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Piano Playing and Performance Anxiety
I'll never forget the first time I played the piano for an audience.
It was my first concert and it was fairly full up. I was to play my first CD "La Jolla Suite" containing 12 pieces. There was to be one intermission and the whole concert lasted about 80-90 minutes.
Let me tell you that I was very nervous. So nervous I didn't think I was going to make it through. Suffice it to say that I really didn't enjoy myself. After many hours of trying to figure out why I was so nervous, the answer came to me - it was because I was self-conscious.
I was worried about how I looked, what the music sounded like, etc. I couldn't relax because I was too concerned about what the audience was thinking about me. And to this day, giving concerts is not my favorite thing. I realized that I didn't like being the center of attention.
What to do? For most people, myself included, playing in public is a fearful experience. Many suggest that you keep at it and eventually the fear will dissipate. But I ask myself why do it in the first place if you are scared. I have no hard and fast answers like many of the public speaking books would have you believe work. The truth of the matter is that some people are more comfortable in front of others. But one thing I think works is this: Start playing for very small groups of people and work your way up.
This desensitization process works better than most other methods because you learn that the audience is just made up of a large group comprised of smaller groups. If you can play for just one or two people and feel good about it, you are solidifying this experience. Then as you gradually play for more and more people, there is no fear because you do not carry it with you.
You see, if you play first for a large group, of course you will be self-conscious. But, by gradually building up, you don't create a situation where fear is generated in the beginning. Consequently, you don't carry it with you into larger performance spaces.
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!
Setting Up In-House Retail Sales
Now, that you are familiar and likely connected with online music sales sites, such as CD Baby, or combination online/offline retail sites, such as The Orchard, you are probably comfortable in having your music distribution and sales fairly covered.
How to Find Musical Ideas
The Russian Composer Igor Stravinsky once said: " A good composer does not imitate; he steals."
Defining The True Artist - Do You Have What It Takes?
"The real communicating artists seek unique expression. They are not interested anymore in sounding like their heroes, they are searching constantly, developing and refining their own unique voice."
Flaming Guitars! Minarik Fuels The Excitement of a New Generation of Musicians
From the Telecaster to the Flying V to the Iceman to the Warlock, some guitar designs are forever branded on our consciousness, and now there's a new one: the Minarik Inferno X-treme. The body shape erupts in furious fingers of flame. If ever there was a guitar design destined to ignite the imagination of young players, especially boys and girls who want to rawk, this is it.
College Radio: The Most Important Radio Level for Musicians
For the self-promoting independent artist, the idea of takingon a radio promotion campaign can, in itself, becomeoverwhelming. But, this idea is usually based on such artistsattempting to obtain worldwide airplay on a local budget.
Dance Musics Most Popular and Enduring Theme: The Declaration of Independence
It all started with Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive" in 1979, perhaps the biggest fluke in popular music history. To follow up her hit "Never Can Say Goodbye", Gloria's label issued a song called "Substitute". The track bombed. Everyone hated it, including the radio DJs and the public. Then DJs started to play the B-Side track "I Will Survive" and the rest is history.
How To Overcome The Lyric Writing Hurdles That Are Keeping You Behind
The lyric writing side of songwriting is known to create an enormous number of problems for some folks. No matter how hard they try, they are unable to write a single line that they can be pleased with.
