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Composing George Winston Style
If you're a fan of New Age piano, no doubt you've listened to some of George Winston's music. What I find fascinating about his songs is how he creates them. Most improvisers/composers start with the melody, usually because it's the easiest way to begin.
What George does is start with the background. He creates an aural canvas over which he improvises the melody. This is an excellent way to create with because once you have the chord changes for the first 8-bars or so, you've pretty much finished a section of music.
Now after Winston gets his (A) section, it's another textural background that will usually make its appearance for the (B) section. The beautiful thing about this method is that it really frees up the right-hand! Once your left hand is playing the background, you are able to create melody easily. It's like a lead guitar player creating a solo while the band lays down the rhythm and chord changes. In fact, George Winston has referred to his left hand as the rhythm section.
Creating the background first is just another way to compose/improvise. There is absolutely nothing wrong with going with the melody first if that is what inspires you. However, it's good to know how others are creating so you can learn from them.
Edward Weiss is a pianist/composer and webmaster of Quiescence Music's online piano lessons. He has been helping students learn how to play piano in the New Age style for over 14 years and works with students in private, in groups, and now over the internet. Stop by now at http://www.quiescencemusic.com/piano_lessons.html for a FREE piano lesson!
The Revolution has begun - and it will not be Televised The new Artist Development Paradigm
In reflecting on the world of the Music Business in 2004, there were some very profound and dramatic changes that changed the nature of the Music Business itself. 2004 will always be remembered as the year the 'Big Five' became the 'Big Four' and don't be surprised if you're reading at this time next year and we're telling you about the 'Big Three'! Beside the Sony/BMG merger, 2004 will also be remembered as the year labels utilized aggressively utilized video games as a marketing vehicle for the launching of many of their artists.
Interview With An Up And Coming Musician From Toronto
Today, Norm Goldman, Editor of Sketchandtravel.com and Bookpleasures.com is delighted to have as our guest, Dan Goldman, Guitarist, Song Writer, Poet,Arranger and a musician of many other talents.
What is Guitar Tablature and Can I Find It Online?
The guitar is one of the most popular musical instruments and the online guitar community probably the most popular of its kind. There are thousands of guitarists connected via online communities sharing guitar tabs, tips and stories and there are many of websites dedicated to sharing guitar music, tablature and even guitar lessons. Some you have to pay for, but there's a lot out there for free.
How to Make $30,000 with Your Music Before Years End
As an independent musician and/or recording artist, if you did *NOT* earn $30,000 (or more) with your music alone last year, let's jump right in and get you started with doing so this year.
The Dark Side of P2P File Sharing
P2P file sharing programs are free. Period. But there are P2P scam sites out there that want you to pay them instead. P2P scam sites are rogue companies that have set up shop to fleece unsuspecting music downloaders looking for file sharing programs by charging a fee for an otherwise free service.No P2P file sharing software costs money. Exceptions would be a site asking members to make a monetary donation to help pay for bandwidth, hosting costs, and other administrative costs.Some P2P file sharing programs offer "pro" versions of their free software. But again, their basic service is free to the public. I want you to fully understand this, because paying a P2P scam site money can not only make your wallet a bit lighter, it can also make your computer vulnerable to dangerous spyware.That's right. These scam sites are only interested in making money off you. As well as actually taking your money by fooling you into paying them, they'll make money off you by installing spyware on your PC, so that they can get paid by sharing your online habits and personal information with others.For music download beginners, all of this can be very confusing. Why? Because these scam sites advertise all over the Internet. Search engines return results chockful of these scams alongside the real P2P file sharing programs; their banner ads riddle the Internet landscape; sites are promoting these scams to get their piece of your money.Most real P2P programs don't advertise much on the Internet. The reason is that they're not money makers. It takes money to advertise, and who has more money--the free P2P file sharing programs or the scam artists? You guessed it. P2P relies on word of mouth. The scam sites rely primarily on advertising.How Can I Tell a P2P Scam Site?This is