest pick I can find for learning to keep up with fast strumming. It's easier on the arm. Flabby picks are harder to use, however, if you are trying to pick out individual strings, as in adding a bass line, or flat-picking. After some practice with a soft pick, you will probably want to move on to a firmer one. A final guitar playing tip about picks is that the firmest picks make the richest sounds. 4) Here is a guitar playing tip - learn to play arpeggios. It's fun, great for old folk songs, and sounds beautiful! You won't be able to use a pick, though. Finger the chord. Now, pick the bass note of the chord with your thumb. You can use a thumb pick for this, however, it works just fine to use your thumb. You will grow a little callus there which will make it easier. Now use your index finger to pluck the third string. Next, pluck the second string with your middle finger. And then pluck the top string with your ring finger. You've picked four notes. If you repeat the sequence, giving each note the timing of an eighth note, you will fill a measure of a song written in four/four time. This guitar playing tip will make people sit up and take notice, but it does require practice, and calluses, to play this way. Try playing the strings in different order, and alternate bass strings. 5) A final guitar playing tip involves the chord D. While playing the D chord, try adding your pinkie finger to the chord at the third fret. This new chord is often called "D-suspended" or "D-sus." Then play D again. Now try lifting your middle finger so that the top string of the chord is open. And back to D again. You can do the same thing with the A-chord, but have to do the change on the second string. Up one fret to the third makes A-sus, and you can also lift that finger to go down a step on that second string. C-suspended requires you to go up a half step on the fourth string. G-suspended requires you to do it on the fifth string. Learning suspended chords is a guitar playing tip you'll find yourself using when you play contemporary songs. I hope you've found these guitar playing tips helpful. It's important to remember that the best way to improve your guitar playing skills is to practice, practice, practice. Good luck!

How to make a unique music box

Copyright 2006 Monique Hawkins

For the music box and antique collectors who enjoy a challenge and like to do creative crafts, making their own music box can be lots of fun! Here are directions to make a unique music box called "Around The World." This was taken from Sharon Ganske's book, "Making Marvelous Music Boxes".

Materials Needed

Unfinished recipe box, 5 ѕ" wide X 3 ѕ" deep X 4" high 18-note-key-wind musical movement T-bar winding key, ѕ" De'coupage Sandpaper Wood Sealer

Decorative Accessories for Music Box

Assortment of stamps Greeting card or postcard with traveling photo 2 brown ultra-sued strips, Ѕ" wide X 16 Ѕ" long 2 buckles, Ѕ" 4 brass corner brackets, 5/8" Hasp catch, 1 ѕ X 5/8" Small padlock

Acrylic Paint Color: Blue-gray

Adhesives and Spray Sealer:

Industrial strength glue Tacky glue Gloss spray sealer

Tools and Brushes:

Drill with ј" drill bit Hammer Old paintbrushes Paintbrush Ruler Scissors X-acto knife

Step-By-Step Assembly

Step One: Using sandpaper, sand box. Using an old paintbrush, apply wood sealer to box following manufacturer's directions. Allow to dry thoroughly.

Step Two: Using a paintbrush, paint box inside and outside with blue-gray acrylic paint.

Step Three: Using an old paintbrush, apply a thin layer of decoupage to box and sides of lid, working an area about 3" square at a time. Place stamps on box and lid sides, overlapping them as desired. Stamps should be placed over opening between lid and box-it will be cut open later. Using a ruler and an X-acto knife, cur greeting card to fit top of box. Apply a thin coat of decoupage to lid top and place card in position.

Step Four: Using an old paintbrush, apply a thin layer of Tacky glue to wrong side of one ultra-suede strip. Starting at bottom front left corner, ѕ" in from side and 1 Ѕ" from bottom, press strip to box. Slide a buckle on and make a small hole to accomodate the stem of the buckle at center 1" from the end. Using scissors, cut corners of ultra-suede strip on a 45-degree angle. Repeat process for remaining ultra-suede strip on other side of box. Allow to dry thoroughly.

Step Five: Using the X-Acto knife, carefully cut opening between box and lid, starting at the back.

Step Six: Drill a ј" hole at center back of box ѕ" from bottom. Using industrial strength glue, glue musical movement inside box, making sure winding-key shaft is centered in hole. Allow to dry thoroughly.

Step Seven: Carefully hammer corner brackets on box. Turn the box back-side down, center hasp catch, and carefully hammer in nails. Pull padlock on hasp catch, and wind on winding key. Fill your box with favorite vacation photos.

Making your own music box can be a fun craft activity for a rainy day, lazy summer day, or really anytime! Why not take the plunge, and make one today?

Red hot chili peppers hold the most no. 1 modern rock hits

: The Red Hot Chili Peppers are a popular rock band formed in 1983, based out of California. Current band members include: Anthony Kiedis (lead vocals), Michael Balzary, or Flea (Bass), John Frusciante (Guitar/Backing vocals), and Chad Smith (Drums). While the rock band has gone through several line-up changes and personal conflicts, the band has managed to consistently create very diverse music that combines elements of funk, punk, metal, psychedelic rock, rap, and even pop rock. The band holds the record for the most #1 Modern Rock hits with nine under their belt, having sold a combined estimate of 50 million copies of their nine studio albums over the past 23 years. The band was originally formed for what was going to be a one-time performance in 1983, but would later land a record deal with EMI. 1987’s The Uplift Mofo Party Plan was the group’s first album to enter the Billboard Top 200, but it was not until the band moved to Warner Brothers Records did the group achieve major success. In 1991, the band released their fifth album, Blood Sugar Sex Magik, which would go on to sell seven million copies in the U. S. A year after its debut, the album still managed to climb to the #3 spot on the U. S. album charts. The band would win a Grammy award for Best Hard Rock Performance with Vocal in 1992 for the album’s single, Give it Away. Dave Navarro made his first appearance with the band at Woodstock 1994 and would again appear on the band’s album One Hot Minute, released in 1995. The album turned out to be another commercial success, achieving double-platinum status in the U. S. and selling five million copies outside the U. S. The band would later part ways with Navarro in 1998. That same year, the band would come out with another album, Californication, which went on to become an even bigger success than Blood Sugar Sex Magik. The album climbed to #3 in U. S. album charts and several of its songs became major hits, including: the Grammy award-winning Scar Tissue, Otherside, Californication, Around the World, Road Trippin, and Parallel Universe. In 2001, the band released By The Way, which entered the charts at #2 and produced hit singles, including: By The Way, The Zephyr Song, Can’t Stop, Dosed, and Universally Speaking. The group would later release their Greatest Hits album and also their first ever live album, Live in Hyde Park. In May 2006, the band released their ninth studio album, Stadium Arcadium. The 28-track double album garnered the band their first ever chart topper, debuting at #1 on U. S. album charts and remaining there for two weeks. Red Hot Chili Peppers Ringtones

I finally took guitar lessons

I have a huge list of goals that I want to achieve during my life time. Some goals are small like learning to keep a goldfish alive for longer than a month. Other goals are more significant like traveling to all fifty states or learning a second language. As I continue to learn new things and accomplish goals on my list it seems that I also add new goals to my list so that it never gets much smaller or much bigger. I think I'll always have more goals than I can accomplish. I recently accomplished a goal that has been on my list since its beginning. I started taking guitar lessons.

Sound like no big deal? If it doesn't, then you obviously do not know me well. You have no idea that I have wanted to learn how to play guitar since I was eight and you have no clue that I have been saving my spare change for years to buy a guitar and begin taking lessons. You see, for me, starting guitar lessons was the sign of so many other things that had happened in my life.

Starting guitar lessons was a sign that I had been faithful to save spare change for over six years and it was a sign that I finally got up the courage to do something I am not good at. I have this tendency to only spend time on things I can do well at, so most of the goals on my list that involve learning new skills get left undone. So it was a real feat for me to begin guitar lessons. My first lesson symbolized my desire to stop living afraid of things that cannot hurt me. Guitar lessons are the first step in a direction I have been wanting to head for quite some time.

Starting guitar lessons has also helped me to cross off another goal from my list: getting over my fear of meeting and spending time with new people. The man who is giving me guitar lessons could probably go down in history as one of the least intimidating people on the earth, yet it is still significant for me to have taken this step. I will never forget the feeling of anxiety I felt as I knocked on his front door on the afternoon of my first lesson. I felt like my heart was going to pound out of my chest. Within five minutes I had entered his house, learned a little about him, began my first of many guitar lessons, and could cross off two goals on my list at the same time. Not bad for just five minutes.

How to play guitar review

: You want to learn how to play guitar. The best place to start is with the basics. I will be offering tips and give reviews on good places were you can get guitar lessons. Learning guitar can be fun and easy. You can even learn how to play guitar right in the comfort of your own home. There are so many different programs that help you learn guitar. One very good site you can check out. Some people learn how to play guitar on their own, however the majority of people are not able to learn guitar on their own without any help. At the top of this site I have posted a link that will take you step by step in learning the guitar. I have found many of my students say the guitar lessons really excelled them in their ability to learn guitar. In the beginning it is good to have patience. Start out learning a few cords and then practice them. Weather you want to play country or rock knowing simple cords is the key to getting started. Once you have mastered a few cords keep learning more and more. Then you can begin to use variations of these cords to play songs you know or write new ones. This is some of the steps in learning how to play guitar. I have had my students try different course programs that help them to learn guitar. One good thing about the courses you can take from home is that you decide when you want to take you guitar lessons. You can also decide how many times you want to repeat a guitar lessons. This gives you flexibility and now time is on your side and learning guitar fits into any schedule. Most of my new students learn guitar basics and are already playing songs by the end of a weekend. Learning guitar is always easer than the person thinks. People of all ages can achieve many different levels when they decide to learn how to play guitar. You can learn electric and acoustic guitar with this course. I will be reviewing another course for those people who really want to get the most out of their guitar lessons. For now I have found at least one very good course. So remember you can learn guitar and knowing how to play guitar is easy. Just work on those guitar lessons a few times a week to improve on your skills. Learning how to play the guitar is simple, easy and fun. Just remember to take the time to maintain determination, motivation and you will have success. Please visit some of my sites Learn Guitar and Guitar Lessons

How to produce a christmas number one hit

The worst thing about Christmas has to be listening to Top Of The Pops and the Christmas Number 1 – Girls Aloud, Robbie Williams, Westlife and Mr Blobby for goodness sake! Surely anyone can produce a better Christmas Hit than those. After all, a computer does all the work, doesn't it - all you do is press a few buttons and jiggle a few drum and bass lines around.

So what do you need? You need a PC with a reasonable amount of processing power under the hood - a Pentium III at least, preferably a P4 - in order to run the music software.

