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The Various Countries - A Rant About Country Music
It is no secret that over the past couple decades country music has struggled with it's identity far more than any other genre in the industry. At this point nobody can really claim to be a country music fan without being questioned what kind of country fan? The answers being seemingly endless, I've broken them down into a few main categories (but really, there could be so many more).
This category could really be referred to as "Nashville Country." It hosts probably about 90% of the country music out there. I often find people not wanting to admit in conversation that they're fans of this category. They like to talk about how they love Willie Nelson and mouth the words to Merle Haggard songs even though it's obvious their faking it. Then they get alone in their cars and unwind by driving down the highway, blasting Shania Twain on the radio, and singing along at the top of their lungs. Let me just say, there's nothing wrong with that, like what you like. Nashville record labels pick very talented, often attractive singers that perform with some great bands. They also have some of the top songwriters and composers in the industry working for them.
One criticism I would have against this category?In recent years, there has been a rebellion of sorts against Nashville music from musicians in both the Rebel and Texas sub categories (see below) with songs booing Nashville and praising the old timers. Sometimes this gains them popularity and they get so popular that they land a big contract with a Nashville record company and for some reason everybody is perfectly comfortable with this phenomenon. This is what I like to refer to as "Pat Green Syndrome".
Very liberal people are who you tend to find in this category. These artist just do whatever they feel like doing, and consequently there are not many of them, or at least not many of them that stay popular after their initial shock value wears off. They are usually independent and like letting it all hang out. A good example currently in the limelight is Gretchen Wilson. Others that haven't quite reached her popularity level, but have been around for a while include Ray Wylie Hubbard and Todd Snider.
Sometimes the guys in this category derive quite a bit of their rebelness from incorporating rock into their music. Good examples of this are Robert Earl Keen and James McMurty (I highly recommend both of them).
This category has developed into somewhat of a music cult, and it stretches all over the United Sates. (Note, this last month there was a huge three day Texas music festival in Colorado). It's popularity started off with the likes of Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Gary P. Nunn. What really sent it off in recent years was the popularity of Robert Earl Keen, Cory Morrow, Pat Green, and Jack Ingram. It plays extremely well in frat houses across the Lone Star State. While the guys mentioned earlier have taken off in a different direction, new artists like Max Stalling, Mark David Manders, and Ed Burleson have started to take their place. If you ever watch this development, it's easy to see that the Texas music industry is growing so fast that it will probably soon be just as big as Nashville's.
If you can sing the words to three or more Willie Nelson, George Jones, and Johnny Cash songs please come in. If you can sing along to Patsy Cline, Charlie Rich, and Hank Williams please take a seat. If you can croon all night with Bob Wills please let me get you a beer, I'm glad we met. Welcome to the old country category, sadly a lot of people find it boring here.
Real Old Country
Most people in this category know how to yodel. They've probably witnessed someone play the bones, if they do not already know how to play them themselves. The people in this category refer to each other as "folks" and recognize that country's roots derived from folk music. This category requires being able to enjoy sitting on a front porch sipping ice tea in the middle of the summer while some old man plays "Streets of Laredo" on an old Gibson. Indulging in campfire banjo playing helps as well.
If you're like me, you probably have your favorite category and then like some things out of each one. There's not really any one way to define country music, and with it being an ever-changing industry there probably never will be. One thing that doesn't change though, no matter which category, you can still dust of your boots and take just about any country song to the dancehall with you.
This article, written by Sarah Francis, was first published at MusicShopper.info - a great resource for music lovers. Providing information and resources about music shopping, it also has an extensive range of music reviews, music competitions and giveaways, and a popular discussion forum. It is also an important music reference source with a music website directory of more then 1,000 hand-picked sites listed. MusicShopper forum and newsletters subscribers are entered into monthly draws for Amazon voucher.
The Art Of Practicing - How To See Real Results
I have always believed that success, in practically any subject you can think of, is a direct result of "clear thinking". That is, the ability to understand very clearly what needs to be achieved and the action to set about surmounting very necessary hurdles in order to reach those goals. Less than successful people are either not clear in their goals or for one reason or another give up along the way. It's leveling that rough terrain, along with a clearly defined end result in mind that will get you there in the end. The success roadmap might go something like this:
How to Compose Your Own Music Using 8-bar Phrases
Some people think composing is this miraculous thing that only genius's do. What a myth! It's a skill that can be learned. What can't be learned is the intuition that guides the creative force. What can be learned is the technique. And the most important part of composing technique has to do with THINKING IN PHRASES.
Modal Theory for Guitar Players - Part 2
Playing the Modes
Learn to Read Music Online
If you or anyone you know wants to learn to read music, it's a lot easier to do than it used to be. The Internet gives us all access to almost unlimited information, and can deliver an incredible array of products and tools right to our desktops. Not surprisingly, there are some really clever products out there that can help you learn to read notes.