the easy part, if you know what you're looking for. P2P scam sites often use phrases like 100% Legal, which is absolutely untrue. This is a trick they use to prey on people interested in P2P file sharing programs, but who are worried (rightly) about Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) lawsuits. Keep in mind that sharing and downloading of copyrighted files is, at this moment, an illegal activity.Another tactic is to use fake endorsements and recommendations from legitimate companies. Other cons are to use phrases like Direct Downloads!, Get Access Now!, Download Unlimited Free Music!, and other phrases that are promising you things they absolutely CANNOT deliver.How Does It Work & How are They Doing It?To be honest, I do not know the ins and outs of P2P scam sites. But I know this: all P2P file sharing programs are free. Think about it a moment. It is because music files are being shared free of charge (without artists receiving royalties) that organizations like the RIAA are mad and suing.These P2P scam sites are merely taking your money, downloading a little spyware to your PC, then connecting you to one of the real P2P file sharing programs. This is all convoluted by the nature of P2P, which is a series of servers networking files to one another. Unless you're buying your music MP3 downloads from a legitimate company, either per song/album or through a monthly subscription, you cannot be sure where your music is coming from.The legal status of P2P file sharing programs is confusing. We know that MP3 files themselves are not illegal. For example, it's legal to possess MP3s, to rip your CDs to your hard drive, and to burn CDs for your personal use. But, by sharing and/or downloading these files, you are breaking copyright laws. To my knowledge, P2P scam sites are not actually breaking any laws. But why pay for something you don't have to?One of the most common techniques these scam artists use is to set up sites that are misspellings or derivations of popular P2P file sharing programs. KaZaA is probably the most hijacked name being used these days.Other sites may not actually charge you anything at all, but they'll "give you the software for free" if you give them your email address. This too is a scam. Because once again, they're just sending you along to a proper P2P program, but after collecting your email address, they're selling it to third parties. Don't give these scammers any of your personal information!If you're on a website you trust, even this website, you may see ads by these scam artists, preaching their lies about 100% blah, blah, blah. For your own security, don't click on the links. They're still scams. (Many independent websites rely on ads to pay the bills. We don't always have full control over what advertisements appear on our sites. Keep in mind that most online advertisements are arranged and distributed by third-party companies who pair up advertisements with appropriate keywords. So a page that discusses "music downloads" is likely to have an ad from a scam site singing their own false praises.)On this note, there are sites all over the Internet that actually promote P2P scam sites. Why? I have my opinions. First, these scam sites are paying large sums of money to affiliates who promote their sites. For example, a scam site may be charging you $29.95 for their non-service. Well, they're paying affiliates over half (I've seen the pay-out as high as 75%) of that just for getting you, the visitor, to their scam sites.I Think I've Used One of these Scam Sites. What Do I Do Now?Stop! Right now, stop using that service. If you've got some type of monthly payment with them, stop paying them. Cancel your "membership," contact your bank or credit card company, and stop paying them immediately! Secondly, your computer has probably have been infected by spyware, and you need to remove it right away. I recommend purchasing spyware-removal software like Pest Patrol because they do the best job at clearing out spyware parasites.If you've been pulled into a scam site, just rack it up to experience. Their ad copy is very convincing, and you just wanted to "be legal" while downloading. Take heart in knowing that you're not alone. But you're better off now, with this information at your disposal.In my opinion, this is another reason to consider not using P2P file sharing programs as a means to get your online music. I think that these P2P scam sites will increase in number, and will use more clever tactics to get your money and your information. Until the peer-to-peer communities are regulated in some way, I fear that these types of activities will get worse before they improve.
Flaming Guitars! Minarik Fuels The Excitement Of A New Generation Of Musicians
Celebrating an endorsement between G-Man Music and the fiery axe-makers known as Minarik Guitars, Scott G (The G-Man) reviews the Minarik Inferno X-treme.
Piano Playing and Performance Anxiety
I'll never forget the first time I played the piano for an audience.
Guitar Practicing or Guitar Playing?