Audio files are quite large - forget MP3s, we're talking the real thing here - and for each track of audio you record you'll need around 10.6Mb of hard disk space per minute. Every track won't be filled with audio so you won't need quite that much in a multi-track recording but for a four-minute 16-track song it would be wise to allocate around 500Mb of hard disk space.

Playing cards

You need a soundcard. All modern PCs have one of these but if you don't want your song to sound like it was recorded in a back bedroom - even it if was - get a decent card.

At Christmas-stocking prices are a range of SoundBlaster cards such as the Audigy 2 ZS (for under Ј70/$100) with a good set of built-in sounds. But more than that, they support SoundFonts. These are samples the card uses to produce realistic instrument sounds and better beefy bass lines than yer average sound card.

If you've a rich Mummy and Daddy they’ll be pleased to buy you a more expensive card such as E-Mu’s Emulator X (around Ј220/$380), a desktop sampling system that also supports SoundFonts. If you own a nightclub you'll be able to afford one of CreamWare's high-end systems with on-board synthesisers that can do everything but sober up the drummer - not that you need a drummer 'cause the cards have all the drum sounds you need.

Key move

You'll also need a MIDI keyboard to record your masterpiece. There’s a vast choice here from E-Mu’s XBoard 25, XBoard 49, and Swissonic’s CK490 (all running around Ј100/$150 give or take) to the Fatar range running from the TMK61 (Ј130/$225) up to the VMK 188 Plus (Ј599/$1000) with several models inbeween.

These keyboards don't have any on-board sounds like synthesisers but they're much cheaper than synths and there are sounds in the soundcard anyway. If you've seen an Elton John concert and can't face the thought of touching a keyboard, don't worry - you can use pre-recorded loops and samples and cleverly arrange them in stunning combinations without a keyboard.

Listen 'ere

A decent pair of speakers is essential. The ten quid jobbies that were bundled with your PC may be fine for playing MP3s but they simply won't do for mixing music.

The Big Boys use dedicated monitor speakers which can cost as much as a holiday in Barbados but if you leave the other half at home you could easily afford Behringer’s MS16s (Ј46/$79), or Edirol’s MA7A (Ј80/$135) or MA150 (Ј120/$200).

If your PC is near your hi fi you can run the audio through that but switch off any bass boost or EQ settings. The idea is to get a flat, uncoloured response so if it sounds good on those speakers it should sounds good on any speakers. So the theory goes.

Good arrangement

The Big Boys can fiddle with high-end music sequencers but the new and incredibly modestly-priced Cubase SE 3 (less than a ton/$170) lets you record and assemble audio and MIDI parts with almost as much aplomb. It shows both types of recording on the same arrange page making it easy to see how they fit together.

And finally, you need a CD recorder so you can burn your finished hit to CD and send it to lucky record companies. If you’ve a modern PC you’ll have one already. But do use a labeller and create a CD inlay, too, to give the CD a pro finish. In the music biz, looks, fashion and style are far more important than content so spend at least as much time on the outside as on the music. Put your contact details on the CD label as well as the inlay.

Hook and line

Now let's make a song. You need a hook. This is the bit everyone sings so it has to be catchy. It's usually the chorus but you can have a catchy bass line, drum line or even a vocal hook such as shout or a catch phrase like "Eh Oh". Well it worked for the Teletubbies – are you old enough to remember them with embarrassment?

Let's say you've come up with a stonking chorus. Build a verse around it. It doesn't have to be memorable; few verses are. You can meander around in a relatively tuneless way until it's time to unleash the chorus on the world.

When building a song, start with the rhythm section. Grab some groovy drum loops, string them together then add the bass line. You can play this on your new MIDI keyboard or drop in bass samples - jolly useful things, samples.

Next you'll want to add some keyboard parts which can be clever rhythmic figures or you can play pads by holding down some chords using a broad-texture sound such as strings.

Very vocal

Then add the vocals. If you can't sing - but remember that never stopped anyone making a record - you might like to nip down the pub and ask the winner of this week's karaoke contest to do the chanting for you. Play your cards right and they may even pay you for the privilege.

If you've too much musical nous to be in the same room as a karaoke singer, you can always fall back on your old friend, the sample.

The final step is the mixing. This is where you balance all the parts you recorded, add a dash of reverb and generally tart the thing up.

Then save the entire song as an audio file ready for burning to CD. This means recording the MIDI parts as audio tracks. You need to mix all the tracks into one stereo track so the final file will be 10.6Mb x the length in minutes.

Looks good

Now you have to interest the A&R men in your CD. It's all about image so if you're dull and ugly - name three ugly pop stars, apart from Madonna and Mick Hucknall - you may have to get one of your beautiful friends to pose for the publicity photos.

Write a one-page biog - they don't want to know that you have a GCSE in music, they want to know what gigs you've done and any Big Name bands you’ve supported. Drop a few names such as Bruce, Robbie and Tina. You don't have to mention surnames...

If you do catch the ear of an A&R person, be prepared to throw your ego out the window - you can't afford one at the moment and when you're rich and famous you can buy a much better one anyway.

You'll see the months of blood, sweat and Pils which you poured into your song pouring straight down the drain as the record company drafts in a 14-year-old DJ to remix your song using the latest Dance breakbeats and crap - sorry, rap - vocals.

But don't worry - you can laugh all the way to the bank when it reaches Number One!

The history of salsa dance

Salsa dancing has a very distinct dance style. It has a pattern step style encompassing six steps that are danced over eight counts in a musical beat.

Salsa is the combination of many cultural genres including Afro-Caribbean and Latin sounds.

Although the exact origin of salsa cannot be interpreted, many believe that Cubans created this explosive dance style that has won the world over. It is in this place where Contra-Danze or “country dance” of England and France later known as Danzon that was brought over by the French who had fled from Haiti. Their experience with the French music traditions and the distinctive drum beat influences of Rhumbas of Africa and partner dance style helped influence the development of the very distinctive salsa style of music and dance that we are all familiar with today.

However, regardless of who originally founded salsa, it’s collaborative cultural flavor of Afro-Caribbean and Latin influences have been successful in making it one of the most popular dance and music styles recognized all over the world.

Salsa dance moves are very distinct. Salsa moves more from side to side, putting much emphasis on turns, which are carefully synchronized with the strategic side stepping of the dancer.

Although the countries I just mentioned have helped influence salsa dance and music, several other countries have also influenced it like Columbia, Puerto Rico the Dominican, Mexico and several other Latin American countries.

Many bands from these countries took their music to Mexico City during the famous film era and then later brought their musical style to New York where it started a movement through cultures that had never heard this unique style of music, or seen this magical and explosive dance style. New York picked up salsa music and dance almost instantly which helped to promote the salsa movement but New York was also the city that coined it as “salsa”.

If you listen to salsa music carefully, you will hear influences of Merengue, Cha Cha, Mambo and several other Latin American and African musical styles. You’ll hear many of the classic old-styles built into the salsa rhythms.

Salsa’s evolution has been explosive and only continues to evolve!

Want to learn how to dance to salsa music? Learn the easy steps by visiting www. salsadancedvd. com. This is the best site on the web for learning how to dance salsa. Taught by real professional salsa dancers. It’s toxic!

What is a red book standard audio cd

When reading through the terms and conditions at your favorite CD and DVD duplication facility’s website, you come across a term you aren’t familiar with.

“All CD duplication projects are done on Red Book standard audio media”.

What is the Red Book of audio, what are the media standards it has set, and why is it so important?

The Red Book is one of the nine Rainbow Books, which provide universally agreed on specifications for all types of media. The Red Book provides the standards for audio CDs, also known as CDDA (or Compact Disc Digital Audio). There are also Yellow, Orange, White, Blue, Beige, Green, Purple, and Scarlet books in the Rainbow Book set.

These different colored books provide audio standards for:

Yellow – CD-ROM and CD-ROM XA

Orange – CD-R and CD-RW

White – Video CD

Blue – Enhanced CD, CD+G, and CD-Plus

Beige – Photo CD

Green – CD-I (Interactive)

Purple – DDCD (Double Density Compact Disc)

Scarlet – SACD (Super Audio CD)

According to the Red Book, a standard CD is 120mm in diameter, 1.2mm thick, and is made up of polycarbonate plastic substrate, one or more thin layers of reflective metal (usually aluminum), and a lacquer coating. The disc is divided into 3 parts – The lead-in area containing the Table of Contents, the program area containing the audio data, and the lead-out area containing no data.

The Red Book of was developed in 1980 by Sony and Phillips to specify the physical parameters of the audio CD. This includes the optical stylus parameters, deviations and error rate, modulation system and error correction, and subcode channels and graphics. One other major CD specification set by the Red Book is the form of digital audio encoding taken on by CDs. The parameters set have become a de-facto standard in the CD duplication industry.

All in all, most consumers probably won’t be too concerned with the individual technical specifications set by the Red Book. But as a consumer you can take comfort in knowing that there is a high standard of quality being upheld when it comes to your CD duplication, DVD duplication or data CD duplication project. Make sure that when you go to your CD duplication house you ask them if they use Red Book quality CD media.

Scared of buying online looking for scottish irish celtic music

Buying online for many people can be a daunting task; particularly for those who are not entirely familiar with the internet. Who to trust, where to go, how to do it? If you’re interested in the very best of Scottish Muisc CD and DVD, the following introduction will be useful to you.

Our new affiliate website musicscotland. co. uk makes it easy, fast and secure to browse, search and buy Scottish, Irish and Celtic music CD and DVD. The website boasts an extensive collection of all types of music; particularly focusing on Scottish, Irish and Celtic genres with many albums by fiddlers, accordionists, pipers, etc available.

Scottish Music can be increasingly difficult to source, Tommy Newcomen at musicscotland. co. uk is alwayas available to help source titles through his network of contacts within the Scottish recording and distribution industry. Simply visit the website at musicscotland. co. uk and give Tommy a telephone using the number on the site.

Musicscotland. co. uk allows users to browse the many categories available such as Accordion, Big Band, Bothy, Box Sets, Celtic Moods, Comedy, Classical, Country, Easy Listening, Female, Fiddle, Flute, Pipes, Folk, Guitar, Gaelic, Lute, Harp, Irish, Traditional, Mouth Organ, Party, Piano, Pipe Bands, Scottish Choirs, Country Dance, Vocal, Oldies, Video, DVD and World Music etc. Users can also search easily by product name or description, track names are also included in the search (useful if you are looking for a single track). Once you decide what you want to buy, add items to your basket, enter some details then check out. Musicscotland offers the option of paying by Debit/Credit card via PayPal or by Cheque/Cash in person at the shop in Blairgowrie, Scotland.