Oh My Aching Head! Can Music Really Make You Feel Better?
We all know, if only instinctively, that music has a profound effect on us. If we didn't believe that music affects us then singing lullabies to calm children and help them sleep wouldn't be universal. In reality melody, harmony, and rhythm probably impacts the human brain in ways that are far more profound than we realize. We all know that an up tempo melody from our favorite performer stirs and energizes us just as a slower melody can help us relax or even prompt sad emotions from the depths of our soul, but did you know that evidence has been found linking the merging of melody, harmony, and rhythm with pain management?
Anglican Arrogance: Small-Minded Choirmembers
What is "Episcopal" music?
Legal Free Music Downloads - Songs You Want at No Cost
It's all over the news these days. Download music from the Internet and you could be sued, fined, and/or go to jail. The truth is free music downloads, done correctly, are completely legal.
Guitar Performance - Make The Most of It!
Getting ready for any type of guitar performance can be a little scary at first, but if you are well prepared, you will find the experience much easier to handle. Whether you're playing with a band, or by yourself; are a seasoned performer, or a rookie; there are several things you can do to make the most of your performance. First and foremost, realize that you are not the first one on the block to ever feel jittery about playing your guitar in public. It's a common experience among musicians, and being a little nervous can even work in your favor.
Modal Theory for Guitar Players - Part 1
The Open Position Piano Chord
Chords. They're amazing. There's no doubt about it. Especially when it comes to piano playing and the Open Position Chord. Here we can use both hands to create music with. The chord is broken up into its main elements and its voicing is spread out which gives it a nice open sound. The sound that's perfect for the New Age style.
10 Ways for Unknown Musicians to Get the Word Out
When Clear Channel controls the radio and the monopoly newspaper doesn't like you, how do you win over new audiences?
50 Cent G Unit
His lockjaw delivery makes him look as gangsta as Marlon "the Godfather" Brando, but 50 Cent is no actor, folks. In fact, his unique articulation has to do with a hole in his jaw, the result of having taken a bullet in the face (along with eight other shots taken to the rest of his body). He managed to defeat the odds by leaving the street hustle behind before it was too late, transforming his life of crime into a profession in rhyme. Whether rapping about the streets, the clubs, or even certain candy shops, 50 has quickly emerged as one of hip-hop's most dominant and talked about superstars to date.
The Art of Music
Music is the art of arranging sounds in periodic time so as to produce a continuous, unified, and evocative composition, as through melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre.
Music Licensing: The Cold Cash Facts About Money for your Music
Where music meets licensing, there's money to be made. How much money? "I have synched quite a few thousand songs into productions over the years," states Peter Jansson of Janssongs, Inc., "and have charged anywhere between US$1.00 and US$250,000 for each one."
How Has Eminem Risen to the Top?
How is it that a little white boy from Kansas City has becomethe most well known rapper in the world? Starting from nothingand eventually moving up to a multi-millionaire, Eminem over thepast seven years has been in the eye of the public everywhereyou look. He has essentially entered a black man's business andgone to the top over the course of a few years, but how?
Throat Singing In Inuit Culture
Originally, Inuit throat singing was a form of entertainment among Inuit women while the men were away on hunting trips. It was an activity that was primarily done by Inuit women although there have been some men doing it as well. In the Inuit language Inuktitut, throat singing is called katajjaq, pirkusirtuk or nipaquhiit depending on the Canadian Arctic region. It was regarded more as a type of vocal or breathing game in the Inuit culture rather than a form of music.
Pakistani Pop Music
Pakistan is blessed with talent and when we talk about Pakistani Music, you can never stop picking up one of the best Pakistani pop song uptill now because there are number of such hit songs nobody can judge the best one in past decades such as "Dil Dil Pakistan" , "Huwa Huwa", "Mehndi ki Raat", "Na Kaho", "Dil Haray", "Ankhain Milanay Walay", "Wakt", "Neeli Neeli Ankhain", "Jaisay Chao Jeo", "Garuj Burus", "No More", "Ankhoun ki Sagar", "Na Tu Aigi", "Addat" left the audience agape and many more. Our artists' are popular all over the world. Many new talented artists in Pakistan are still working hard to bring quality Pakistani music.
Chords or Melody First... Which is Best?
There are basically two ways you can compose a piece of music. The first and most traditional way is to write out the melody and then harmonize it. Some call this working from the top (as opposed to the chords on the bottom.) The second approach is where you create some kind of rhythmic harmonic pattern and improvise (or compose) the melody on top. Now, which one is best for New Age music?
Five Secrets to Playing in the New Age Style
1. Learn how to Improvise
The Music Industry and Its Lack of Talent
So it has come to this... what we see overrides what we hear. What we see now influences HOW we hear. And what we see drowns out all that is heard to the point that we are virtually deaf.
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