Just because you're holding your guitar doesn't mean that you're playing it, and just because you're playing your guitar doesn't mean that you're practicing. There is a real difference and it needs to be acknowledged if you want to improve your level of playing skill. Some people say they have spent the entire day practicing their guitar when in reality, all they've done was sit in front of the TV all day eating cheesy poofs. The sad thing is that they really do believe it was practicing since they had their guitar on their lap next to their cheesy poofs all day. Most of us know someone who does this and we may even be guilty ourselves.
Discover The Perfect Place To Perform
Once you know what your Unique Selling Proposition is as a musician (we covered this in the last issue), it's time to ask yourself what kind of venue you want to be letting those talents out in. This is the process that will help you determine your "Perfect Performance Venue" so that you don't waste your energy and efforts searching for performances in the wrong area!
Patriotic Music: Surprising Secrets About Those Flag-Waving Sounds
Whether played by a marching band, an orchestra, or a rock group, there are patriotic tunes that everyone in America finds familiar, exciting and uplifting. But how much do you know about how these songs were created? And what do you know about the people who wrote them?
The Future for Independent Record Labels
Small independent record labels are facing a different fight today to obtain a share of the music industry. The best possible means in which small labels were able to get their CD's sold vanished in 2003 when Southwest Wholesale Records and Tapes closed the doors. The ability to have their music placed in a position to be sold along the same shelves as the major record labels is becoming increasingly more difficult. The absence of competition on the shelves has generated an increase in profits for the major labels. What can smaller more nimble labels do to compete with the major labels?
A Dying Cat And A Nylon String Guitar
"Music isn't just learning notes and playing them, you learn notes to play to the music of your soul" ? Katie Greenwood.
The King of the Delta Blues Singers - Robert Johnson Still Stands at the Crossroads
Probably the most enigmatic Singer and Guitarist of the twentieth Century is now one of the most revered and respected of all Musicians who make up the Genre of the 'Blues'. I speak of course about the wonderful Robert Leroy Johnson. Born in 1911 in Hazelhurst, Mississippi, in a Deep South plantation, he, in his pitifully short life, has become one of the founding Fathers of the Blues.
How to Create an Original Melody
Here's a method I use that works. First, sit down at your piano or keyboard and just improvise. I suggest improvising first because music that is created in this way is at its freshest. It's not adulterated or thought up. It is pure inspiration. Now, there will come times during improvisation where you may say to yourself, "this is nice and I'd like to develop it." You see, now you have an original melody to develop.
The Ostinato - What It is and How to Use It
Ostinato means "repeating pattern" and is used frequently in all types of music. For New Age piano players, it provides a great way to lay down the background of the piece while the right-hand improvises a melody!
How to Play What you Feel
Many students think that being able to play what you feel is difficult. They believe you must have years and years of training in improvisation and theory.
The Acoustic Guitar
The steel-stringed acoustic guitar is usually credited with being developed by C.F. Martin and Company sometime during the 1830s. Although other "gut-stringed" acoustics were around at that time, it was the Martin Company that introduced the idea of crossbracing underneath the soundboard which enabled the guitar to support the heavier steel strings. Because there is approximately 160 lbs. of tension created by the use of steel strings, they should never be put on a classic guitar, for it is not strong enough to carry them. But thanks in part to C.F. Martin's new design, the use of steel strings on acoustic guitars became fairly common by the end of the 1800s, and by the 1930s it became a standardized component.
Music and Emotion
The Age-old Puzzle of Human Response
The Case Against Traditional Piano Lessons
How would you like to spend 4 years in a University learning how to play other peoples music? If you think this is ridiculous, you're right! Because that's what thousands of piano music students do each day.
Acclaimed Songwriter and Performer Michael Alan Releases New CD: Searching for the Heartland:
New York born singer songwriter Michael Alan, who records with the Indie-label Global Fish Records in Seattle, is an artist who creates without a prescribed musical formula. His approach to writing is purely straight from his heart, lyrically poetic and honest, and void of any sound-alike comparisons. Michael's songs portray a myriad of lyrical expressions and images that moves the listener through a musical experience which evokes excitement, tenderness, passion, and sadness. His ability to write songs each with their own personality reveals the fact that he is an avid listener of all types of music including, pop, rock, blues, soul, jazz, classical, world music, etc.
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