Visit the home of the very best in Scottish, Irish and Celtic music – musicscotland. co. uk

How coupon code works

: Are you really interested in knowing how your coupon code works before using it anywhere? Savvy buyers know that coupon code and discount shopping can help to save their lots of money, shopping for discount should not be hassle. Get your coupon online or from any discount coupon book stores. In every discount coupon book you will get coupon code which can be exchange for your shopping. Coupon code is nothing but the discount coupon where in exchange you can buy any product in discount price, means the amount of discount coupon you have with yourself. Every discount coupon book has there item code and this code is getting listed with the shopkeepers so when you for discount they will request you to show your coupon code so that discount is given to you. You can rest assure that you get the discount information from your mailbox or online so that you can enjoy the offers. Always be their first to printable and promotion online coupon code currently available. In this way you will never miss out any great offers that have been introduced in the market. With coupon code you not only save your money but also make a better purchasing decision. So not only you get the joy but you also save your lots of money on your shopping. Online coupon code helps to build the strongest online community for internet shopping savvy and to save their money and other to make wiser decisions. The stores that are part of this shopping community are well known, reputed and trusted merchants. So you did not need to worry about your discount they will provide you all the discount of the amount coupon have with you. One thing is more important for discount coupon users. Before presenting your coupon code please make sure that you have a valid coupon with you as many of us forget to check the date of their coupon. Always good to cross check your coupon expiry date it will be helpful for you and as well as the seller Anna Josephs is a freelance journalist having experience of many years writing articles and news releases on various topics such as pet health, automobile and social issues. She also has great interest in poetry and paintings, hence she likes to write on these subjects as well. Currently writing for this website Borders Coupon Book . For more details please contact at [email protected] com

Jordan mccoy ready to rock

Enter (soon-to-be 15 year old) Jordan McCoy -- a vocally talented, charasmatic, impossibly cute All-American girl with a truly unique style about her. I believe this girl has every ingredient to rock things upside down and inside out retro style -- like it hasn't been done in some time.

Jordan caught my attention 3 years ago, in early June, on the American Idol spin-off show American Juniors. Within the first minute of seeing her in a personal interview (on one of the first few episodes), I knew Jordan had something special. When I watched her perform her first competition song titled 'Stupid Cupid', I knew this was a name that would certainly not soon be forgetten. By far, an amazing singer and seasoned performer. With brilliant consistency throughout the entire summer, that certain 'X' factor was more than apparent as each and every week went by, and will most certainly be that same present day factor to help seal her destiny as 'The REAL McCoy'.

Not to my suprise one bit, Jordan was signed by Diddy (Bad Boy Records) in the early spring of 2005 and her debut CD should be out this September or October (2006). And judging by some early first-listen web site only releases (via myspace. com/jordanmccoy), Jordan will soon be a household name...

'Just Watch Me' is a very inspirational song (lyrics and arrangement) showing off Jordan's unique and amazing sounding vocals and reflecting a true style of originality. Not a bad way to start off a national career!

'Next X Boyfriend', one of Jordan's latest on-site listens, is a masterpiece combo of edgy rock and pop - as is her teaser snippet of 'Good Guys'. Jordan's vocals are primed to pump you up with satisfaction. I just can't get enough.

After listening to these samples, I come off feeling as if 80s pop and present day 'anything-goes rock' are put in a blender and let loose. The result is quite refreshing.

I think two things. 1) Diddy (Sean Combs) picked a winner. 2) Jordan was picked by a winner. Diddy is a very talented guy who is a producer, writer, actor, singer, clothing designer, and much more. He is definitely a role model for young America and knows how to make things happen -- and in style. I think Diddy will do Jordan justice 100% and at the same time justice will be brought back to ROCK in the American culture where it is still sort of lacking for the most part. -- Improved, but yes, still lacking a bit...

The ultimate guide to video ipod

Alright. So after all that hype about having a practical way of watching TV and movies while on the go, you have finally gone and bought yourself the new iPod. Now what?

Well, let’s see. There are so many options squeezed into one slim, 2.5” LCD screen media center that it’s going to take a lot of time going over each one of them. So let’s do take it one at a time, shall we? This guide is going to take over all the options you’ve got and how to convert absolutely anything and everything – DVDs, TiVo video, messy AVIs, muxed MPEGs and more to iPod compatible video – all within OS X. And along the way, we’ll teach you a couple of iPod tips and tricks, too!

Handling Those Nasty Scratches

When you take your iPod out of the box, your first order of business should be to protect your investment. You don’t want any of those nasty scratches from appearing on your precious media box, do you? It’s a complete eye soar and one you can completely avoid.

The good thing about this new iPod is that its design is slightly different from that of the nano, which according to most users scratch easily. The new iPod has better chassis and doubled-layered, probably to protect the LCD monitor. But if you want to make sure that your iPod doesn’t show any scratches, most users recommend plastic cases, such as The Invisible Shield. If not, you can always get the white model, instead of the black one.

What Videos Can You Play?

Let us briefly go over the kinds of videos that your new iPod can support. According to Apple’s website, the video specifications of the new iPod are the following:

• H.264 video: up to 768 Kbps, 320 x 240, 30 frames per sec, Baseline Profile up to Level 1.3 with AAC-LC up to 160 Kbps, 48 Khz, stereo audio in. m4v,.mp4, and. mov file formats.

• MPEG-4 video: up to 2.5 mbps, 480 x 480, 30 frames per sec, Simple Profile with AAC-LC up to 160 Kbps, 48 Khz, stereo audio in. m4v,.mp4, and. mov file formats.

For the newbies, this might all sound a little too confusing. What’s with all the numbers? Don’t worry because chances are you only need to remember a few of those for you to get the most out of your new iPod.

First, let’s start with H.264 video. The highest video bitrate with the H.264 codec is 768 kilobits per second. The biggest picture size for your H.264 movie is 320 pixels wide by 240 pixels high, which is incidentally the exact dimension of your iPod’s screen. Your iPod can play H.364 video at framerates up to 30 frames per second. Every one of the applications that we’ll be using encodes with the Baseline Profile. Your audio needs to be encoded as AAC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48 KHz, and it can be in either stereo or mono. As long as you follow all the guidelines, your movie can even be a QuickTime movie or an MPEG-4 movie file.

The other option you have is the MPEG-4 video, which supports a much higher bitrate than H.264 video – 2500 kilobits per second. Using higher bitrates will also create larger files, which means that you’ll have less space for additional songs and movies, but more segments of your favorite movie. The biggest picture size for your MPEG-4 video is 480 pixels wide by 480 pixels high – three times as many pixels than your iPod’s screen in capable of displaying. Your iPod will shrink the picture proportionally so that everything fits on the screen. Again, the iPod can play videos up to 30 frames per second and your audio and file format options are the same as H.264 video.

So Which One is Better – H.264 or MPEG-4?

Well, that’s a tough question really as each format has their ups and downs. Arguably, H.264 is preferable considering how it offers high quality and a file size that is much smaller compared to MPEG-4. When it comes to picture quality, however, both formats are comparable, especially when encoded at the higher supported video settings.

As for speed of encoding, most people agree that H.264 video takes longer than standard MPEG-4. Take for example a two-hour movie. When you convert that to iPod using H.264 codec, the process could take considerably longer (especially with QuickTime Pro’s pokey Export: Movie to iPod video option).

Where to Download Videos for Your iPod

If you’re tired ripping movies from your DVD collection or you’ve used up all your movie files in your computer, then it’s probably time for you to look for other sources of iPod compatible videos. Below are some good sites that offer iPod video files that are both free and legal!

• ChannelFrederator. com – If you like to watch short animations while taking a breather, this is the place to look in.

• PodGuide. tv – It’s not called “PodGuide” for nothing.

• Channel 101 and Channel 102 – Brilliant downloadable shows are up on offer.

• The iTunes Music Store’s podcast section – One of the best things about the new iPod is that Apple has bundled it with their updates on iTunes. Now, you can download loads of free videos from the store for your daily dose of iPod-casting.

• Apple iTunes – Sometimes you just have to go to the source of the source to find what you’re looking for.

• Archive. org – This site is great for old videos and movies.

Watch iPod Videos on Your TV

Say what?! Yep, it’s true. And for some users who prefer widescreen as opposed to pocket-TV, this is the best thing about the new iPod. Now, outputting your iPod videos to any TV is easy. Just use a special video cable (and it doesn’t even be the one sold by Apple), output it through your iPod’s headphone jack, and voila! You’re a couch potato, baby!

If you’re more interested in watching videos on your TV, you may want to go with the MPEG-4 format since it can support the bigger 480 x 480 picture size. When you encode widescreen movies and output them to a TV, the pixel limit is usually 230,400 pixels. So when these larger images are displayed on your TV, you’ll get to see all those extra pixels.

Okay So You Can Watch Videos on TV, Big Deal…What About My Other Videos?

When you download video files from the web or file sharing networks, some of these files may not be marked as iPod compatible. Does that mean you can’t play them on your iPod? Well, the good news is that it’s easy enough to find out.

Tip #1 – Open iTunes

The easiest and less time-consuming way to determine whether a video is iPod-supported or not is to simply open iTunes with your iPod connected. Afterwards, drop the video file directly into your iPod’s library. If the video is copied into your iPod, it means it’s compatible. If it’s not, then your iPod won’t be able to play it.

To copy the video to your iPod, just select Manually manage songs and playlists in the iPod tab of your iTunes preferences.

Tip #2 – Add Video to the iTunes Library

The other way of finding out if your video files are iPod compatible is to add your video to your iTunes library. Just right lick the video and select Convert Selection to iPod. You will receive an alert from iTunes on your screen, telling you if your video is already compatible. If it’s not, your movie will be converted to a compatible H.264 video for you.

We should probably mention that you don’t really need to add videos to your iTunes Library in order to add them to your iPod. Just drag and drop videos from the Finder straight onto your iPod in iTunes. Again, make sure you’ve enabled the manually manage option.

You can also add songs and videos to your iPod’s library from any computer that has iTunes. Just make sure that you’ve enabled the manually manage option in iTunes. If your iPod was originally formatted on a PC, you can add files from both PCs and Macs. However, if you have a Mac-formatted iPod, you’ll only be able to add files from other Macs.

Tip #3 – Open the file in QuickTime

Alternatively, you can also find out if your video is iPod compatible if you open the file in QuickTime. Next, Select Window: Show Movie Info. In most cases, your video should be iPod-ready if the format is H.264 or MPEG-4, the audio is ACC, and the size of your video is 320 x 240 (or smaller) for H.264 or 480 x 480 (or smaller) for MPEG-4. Also, look at the data rate and make sure it’s not over 900 kbits/sec for H.264 or 2600 kbits/sec for MPEG-4.

In most cases, the bitrate reported by QuickTime would include the video stream and the audio stream (normally 128 kbits/sec) so don’t wonder if the video is shown to have a higher bitrate.

I have a lot more information available at me website, be sure to click by and have a look.

Thanks for reading and I hope you find this information useful.

Mp3 downloads bringing benefits to everyone

With the availability of broadband Internet reaching all time heights, it has never been easier to access the wealth of free MP3 music that is on tap and online. Many bands allow their music to be distributed on the net because of the massive potential audience they can reach using this medium. A wealth of bands even use their own websites to post demos, b-sides and interviews, any material, in fact, that they hope prospective fans might find interesting, and get them hooked on their sound.

Any new band will go to almost any lengths to get their music heard and the Internet offers many straightforward ways to do this. Many new bands post information about themselves and their music at www. myspace. com where visitors can either stream or download music. The mini sites offered here are customizable and the quantity of space available very generous.

These sites thus allow personal connections to develop between bands and the fans that follow them. The up and coming band called ‘Yeah Yeah Yeah’, for example, recently previewed their new album exclusively at www. myspace. com allowing their fans to hear the material before it hit stores. To date, this exclusive arrangement has lured tens of thousands of people to check out the band’s own site, offering them unprecedented publicity for free.

While this arrangement would seem advantageous to both musician and listener, some bands find the notion to be anathema, assuming that it will mean lost sales and ultimately, lost profits. Many more established bands have been slow to create their own music sharing sites, while others have fought to have file-sharing using peer-to-peer networks stopped altogether.

And yet the notion that online music sharing will exert a negative impact on CD sales seems to hold little water, as British band ‘Artic Monkeys’ recently displayed. The band made available on their website all their material and instead of losing out on CD sales, their debut album quickly became the fastest selling debut album of all time.

It seems that the ability to download MP3 benefits all concerned, both band and fan alike. So may the spirit of sharing long continue, so that everyone can continue to enjoy the fruits of the musicians’ labor.

Music the source the life force

Since humans first walked this Earth we have been banging inanimate objects and noticing tonal harmonies in all that we do. Music evokes such a deep rooted emotion in us, connecting with our inner being on an infinite number of levels.

From the depths of depression to the awesome high of life itself there is a music which can touch us in a profound manner at every single step of the way.

Someone once said to me "I don't like music" ... I simply couldn't fathom this concept of actually not liking music. I could obviously see how one could dislike a certain type of music but to not like any music at all was a totally alien idea to me.

I was lucky I suppose, growing up, I was privy to the tastes of my "60's generation" parents and all that hippy stuff, along with a fine selection of very early blues, reggae, jazz and some really raw grooves which have all but been lost to our super fickle modern generation. In fact my Father owned one of the first copies of the first 45 from a label named Chess. Worth a fortune now no doubt. Music has always been a big part of my life.

So why does music reach us at this most basic level? What is it about the human being that makes us crave this "soul food"? Well, music is a multifaceted means of communication. It is possible through music to create all the acoustic features that we use in our everyday language. Furthermore, these acoustic features can be generated in a very definite way. This makes it possible for composers to reach us at our most primeval state, simply by structuring the music according to predefined patterns.

The most basic musical element that we respond to is a rhythmical beat or pulse. If you need proof of this then notice how a newborn baby will begin to rock or move to the beat without prompting. This is the human instinct naturally reacting to a rhythm, the roots of which are deeply imbedded in all of us. This is the case whether you like music or not.

The next level of musical recognition is the conscious awareness of the interval between certain vibrations or frequencies. In other words the musical scale. It was not long before humans realized that certain notes work together and certain notes do not - harmonious sequences and discordant sounds.

In fact, not all that long ago a discordant sound was associated with the work of the devil because it made the listener feel quite uncomfortable. These days we have moved on with many modern jazz musicians purposefully using discordant sounds - something which horrifies the purists.

One level up from the musical scale is the combination of many different types of musical instrument. This is what we know today as pop music, orchestral music and many other genres. It pleases us when we hear harmonious combinations of many different types of instrument. These chords and harmonious sequences connect with us at our most basic level. It is these musical progressions which can evoke such strong emotions in all of us.

To this day, there are no generally accepted definitions of this musical complexity at a logical and objective level. Many people report that when they hear a piece of music they really like and which touches them emotionally they will feel the hairs on their arms stand on end. This is hardly a scientific observation but is one of the only indicators we have telling us when somebody is emotionally moved by piece of music.

To be perfectly honest, maybe the scientists should just leave it alone - I believe some things were not meant to be explained. Music is music and it makes us feel the way we do because of some ancient connection handed down from generation to generation. The best thing to do with music is just enjoy it!

Without music the world would indeed be a very dull place.

Where to go to download that free mp3 song

Music lovers! MP3 song collectors! Wondering where to find a free copy of that favorite song? If you’re reading this, chances are good you’re already online.. why not check the Internet for some free MP3 songs?

Below are a few websites where you can download free MP3 songs and albums.

www. Free-Albums. net – Free MP3 Song

At Free-Albums, it’s not only free MP3 songs that you’ll find but MP3 albums, reviews, videos, and more as well At Free-Albums. net, get the most accurate lyrics and feel free to start singing along to your favorite free MP3 song. Download a copy of the hot new free MP3 song and hit or read up on your favorite artist or band with tons of pages dedicated to artists’ bios and news. You can search for and find complete discographies and download artists/bands pictures and use them as wallpaper for your PC desktop. Free-Albums. net… log on and find out what this free MP3 song and album site has to offer.

www. MP3sHits. com – Free MP3 Song

At MP3sHits, finding free MP3 songs is as simple as typing the artist’s name, song title, or the album name and hitting the search button. At MP3sHits, you can get free MP3 songs by bands such as Destiny’s Child, Blue, U2, Simple Plan, and more. What’s more, the website also features full albums in their special section with daily updates. Listen up to DJ Whoo Kid and Young Buck’s album recorded at G Unit Radio 9 or VA’s Suntribe Vol 9. Such free MP3 song samples are pure heaven to the indie music fan.

www. SongCrawler. com – Free MP3 Song

Whatever tune you crave, Song Crawler provides you with one-click results to all the free MP3 song downloads you can handle in a variety of music genres.

www. Music. Download. com – Free MP3 Song

CNet’s Download. com is yet another simply enormous download site that offers free MP3 songs. With genres ranging from rock, pop, alternative, punk, electronica, hip-hop, country, folk, and blues, you can start looking for your favorite free MP3 song by typing in the name of the artist or band, song title, or the name of the album. You should also be sure to check out Download. com’s Editor’s Picks which feature the latest albums to hit the music market.

www. FindAnyMusic. com – Free MP3 Song

In our opinion, FindAnyMusic deserves their claim as the #1 replacement for Napster’s software. To start downloading your favorite free MP3 songs, all you need to do is sign up with the site and install their special music software. Once you’ve installed the software, you’ll have full and immediate access to over a billion free MP3 songs and music files online. Best of all, FindAnyMusic’s software allows you to burn your downloaded free MP3 songs and create your own CDs. All you need are some blank CDs and a CD burner.

Unfortunately, we’ve only space enough to suggest a few of the top free MP3 song websites and there are certainly many more sites out there that also offer free MP3 songs for download, streaming, or sampling. A search of Google, Yahoo, or the MSN search engines for “free MP3 song” should provide you with just what you’re looking for!

Learning to play piano chords

If you are playing several notes at the same time, then you are playing piano chords. Simply put, when multiple notes are played together, piano chords are achieved. The chords then come together to form a melody. Every song that you hear has a melody and it is through each melody that music is achieved. Sound complicated? Well, that’s ok because it really isn’t as difficult as it sounds.

As a musician, whether it be professional or hobbyist, you will need to learn the various types of piano chords. The more that you understand about piano chords, the more variety you will have when playing. If you want to write your own music, you not only need an ear for tunes, but also the understanding of how to make them come together. A good instructor will introduce you to piano chords during lessons.

If you already have some experience, but simply want a better understanding of advanced piano chords, discuss these options with a private tutor or music teacher. By gaining an understanding of what sounds good and what doesn’t, you will have the undeniable edge over other budding musicians.

Every piano has 88 keys and while it may seem intimidating to learn piano chords, it actually comes down to memory. When typing on the computer, you know which keys to press in order to make a lowercase letters change to uppercase, right? By studying piano chords, you will begin to understand which keys to press at the same time in order to play a chord. During your introduction to learning piano, an instructor will cover some of the basic chords and you will come to know their sound when you hear them. After enough practice, you will be able to immediately identify piano chords by ear.

There are several other ways to help in your learning of piano chords, including instructional books, tutorials and videos. In the beginning, it may even help to label the keys until you have a better understanding of each of their unique sounds. As you progress in your learning, you can remove the identification labels and play using any arrangement of sheet music. Learning to identify notes will play a large part in your understanding of piano chords. As you move through your studies, you will learn all of the terminology associated with piano playing and the definition of each.

Learning piano chords is a very important part of the process, but it does require a certain degree of patience. Always remember that time will lessen the difficulty and, before you know it, you will be playing and identifying piano chords by ear. While it may seem intimidating at first, you will soon begin to notice the ease of playing piano chords will come naturally. Happy tunes!

Five beginner tips for starting a music box collection

Copyright 2006 Monique Hawkins

Music boxes, as we know them today have been around at least since the end of the 18th century. The finest artisans in Europe created them and brought music into family homes when there were really no other types of music entertainment for homes. Music boxes performed the popular music of their day; songs from the opera, traditional songs, and hymns. Because of their unique history and other reasons, collecting music boxes is a hobby greatly enjoyed for music box and some antique collectors. Some collectors like collecting music boxes such as antique music boxes, inlaid music boxes, ballerina music boxes, and carousel music boxes. For those who are currently looking to begin collecting, here are five tips to assist in this process.

#1: Decide on how much you are willing to spend. You could end up with lots of music boxes, but are poor in quality. Or, you might decide to collect more valuable, high quality music boxes. If this were the case, your collection would start off slowly. Take your time and do what is best for you.

#2: Take your individual taste into account. This will influence what types of music boxes you will collect. Some collectors might prefer only miniature pieces, or rare music boxes. Others music box collectors might desire to focus on disc boxes, Regina's, Stella's, or objects d' art.

#3: Consider starting a collection made up with a variety of music boxes. You might desire this so that you don't get bored with having the same type of box. Choose from cylinder music boxes, disc musical boxes, polyphons, or Stella music boxes. The lesson here is that having a hodge podge of music boxes is just fine!

#4: Have a plan as to how you would like to develop your collection. Next, take the necessary steps to see it come alive! Also, consider space. If you have limited space, you will have to be creative, especially if you like to collect large music boxes.

#5: When going to purchase a music box for your collection, always check for those things that demand immediate attention such as rust. If need be, restore it when you have the time and money. It is always a good rule of thumb to look carefully after all the music boxes you have in your collection.

Starting a music box collection can be a fun process. Whether you are collecting a antique music box, inlaid music box, carousel music box, ballerina music boxes, or other types of music boxes, follow these five tips and be on your way to starting an outstanding music box collection.

Abc s of the music industry

: Music is an art, however, when it comes to the music industry Music is about money! If anyone or any company feels that your music will not make them money, there will be absolutely no interest in your music. That’s it in the nut shell. Remember, to always remember this. The Music Industry is about Money! There are a few sources of money to be made in the music industry. They include but are not limited to: · Record sales · Songs played on the radio · In movies and television · Concerts · Song writing · Producing · Merchandising · Advertising · CD-ROMs/DVDs If you are an artist and want to get into the music business, you need 3 very important very good people in your corner batting for you on a daily basis. They include: · Personal Manager – The most of important of the three. They should have contacts in the music industry, keep on eye on all your affairs, advise you on things to do, help promote your music, producers to hire, who to sign with when to go on tour, etc. The personal manager will receive 15% and 20% of an artists gross earnings and have good contacts with record companies A&R, Marketing / Sales, and Promotion departments. · Music Attorney – A good attorney specializing in the music will know how to properly negotiate and structure the deals an artist makes. They should have good contacts and be trust worthy. Expect to pay between 100 and 200 per hour for a good music attorney. If an attorney thinks you will get signed, they forego a set fee and charge a percentage of artist’s earnings. In bigger cities, you’ll pay more than in smaller cities. · Music Agent – Book concerts and special appearances. A Personal Manager will help the artist with selecting a good agent. If you blow up and start generating the big money, then a good Manager / Accountant will be needed to handle your tax situation, review royalty statements, financing tours, offer invest advice and how to manage your money. Getting recognized by mailing your demo to record labels isn’t impossible, however, 99.9% of the time your material will not get listened to. Even if you have the best song on the planet, it will not be listened to. Record labels want to limit their liability, so they do not listen to unsolicited music. Record labels don’t want to listen to numerous songs and then be held liable if someone claims their material was copied. If you do decide to mail your CD to record label, send the “solicited” material. First get a contact, preferably an individual in the Artists & Repertoire (A&R) department. Call and first speak to someone. After sending your CD follow up to determine if the targeted individual received your material and another follow up call to determine if it was listened to. Submit 3 to 6 songs and send a bio and picture of yourself. Again this isn’t the preferred way to submit your material to major record labels. Until you have music business advisors in your corner trying to promote you and there is a “buzz” going around about you, your demo will not reach the decision makers at the record labels. Record companies on a daily basis receive thousands of unsolicited CDs. Most likely your CD will be tossed into a bin located in a remote room filled with overflowing bins of CDs. Record labels like to deal with artists who have a history of record sales. These are artist that may have produced and sold their own CDs locally or regionally. Record labels like to deal with artists who have performed their material and there is this “buzz” going on about them. MC Hammer, before he became famous, performed his own materials and sold his own records until a major record label signed him. MC Hammer had a lot of leverage in negotiating a good contract because he already proved on a local basis he could sell records. Record companies want to limit their liability. If you are signed, you are considered an investment that will require some money and they want to see a premium return on their money invested in you. The more you can prove that you can sell record, the better chance you can get signed. If you get signed to a record company, you the artist will go into the studio and record songs for the record company. The record company makes copies of the master recording and ships it to a distributor. The distributor is a wholesaler who then sells the CDs to retail outlets like Best Buy, Sam Goody and Tower Records. The record company then pumps money into marketing by advertising and promoting your music with hopes of selling records, thus making you a superstar and becoming rich! It is not as easy as it sounds. It takes a lot of hard work by a talented group of people. Everyone has to work together to make this happen. There are usually many people behind the scenes working to make an artist a superstar. Record companies often categorized into 4 groups: · Major label record companies - have the recording and operating resources to complete all function to sell records. Major label record companies are integrated in that they can handle the promotion, sales, marketing, and distribution to sell music. Major label record companies are Arista, Atlantic, Capital, and Sony. · Major label affiliate labels – have special agreements with the major label record companies, where the major label may fund the smaller labels recording and operating expenses in exchange for a portion of the smaller label profits. · Independent labels - distributes records through major labels. Independent labels have few employees. They tend to find talent, sign the talent, sees to it the music is recorded and contracts with major record labels to perform the promotion, marketing, and other functions. · True independent labels – Has no association with a major label and distribute their music through independent distributors. The A&R (Artists & Repertoire) Department The A&R department is the talent scout. They are in charge of finding new talents. They are the eyes and ears of the record company. However, not because you get signed to a record label because an A&R representative likes you it doesn’t mean your CD will ever get produced and released. Executives higher in the company could cancel your deal if they feel your CD will not sell. A record company will have to invest several hundred thousands of dollars to release your CD, so they will be extremely cautious on whom they release. The Marketing and Sales Department This department is responsible for getting the public excited about your music and first selling to retail stores the idea of carrying your CD. They are responsible for promotional merchandise, advertising your CD, in store displays, publicity, your CD cover, etc. The Promotions Department This department is responsible for getting your music played on the radio. The individuals in this department will visit the various radio stations to convince them to play your material. If your material doesn’t get played, no one will now how you are. People will look at your CD in the retail store and wonder who you are. There is also a direct correlation with CD sales vs. how many times a song for that CD gets played on the radio. More air time on the radio equals more CD sales for the record companies. Remember music is art, but to the record companies, it’s about money. Keep in mind that it’s a business. Keep in mind everyone is out to make money. The minute people believe that you will not make money for them, you will be dropped and these same people will turn to seek other new artists that they believe will make them money. Unfortunately, the record business doesn’t believe in grooming people. If your first CD isn’t a success, you are out. There are rarely second chances. There are always other talented people behind you who what their shot at fame. Distribution Most major retailers such as Tower records will not carry a CD unless the record has a distributor. A strong distributor ensures that your CD will be available in enough places so your CD will sell to ultimately make money. Major labels use large distributors who are better able to get record stores stocked. After years of consolidation, there are only 5 major national wholesale distributors in the US who are owned by conglomerates who also own major record labels. They are: · BMG (distributes Arista, BMG and RCA) · EMI (distributes Capital and Virg.) · Sony Music (distributes Columbia, Epic and Sony) · Universal Music Group (distributes Interscope, Island/Def Jam, and MCA) · WEA (distributes Atlantic, Elektra and Warner Bros.) Distribution via the Internet Record labels and artists are increasingly using the web to distribute their music. Unknown artists can also use sites like this mZeus. com, http://www. mZeus. com, to generate buzz about their music. However, unknown artists will still have to work hard to get the buzz going about their music. Ultimately, signing a contract with a major record label is the way to go. The major record labels have the financial muscle and people to give you a good shot at becoming famous. Let’s face it. It’s all about money! Yes, the entertainment industry seems fun and exciting, but people are in it to make money. As an artist the most important contract in the music industry is the record contract. The royalty is a portion of money from record sales paid to the artist for his/her music. The record contract which is a negotiated legal agreement between the record label and artist will state how much royalty an artist is entitled to among other things. An artist should have a good understanding of how royalties are calculated. A good music attorney will help with this process by making sure the artist is paid what he/she deserves. A 13% royalty for one artist may be a lot of money, however a 13% royalty for another maybe “chump change”. So this is how the numbers work. An artist successfully signs a record contract. The artist goes to the studio and work diligently to create a CD that the record company fully supports. The record company via its distributor sells the CD with a suggested retail list price (SRLP) of $17.99 to a retailer for about $10.99. The distributor will take 10% - 14% of the $10.99. Therefore the record company will get about Ѕ the SRLP of $17.99. Independent record companies may receive less than Ѕ the SRLP. Major record companies will pay artist royalty as a percentage of SRLP. Rates will vary of each artist depending on how successful their record sells. For a new artist who never had a record deal or has sold less than 100,000 albums will get a typical royalty rate of 12% to 14% of the SRLP. For an independent record label it maybe 10% to 14% of the SRLP. For established artists who have a track record of selling 200,000 to 500,000 albums the royalty rate maybe 14% to 16%. For artists who have sold over 750,000 albums the royalty rates maybe 16% to 18%. As you can see, the more successful the artist is, the higher the royalty. Additionally, royalty maybe based on how well the record sells. For instance, the record contract may state that an artist will get 12% for the first 100,000 units sold, 14% for 100,001 to 300,000 units sold, and 16% for over 300,000 units sold. But hold your horses. If you sell 500,000 albums and have a royalty rate of 12% doesn’t mean you will get 12% of 500,000 at a SRLP of $17.98 which would equal $1,078,800. This is because as specified in the record contract, there are deductions (expenses) that have to be deducted. To start off the bat, the record company will deduct a “packaging charge” from the SRLP which is typically 20% for cassettes and 25% for CDs. Second, more often the artist is responsible for paying the record producer a portion of his/her royalties. Typically a producer will receive 3% to 4% of the SRLP. Third, in the record business, the contract may state that the artist’s only generates royalties on 85% of the unit sales. For every 100 albums sold, 15 albums sold, the artist gets no royalty. Forth, the record company will hold a portion of the royalty money because the distributor typically has an agreement with the retail outlets to take back and credit the retail stores money from unsold units. This is very important, because a good portion of your album could be returned to the record company if the album doesn’t sell! The money that’s held back is called a reserve. Reserves maybe held for 2 years before it’s paid to the artist. Typically a major record label will hold a reserve of 25% to 40% of the royalties. Fifth, advances paid from the record company to the artist are deducted from the artist’s royalty. Advances include but are not limited to the: · Recording studio expenses (new artists to an independent my get an advancement of $0 to $80,000, new artist to a major record label $150,000 to $400,000 · Hiring independent promoters to help sell the albums · Cost of making a music video (promotions and an inexpensive music video can cost $150,000 to $200,000. When money is made for the record sales, these costs are deducted from the artist’s royalties. This is called re-coupment. Therefore, if the artist’s record isn’t successful, the artist may never see a dime. If the royalties are less than the deductions, they artists may well owe the record company money by being in the red! This negative cost maybe carried over to the next album release. A good record contract will not allow a negative cost from one album to be carried over to another album (cross collateralization). If there isn’t another album the record company generally eats the loss. There are many other costs that the record company will not charge the artists. This includes marketing and in-house promotions (free CD give away, etc.). So how much does an artist make for a gold album (500,000 albums sold). Check out the math: CD (suggested retail list price SRLP) = $ 17.99 Less CD Packaging of 20% = $ -4.50 NET = $ 13.49 Times: Net artist royalty rate (12% - 3% to producer) = X 9% Gross royalty per CD (9% of $13.48) = $ 1.21 Times 500,000 albums = $ 500,000 SUB TOTAL = $ 605,00 Times: Royalty bearing % (15% o = no royalty) = X 85% Gross Royalty = $ 514,250 Less advances: Recording, promo, music video, tour = $ -350,000 TOTAL ROYALTY TO ARTIST = $ 164,250 - Reserves (35%) returned by retailer) = $ -57,487.50 (1) ACTUAL ROYALTY PAID TO ARTIST = $ 106,762.50 (1)Reserves will be paid to artist in 2 years if no CDs returned by retailer Remember the artist still has to pay TAXES! Don’t forget Uncle Sam has to get his cut! Also, don’t forget the Personal Manger, the Attorney, the Accountant, the Agent and other numerous expenses. However, there are many other royalties that an artist can acquire. They include, Record Clubs, Compilation CDs, Samplers (low-priced albums in which a few artists are featured), Premiums (albums sold with other products, such as cereal), Film Soundtrack Album, Music Video Sales, Greatest Hit’s Album, Foreign Royalties (song played in some foreign country radio stations pay royalties, unlike the US), Master Use License (music used in a movie, television, commercial, the Internet, CD-ROM and DVD), etc. Of course because of the Internet, the rules royalties are changing. Many people now buy their music via the Internet. Just think, no packaging required and no distribution to traditional retail stores needed. Some websites allow customers to buy individual songs as oppose to an album. Changes are currently taking place on how royalties are calculated because of the Internet. Many attorneys are pushing to have royalties be based on each song sold as oppose to each album sold. So stay tuned!

Why radio won t play indie music

One Reason Why Radio Won't Play Indie Music

And What You Can Do About It

by Jeronimo Black

As I clicked on a popular music business forum, I was greeted with a question. "Why won't commercial radio play music by Indie Artists?"

My reply to this person was as follows:

"As a former Operations Manager and Music Director on both the Comm and Non-Comm sides, Let me break the reason down for you.

Commercial Radio needs ratings to get paid from advertisers. Most advertiser's, on radio, are ad agencies. Ad agencies base their "buys" (sponsorships) on a Cost per point ("CPP") basis. CPP is based on how many thousands of listeners a radio station can capture in a 15 minute period (or cume).

Many commercial radio [Program and Music] don't want to put thier ratings at risk, by airing an 'untested song' on the air. So what these commercial radio directors do, is, air music based on the national charts provided by Radio and Records, Broadcast Data Systems (BDS) and Billboard.

These charts are mainly influenced by the major labels via promotions and strategic alliances.

Your best best is to do like Knarles Barkley. Knarles Barkleys' single "Crazy" went #1 on the internet and radio couldn't help but to get them the single on the air.

Get your music on music submission sites, make some noise on the net, and get a CDBaby. com account so you can get your music on iTunes and start promoting."

I suggested this because the music business is going digital. Clear Channel has a partnership with GarageBand. com where they will feature a certain amount of new artists every week in on their website. Since Clear Channel is the biggest and most innovative broadcaster in the music business, it's just a matter of time before the other cowardly copy-cat broadcasters will follow suit.

The world is going digital, while radio continutes to operate using an analog business model. You can be successful in the music business if you change your marketing model from analog to digital.

Do you have what it takes to play the guitar

What does it take to learn to play guitar?

Playing the guitar is a great way to express yourself through music. If you feel a strong urge to learn to play the guitar, here's a quick self-test to determine if you're ready to take this giant step.

Test Mind and Body

Before signing on for guitar lessons, test your mind and body. Your mind should be clear to learn. Learning to play the guitar is like learning any other skill. You must have some free time to dedicate solely to learning - even if it's only 15 minutes per day. This should be a time of total concentration when you can block out the cares of work and life to work on your lessons and practice.

Physical Health and Playing the Guitar

Your body's physical health is also important. Playing the guitar requires holding a guitar in an upright position, either resting on your legs or held upright by a shoulder strap. Consider the strength of your back, shoulders, arms and legs. A person who suffers from severe lower back pain may find it difficult to hold a guitar for any length of time. If you know someone who owns a guitar, you can practice holding theirs to test your strengths and weaknesses.

Also, consider the physical condition of your hands, fingers and wrists. Some conditions that could hinder your playing ability include arthritis, carpal tunnel or frequent swelling of the wrists or fingers.

It's Still Possible

Even if you have a condition that makes it difficult to play a guitar, this doesn't mean you will never play. You can research online or talk with a professional instructor to find out if there are ways to work around your disability or physical weakness. For example, if you have back pain, you might find a lightweight guitar that's easy to hold. Or, if you have swelling or pain in the hands, there may be exercises to help relieve the tension. Don't give up until you've done the research.

The Relevance of Musical Talent

If you have natural musical talent, that's great. However, if you don't feel that you are naturally talented, don't worry. You only need the desire to learn and the ability to listen, read and practice. You learn to play the guitar by taking one step at a time - or one note at a time. Without musical talent, you might have to concentrate just a little harder at the beginning, but soon you'll find it to be similar to learning any skill.

Questions to Ask

After considering the above, answer these questions to determine your readiness to learn playing the guitar.

1) Do you have a strong desire to play the guitar?

2) Why do you want to learn to play the guitar?

3) Do you want to learn to read music or play the guitar by ear?

4) Is a guitar instructor available where you live?

5) If an instructor is not available, are you willing to learn using an online guitar course?

6) Once your guitar lessons begin, are you willing to practice at least fifteen to thirty minutes per day, five to six days a week?

7) Do you have the money to invest in a guitar?

Your answers to these questions should help you determine if you're ready to learn how to play the guitar.

You're only lessons away from playing great guitar music!

Who is mac dre

Mac Dre was born on the fifth of July 1970 in Oakland, he grew up in Vallejo, California and lived there most of his life.

In 1989 Mac Dre released his first album, an EP titled 'Young Black Brotha' it had 4 tracks on it and one track ironicly titled 'Too Hard for the Fuckin Radio' started getting air play in North Californian radio stations. In 1991 Mac Dre returned with 'California Livin'' and by the time he released his third album 'Whats really goin on'(1992) his music was being played all over Vallejo and North California for that matter. In clubs and peoples cars, it looked like Mac Dre was going to reach the big time. But his hopes and dreams were snatched away from him as he was put into prison as the police believed he was behind a few bank robberys. Mac Dre was followed 300 miles by police from the 'Bay Area' to Fresno, his friend was wired and recorded a conversation which he started asking Mac Dre about the bank robberys. He was sentenced to five years inprisonment in 1992 for this but he wasn't done making albums yet. 'Back N Da Hood' was what his fourth album was called, it was an EP which was recorded from Fresno county Jail by phone. The album shows that Mac Dre doesn't need lots of takes to have a song the way he wants it. In the same year he recorded some more songs over the phone and his record company made an album from them and some of his previously released songs, the album was called 'Young Black Brotha: The Album'.

Mac Dre was released in 1995. He got on his compilation 'The Rompilation' which was released under his new record company 'Romp Records' and sold over 60,000 copies, in the Rompalation Mac Dre appears on eight tracks alongside some of his 'homies' such as Mac Mall, Da Unda dog and JT the Bigga Figga. After his release he started working like crazy on his albums averaging on two albums a year. His first solo release after his release from jail was called 'Stupid Doo Doo Dumb', the very same year he released 'Don't hate the Player, Hate the Game'. In the next three years that followed he released 11 albums the latest of them 'Thizzelle Washington' got him the most fans and respect. In 2003 he made 'al boo boo' which was a cd with a free dvd and he released a dvd called Treal TV. His fans loved the dvd as it opened a window into how he lived his life.

If you ask a fan of Mac Dre whats Mac Dres best album they are likly to say all of them, this shows the consistincy of his work it was all fantastic. His career in rap was not a fair one though, he never got the commercial praise he definatly deserved. In 2004 Mac Dre released three albums 'Genie of the Lamp', 'Ronald Dregan: Dreganomics' and 'The Game is thick, Vol 2'. These albums had North California buzzing with excitment they thought this would be the man to put the spotlight back on westcoast rap. But this as of now has not happened. On November 1st 2004 Mac Dre was victim of a drive-by on Highway 71, Kansas City. The incident happened just after a concert he was doing in Kansas, the shooting was a shock, fans in Kansas enjoyed the show, noone from Kansas had any right to shoot a North Californian rapper as the Kansas City rap scene was getting respect and money from that area. When Mac Dres mother Wanda Salvatto heard about the shooting she did not believe it. This was because she was told previously her son was dead from an overdose of drugs but yet he was fine, other Vallejo residents did not believe this either and were shocked and sad when they heard that it was true. Mac Dre was buried at Moutain View Cemetary, Oakland, CA.

Now in 2005 Mac Dre has many die-hard fans and new ones too, he is still releasing albums too! 'Da US Open' was released on the 22nd of March it is a collaberation between Mac Dre and Mac Mall in which they pick up the alter egos 'Andre Macassi' and 'Mall Macenroe'. Later 'Money iz Motive' was released, it wasn't a Mac Dre solo it was an album made by the 'Cutthoat Committee' which Mac Dre was a part of. 'Treal TV 2' is currently in its final stages before its released, on top of that Mac Dres record label 'Thizz Entertainment' has some unreleased Mac Dre material that they will be selling in the near future. To Mac Dres fans he will always be the best rapper from the 'Bay Area'.

RIP Andre 'Mac Dre' Hicks

A guitarist guide to surviving the gig from hell

Scenario

Joe is a lead guitarist in a covers / remake band. He is a good guitarist and cool under pressure. He plays for a band called the Psycho Nymphos. They are a five piece band with two guitarist, keys, bass and drums. The other guitarist also doubles as the singer. Yet this is Joe’s nightmare. As a guitarist, this scenario should induce uncontrollable trembling of all body parts and have you soiling your underwear. This, is the gig from hell.

Thinking that he starts at 10:00, Joe shows up at the venue with two hours to spare. Well, it would be two hours to spare, but Joe got given the wrong information. The Band is due to start at 8:30 and Joe hasn’t even unpacked his gear yet, let alone set up. They had been trying to call Joe on his phone, but it was switched off. Joe, keeping cool, unpacks his car in a hurry and somehow manages to get everything set up only 10 minutes late. The crowd is getting restless and the bar manager is furious. Joe is keeping his cool.

No sooner than finishing his finally tune up, the Nymphos start. After another minute of working out what song to play, the Nymphos kick off their first song. It sounds terrible, with Joe’s guitar to quiet and bass guitar too loud. The band plays the song half heartedly while they adjust levels and try to get things right. The crowd is wondering what the hell is going on, and the bar manager is wondering who the hell he hired and why. Joe is a little frustrated.

After standing around working out what to play next, the band begins the second song as suggested by the drummer. This one sounds better until the first chorus. Half way through the first chorus… TWANG…. Joe busts a string. Joe makes do for the time being until the solo, when he realizes that the guitar solo is going to be somewhat difficult with only 5 strings. Joe fumbles his way through until the end of the song. Joe is very embarrassed.

The band stands around for a minute or two while Joe replaces the broken string. Once that is done they kick off into the next song. This one goes OK, and the crowd seems to be getting into it a little bit more. The bar manager is starting to relax, and Joe is starting to enjoy himself.

In fact, everyone is enjoying themselves. And their beers. A little too much. The Nymphos are starting to get a little sloppy and starting to miss cues. Especially the singer. He is starting to miss when he is supposed to be coming in, and slurring words. While the boys in the band are finding it hilarious, the crowd are not. Joe is starting to get tipsy.

The next song Joe’s guitar starts making funny noises, and the sound starts cutting out. Eventually Joe’s guitar disappears. He randomly stomps on some pedals and realizes that there is no power. He was sure those 9 volt batteries were still good. Joe unplugs his guitar lead from the pedal board and plugs it straight into his amp. Joe is getting angry, just like the crowd and the bar manager.

Two songs from the end, the stage goes black. All the amps turn off and all that can be heard is the drummer pounding away. After a few seconds all of the Nymphos are standing around, looking stupid wondering what is going on. About 30 seconds later, the power returns. The band chats quickly and decides to start the song again. This time they get through it all. They play there last song the few remaining patrons, pack up, pick up their cheque and leave the bar, never to return.

Could it get any worse for Joe and his band, the Psycho Nymphos? I doubt it. But they could have survived all of these problems by being prepared. It may seem insurmountable, but I have played a gig where nearly all of this happened in one night, and we survived. It’s all preparation. This is what you need to do to survive this nightmare.

ALWAYS STAY IN CONTACT

There is no excuse to be late to a gig. With today’s modern communications technology, everyone has the potential to be contactable all of the time. Even if Joe got the time wrong, a simple phone call would have solved all the problems. However, it is always a great idea for a band to meet at a central location at some point before a show, and travel together “convoy” style if possible. This is a sure fire way to make sure everyone arrives on time, doesn’t get lost, or can get assistance if something does go wrong.

The spill over effect of this is that when you arrive on time, you can take your time and set up properly, sound check, as well as check your equipment for problems and in general, relax before the show starts.

KNOW WHAT SONG COMES NEXT

Unless you are some freeform jam rock improv jazz type thing, you need to know what you are going to play. Every member of the band should know what song is coming next so they can prepare for it without having to debate first what song to play in the first place. Have a set list in sight for every member of the band. Know in advance what songs may require guitar changes or change of tuning so that you don’t kick off the tune until everyone is ready. Moments like that are easily filled with some banter, usually between the singer and the audience.

ALWAYS KEEP A SPARE

It’s not always possible, but you should aim to have a backup guitar ready to go at all times. This is especially true for a band with two guitarists like the Nymphos. With the second guitarist still playing, and your backup guitar primed for playing, it is more than feasible to switch guitars mid song. It takes about 10 seconds and looks very professional. Even if you are the only guitarist, depending on the song you can sometimes get away with it as well. However sometimes you just have to grit your teeth and get through it. Once the song is over you can grab you backup guitar and play the rest of the set without keeping everyone hanging around while you change a string. Change it between sets or if you only have one set then don’t bother.

If you can’t keep a spare guitar handy and need to change strings, have some backup material. This applies to all band members. You should have a song that can be played when any member of the band is incapacitated. Then any running repairs can be made while the rest of the band covers.

STAY SOBER / CLEAN / STRAIGHT

It doesn’t matter what you think, you do not sound better when you are smashed. Sure, maybe to your ears, but not to mine or anyone else’s. A few years ago, I remember playing a huge New Years Eve show where there were two bands. There was us playing inside, and the main band playing on the outside stage. The other band I had seen many times before and they were great. In fact they were one of the most popular bands to play this particular venue. In between sets, they were heading up to their rooms, getting stoned and drunk, then coming back down to play their set is a semi comatose state. We were inside, enjoying a few drinks between sets and keeping it together. Our sets overlapped slightly and by the end of the night, whenever both bands were playing, inside was packed and outside the other band was ignored. The following year, we were asked back to play New Years again as the only band. In fact after that New Years gig we were booked regularly to play both nights of the weekend every month (think about that for a second, we were booked for 25% of that venues available shows). It may be fun to get tanked and play, but it won’t get you anywhere.

NEVER TRUST A BATTERY

To this day I still cannot believe people run their effects off batteries. It is just a disaster waiting to happen. Sure, I have batteries in my pedals that I swap out every few months. But they are the BACKUP for when some drunken idiot in the crowd falls onto the stage and pulls out a power lead or something similar. Or perhaps you accidentally leave a cable plugged in between sets and the battery drains on you. If you do need to run off battery, work out how long they last and change the battery in half that time. This should help avoid unwanted failures at critical times, and make sure you have extra batteries.

By the way, have you ever heard the sound a Tube Screamer makes when it’s failing? It’s awful.

WE DON’T NEED NO STINKING ELECTRICITY

There is not a lot you can do about this but ride it out. Although it’s not as bad as it sounds. When a venue looses power, you can be sure it will be up in less than minute unless something MAJOR has gone wrong, in which case the venue will normally shut if it is a building wide blackout. So for the next 60 seconds, what do you do? It’s easy. Nobody stops. The entire band keeps playing. The singer goes to the front of the stage and starts yelling the lyrics at the crowd. I am yet to see this not work. The crowd will start singing back. When the power kicks back in the band hasn’t missed a beat and the crowd will go crazy. It is slick and professional and will fire up the crowd for the rest of the night.

If it goes over the 60 seconds just finish the song and wait. Not much more you can do, but at least you tried.

JUST BE PREPAIRED

If you are prepared and use common sense, you can cope with any disaster. I personally have had all these issues, besides the drunken stupidity, happen in one night, and we survived by having an escape plan and sticking to it. It’s not that hard to come up with your own emergency escape route, and I hope these examples can inspire you to be even more gig ready.

Playing guitar - a reflection of your soul

The guitar, be it electric or acoustic, is the most versatile of instruments. You can strum a few chords, adopt a highly disciplined classical guitar technique, or play sophisticated jazz chord and scale progressions. The choice is yours. Whatever your bag, the journey to achieving your goal and the fundamental sound is the real buzz.

It's a funny thing, but music is unlike most other activities. Take football for example, there is no escaping the fact that if you want to play pro-football you had better be good and there are no short cuts. Technique and fitness is an absolute must. Musical expression is different and shares may similarities with the spoken word. A few well chosen words can be far more effective than a tidal wave of sophisticated verbal statement. So it is with playing the guitar.

Arguably, the most successful singer songwriter who ever lived is Bob Dylan, whose delivery is based essentially on guitar sounds combined with an awesome skill as a lyricist. His musical structure is generally simple - but the simplicity of the music combined with great hook lines and lyrics is bang on the nail as a musical statement.

So the fact to take on board is that technical ability has little to do with musical talent. If your groove is a simple country, reggae or blues feel you can be damn good and highly relevant without being a technical genius. The simple player who plays with feel and taste is a musician, the same as a highly accomplished classical or jazz guitarist. It is amazing how formally trained musicians, i. e. classical, or other technical jazz players, are usually the most ineffective exponents of rock, country, pop or blues music.

Playing guitar is essentially an attitude, combined with feel and the necessary musical knowledge to express what you wish to play. Don't be fooled into following the path of so many potentially great musicians and be fazed by more accomplished players. When you tune in to the simplicity of a player such as the great blues guitarist B. B. King, you can't help but be affected by his economy of notes, played in such a meaningful, soulful musical context.

Playing guitar has an infinite number of possibilities. It is the most adaptable, useable instrument, and it's the journey to your goal that's the fun part. You will never stop learning guitar. Each time you pick it up you will discover something new and it needn't be hard to play to be relevant!

Do you download music over a file-sharing network

It can be estimated that millions of people around the world share music over a file-sharing network. For this article, I am addressing the issue in America mainly because I am not aware of the laws in other countries. Do you think it is illegal to download music from file-sharing networks? What about music you already own? An important recent court decision will answer these questions directly and you might be surprised.

Recently the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit heard a case against a Chicago woman, Cecilia Gonzalez. Many plaintiffs including BMG, Sony and others brought the case against her. Gonzalez allegedly had downloaded over 1,000 songs through KaZaA—although she admitted to only 30. Keep that number in mind, 30. Many, if not just about all, people who download files over a file-sharing network don’t stop at one file. Thirty files can be reached in minutes to an hour without thought. In fact, it was alleged that Gonzalez downloaded 1,370 songs in just a few weeks, which is an average of 65 songs per day.

If you where caught downloading thirty songs over a file-sharing network, what would your defense be? Let’s look at two specific common defenses and see how a court might react. I have selected two defenses that I feel are most common, because they not only appear in the court case I have referenced, but many others I have surveyed would try to use them as their defense as well.

First Defense: I was simply trying out the songs to see if I liked them and then I planned to buy the ones I liked and erase the ones I don’t. (Simplified: try-before-you-buy)

Judge Eastbrook, one of the judges hearing the Gonzalez case, pointed out that this defense is not valid because one had many avenues to hear music before purchasing. Eastbrook names iTunes, radio, internet radio, Yahoo! Music and others as ways to legally try before buying. If this was going to be your defense, you will lose.

Second Defense: I am only downloading music that I already own.

This seems like a great defense, at first. You already own the music and the law allows you to create a backup copy. Ah, but here is where it goes south. Downloading music you already own is not considered fair use under the U. S. Copyright Law and your action is therefore copyright infringement. See UMG Recordings Inc. v. MP3.com, Inc., 92 F. Supp. 2d 349.

Furthermore, the try-before-you-buy scenario is really blown away by the fact that you no longer need to buy CD’s in whole. iTunes really helped change the legal arena in this respect because a user can both sample songs at their leisure and purchase single songs. The ability to purchase single songs is the big one.

In the end, Gonzalez lost her case. The thirty songs, that would have cost $29.70 at iTunes, will end up costing her $22,500 in damages—imagine what it would be if the plaintiffs had pushed for a decision on all 1,370 songs. She was given the opportunity to settle for $3,500 before going to court, which she declined—another bad decision. If you download music over file-sharing networks and are caught, what will be your legal defense?

Star disease

Having reached the peak of the mountain named "The world of Music" nothing left as to go down. The working plan sounds the following way – to reach the highest point and then to go down with the same speed. The second reason is in the so-called "star" disease. The 90 % are infected and the complications are reflected in desire to start a solo carrier.

The percent correlation is the following – just one ex-member of from ten bands opens his talent in solo carrier. But there is one incontestable fact that prevents solo. It’s an audience. People joint together to give the support to one favorite band. When this band broke up fans are divided into several parts. Let’s analyze everything. For example the number of fans equals to five millions. The band consists of five participants. When the band is over every participant has one million fans. Devoted ones leave to support their favorites.

Perhaps it is the reason of failure of many bands. Next reason is in the "hidden" talent. A lot of singers think that they are able to open the talent only solo. Some critics think it is the complication of the "star" disease. The syndrome of "hidden" talent is accompanied by being independent. But only one percent deserves the recognition. The best example is Robbie Williams who changed the style radically. The rest 99 % are left with the inferiority complex.

What is the football player without the command? What is the dancer without the partner? What is the president without the Cabinet of Ministers? What is the song without words? What is the singer without the voice?

Buyers guide to electric guitars

Live rock concerts were the rage in the 70's and they are still the rage. The essence of rock music does not just lie with the lyrics; it also lies with the electric guitar and the various sounds that it can produce. There are so many kids across the block who would give up anything to play like Ritchie Blackmore, Mark Knopfler, David Gilmour, John Petrucci, Steve Vai, Kirk hammett, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Carlos Santana, Jimmy Page etc. These men are not just some of the best guitarists of their times, they are legends.

Now if you are interested in learning how to play the guitar then the first thing you will need to buy is a guitar. Most people start with an acoustic and graduate to the electric guitar. It is quite difficult for anyone to choose the right electric guitar since there are hundreds of models and several brands out there in the market. If you are buying an electric guitar then you will need to also buy amplifiers, pick-ups, pick, tuner etc.

Electric guitars are available in a lot of variety, colors, and designs with the aerodynamic designs being one of the most popular. Don’t go for the first electric guitar you see. You need to look around a bit and check out the prices and models before you buy one. In fact, one of the best ways to choose a guitar is by the brand or by the style. Here’s our take on the four important styles:

Stratocaster

This certainly is a show stealer and has a typical style. The most famous is the red and white color combination, which was extensively used by Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits. The Stratocaster is from Fender and has a neck bolted to the guitar body. Apart from this, it has double cutaway sides, 22 frets accompanied by a tremolo system or the wammy bar and three single-coil pickups. Fender designed the first Stratocaster in the early 50’s. Some of the popular designs include:

1. Fender Deluxe Stratocaster: approx $600

2. Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster HSS Electric Guitar in Rosewood: Approx $1200

3. Fender Standard Stratocaster Electric Guitar in Maple: Approx $400

4. Fender Standard Stratocaster Electric Guitar in Rosewood: Approx $600

5. Fender Stratocaster Eric Johnson Signature model: Approx $1800

Telecaster

The Telecaster is another creative instrument from Fenders. It is more than just a guitar it is a complete orchestra. It is a solid body electric guitar and comprises of dual pick-ups. The first Telecaster was manufactured by Leo Fender in the 1940's and has a single cutaway body. It doesn't have the tremolo or wammy bar but has two different single-coil pickups. Some of the popular Telecaster models include:

1. Fender American Telecaster HS guitar: $900-$1000

2. Fender Standard Telecaster Electric Guitar: $400-$500

3. Fender 63 Telecaster Relic Solid Body Electric: $2500-$3000

4. Fender 72 Telecaster Custom Electric Guitar: $700-$800

Les Paul

This is a classic guitar that has been designed by Gibson. The salient feature of a Les Paul's is its set neck construction, which means there are no joints or bolts. The body is a single cutaway and rounded. It is equipped with two humbucker pickups as well as a raised scratch-plate. If you want to play distorted sound then the Les Paul’s will provide you with a varied range of such sound. Some of the legends who use the Les Pauls include Eric Clapton, Kirk Hammett (Metallica) and Slash (ex-G’N’R). Some of the famous Les Paul models include:

1. Les Paul Custom Electric Guitar: $3000-$3500

2. 1959 Les Paul Standard Guitar: $5500-$6000

3. Les Paul Vintage Mahogany Electric Guitar: $700-$800

4. Les Paul Classic Electric Guitar: $1800-$1900

Gibson

Gibson is one of the greatest brands in music and all their guitar models are classic and can't be compared to any. Gibson was actually started in 1902 by Orville Gibson and has been responsible for giving the world some of the best acoustic and electric guitars. Some of the famous models include the arch-top Gibson L5 model, the ES-150 electric, Gibson Explorer, Flying V etc. Some of the legends who have played a Gibson or are still using it include Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), Ace Frehley (KISS), Frank Zappa, and Toni Iommi (Black Sabbath) to name a few. Some of the popular Gibson models include:

1. Gibson Flying V Electric Guitar: $500-$600

2. Gibson SG 61 Classic Electric Guitar: $1500-$1600

3. Gibson Faded SG Special Electric Guitar: $550-$600

4. Gibson Explorer Pro Electric Guitar: $1100-$1200

These are the best brands in electric guitar. The other aspects that will help you to pick up a guitar include fretboard, the pick-ups, and the body. Full-bodied guitars are normally preferred as they can produce some of the best sounds that you will ever get to hear.

Punk and rock and roll revisited

Overview

Music genre is a cycle. A fashion trend to some who go along with the times, the type of hype and promotions that go along with it are critical elements that contribute to making it one of the in things today. Along with the musical influences are the type of clothes and appearances that are tagged along with it. The type of music really depends on the performers who preach this type of music. Appearances are totally secondary and only become identified once live performances or the better-known medium of spreading the punk and rock and roll music known as Music Television Videos (MTV). Live performances as well are sought after, especially when such musical compositions become hits in various parts of the world. The bottom line for the acceptance of most people is how such musical productions are accepted by its target audience, since for sure, all music lovers have their own preference of music and style.

A Musical Cycle for the Masses

Music is definitely something that most people lean towards to for relaxation and unwinding periods. These genres are not in season all throughout. There will be a musical era for each type of musical preference. The difference lies in the push given to the type of music in season. Capturing the nod of most people is something that is looked upon closely. However this is only applicable for a certain period of time. There will come a point where people would look for something different or would look for something different. Music preference also depends a lot on individual traits. Loyal followers to certain musical genres will always ensure a good following. For the parties who would usually go with what people are raving about is something that would entirely depend on which music or artist has been actively performing and building a following.

The Styles and Fashion Trends

Identity is what best describes the type of character portrayal that most musical artists bear in mind that would go along well with their musical masterpieces. Hairstyles, hip clothing, brass or chain linings and jewelry, awkward-looking make-ups and facial designs are only some of the characteristics that are immediately attached with punk rock artists and performers. Expressing themselves in the most comfortable manner possible is something that most people would really want to do. Ordinarily, people who would walk out on the street doing this for no reason at all would solicit criticism anywhere, but compare this to the trend setters when a hit song comes out shall merit a totally different insight. More so, such sight could even become a spark to get other people to follow suit and consider getting a similar suit of their own, though not entirely. The rest is totally interconnected from hereon until such spreads like a forest fire.

The Performances and Musical Offerings

There are a number of people who are easily identified with punk and rock music. Such artists as Santana and Jimi Hendrix are notable artists that will surely bring in a crowd whenever a new hit single is out in the market. Concerts as well will draw a sold out audience, especially in nations that are will get first hand experience on the hit songs of today by the artists that are making waves. The combination of tunes, loud in most cases, or delivered in such manners that are unique and different from that of other artists prove to be the benchmark for most solid performances. Upcoming artists of today are best typified as descendants who followed the footsteps of their punk fore fathers which date back as early as the 1970’s. Whatever the case maybe, no one would want to be caught flatfooted and lagging behind, especially when hit singles and fashion trends are there for their viewing pleasure.

How to add more plays to myspace

Ever wondered how to get more plays on MySpace? The fact is fans and friends judge your music based not only on your skills and talent but also on the amount of profile views and song plays a band has. An important factor for a band or artists is the amount of song plays because of MySpace chart ranking.

Song Plays

Increasing MySpace song plays will make your music seem more popular and could increase your mp3 sales or get you a record deal.

The leading benefits of more plays include; increasing your profiles awareness through artist rankings, better MySpace chart positions, fans actually listen to the songs based on plays, and the obvious of potential deals and gigs. Fans will take notice and visit your band profile out of curiosity. This in turn will generate more friend requests. This will also expose you to radio, managers, record labels, industry executives, band promoters, and other musicians. The rumored number of plays an artist needs to increase their profile views and song plays to be 25'000 for major label consideration.

MySpace Charts

Record companies are constantly on MySpace charts looking for artists that are not only talented but also show evidence of popularity within the page. Myspace takes a song plays daily average play count to determine an artist's position in their genre.

How do you climb up the MySpace charts?

Gradual increases are best, not exceeding anywhere from 5000 to 20,000 plays a day. If you take it slow and gradual, this will help you get better positioning on the Myspace Charts. The results will also last longer. You don't want the difference between your profile views and song plays to be so large because you may not be eligible to climb the charts as high as gradual increases. To make it into the Top 10 depends on your genre, most artists receive at least 5-20,000 plays per day to stay up in the charts and really get noticed. This is where fans searching for artists in your genre, will actually discover you. The catch is in order to be in the "Top Artists", you need more song plays. Unsigned or independent artists don’t have huge marketing budgets like the signed artists have. Some artists have started using software or hit services to boost the profile hit and play counts on their profiles. While the services charge more, a lower cost solution is increaser software such as Mp3 Song Plays Increaser.

MySpace Video

Until now, MySpace hasn’t really focused on engaging users to use their video service. In the last week “Tom” has even posted bulletins about some of his favorite videos. MySpace allows its users to embed video the MySpace videos to third party websites. You can get your MySpace page happening… all these things add up, hopefully, to a successful record. Some have even added a video or showcase to the requirement, because singers also have to be performers. You can also use software to boost the video plays to get a better positioning for your profile.

MySpace Friends

Are you tired of requesting friends or asking people to listen to your music on your MySpace profile? People tend to get curious when they see a high song play count and see song plays increasing. They will click and listen to your music and then convert to friends and fans. It is a must to get your song plays up in relation to your friend count. Users are always looking for that new song!

Increaser Software

It is important to have the right strategies and the correct tools in place. Ever seen those programs or services that claim to increase your profile views and/or plays? There is a piece of little known software that has been used privately among many MySpace artists. I purchase every kind of Myspace software there is to date. I have found the best software to achieve higher song plays and video views to be the Mp3 Song Play increaser found at http://www. mp3songplays. com. It will increase your MySpace profile stats including, song plays, profile views, and video views. The cost is a fraction of the price in comparison to the multi million dollar marketing campaigns the major labels use. In addition, if you’re not a band, it will also help with profile view count.

By using this strategy, you will get more MySpace plays. The best promotional times are when you released new music, attempting to impress people you are promoting to, have a lot of friends and few song plays, have a new video released, when you are at the bottom of the charts, or when you are tired of spending all day and night promoting yourself on MySpace.

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