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 licensing can be a very confusing subject. My intent with this article is to give you enough details on what music licensing is and what are your rights to use music in advertising and / or video productions. A few months ago I was contacted by a company that was celebrating 20 years in business. They wanted to put together a radio commercial that highlighted their celebration. Their request was to use Kool and the Gangs song Celebration in their radio spot. I explained to them in order to do this they would have to obtain a licensing which would cost them quite a bit of money. This was not an option for them due to their limited budget and ultimately they told me that they "went another direction" with their advertising. If I had agreed to use this song without obtaining a licensing I would have put both of our companies at risk. It was not worth the risk just to make a sale. Beware that there are unscrupulous production companies that will do this type of illegal activity so the best protection you have is knowledge. The copyright law protects writers of music by giving them exclusive right to their music. Once a piece of music is under copyright protection it is illegal to use it without getting permission to the owner of the copyright. There are actually two types of copyrights in the United States. One is the actual copyright which is denoted with the familiar C with a circle around it. This protection is for the actual melody, lyrics and arrangement of the music. The copyright is usually owned by the actual artist that wrote the piece or their publishing company. The second form of copyright is the actual recording itself. This is denoted by a P with a circle around it. This protection covers the performance of the song caught on tape or digital media and released on CD or other media. Many times a record or production company will own this performance right. If you want to use a song in a production, you need obtain a Master Use license from the owner of the copyright and a Synchronization license (often called a sync license) from the owner of the performance of the song. The fees for synchronization licenses vary greatly. Low-end TV usage (music is playing from car radio in a scene) can cost up to $2,000. In a film, the fee may be as high as $10,000. A popular song is worth more, possibly $3,000 for TV and $25,000 for film. A song used as the theme song for a film might get $50,000 to $75,000. Commercials can get even more money. Fees for a popular song can range from $25,000 to $500,000 plus per year. The typical range for a well-known song is $75,000 to $200,000 for a one year national usage in the United States on television and radio. I think you will agree with me that that is allot of money and usually way over budget for many video and radio productions. To get around these outrageous fees, music production companies sell buyout music. When you purchase a buyout CD you do not need to obtain a licensing to use the music. You can use the music hassle free and at a much lower cost. Buyout music or royalty-free, as it applies to my products, means that for your one-time purchase price, you can legally use the music in your productions for life of ownership. All copyrights of the music remain with Zebra Music LLC. My jingle licensing agreement allows a protected area of 200 miles. By doing this no other companies in a local market will have the same jingle. Many other production companies offer a similar buy out music licensing. I would advise you to read the licensing agreements with other production companies and ask questions if you have concerns. Network broadcast and international broadcast of buyout production music is cleared through a performance organization (like BMI or ASCAP). The revenue that these songs produce when they are aired is paid directly from broadcast station licensing, NOT from you as a producer. These performance organizations then in turn pay each artist based on the amount their song or songs were aired on the radio or TV. I hope this article has cleared up any confusion or questions that you have had about copyright and music licensing.
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.
Review: Audioslave - Out of Exile
Every once in a while a band comes along that really changes the way you perceive music, for me one of these bands was Rage Against the Machine. I'll be the first to admit that I, like most angsty teenagers was lured into Rage's music by their anti-authoritarian songs, and honestly dude, they said "fuck" a whole lot. Not only did the vulgar language lure me in but instead of writing about girls and cars, they took the time to write music about something that actually mattered, politics. Gimmick or not, the music was compelling. Soon after I first heard Bulls on Parade on the radio I started to really question why I was listening to a lot of the other music that interested me at the time. Slowly I began to drift away from happy songs about love and sunshine, and turned to songs that really had a purpose. That being said, I was very excited when I first heard that one of my favorite bands of all time was going to reform, and motherfucking Chris Cornell is going to be their singer. It was like some sort of early-90s rock wet dream. Soundgarden and Rage against the Machine coming together to form a band that would revolutionize rock! Or so they all said.
Beginners Guide to Music File Formats
Are you confused by the various types of music file formats out there? Most of you would have heard of the popular MP3 format, but are you aware there are other alternative digital music formats like WAV, WMA, RA and MIDI? Some of these give better sound quality than MP3 (e.g. the WAV format) but also need more disk storage space. Others like WMA give file sizes smaller than the MP3 format and are more suited for portable music players.
Establishing Your Mix
Now that you've spent hours and days and weeks and months recording your musical masterpieces (and you've also read my article "Tips for a Great Recording Session"), you have arrived at my favorite time in the studio; The Mixdown.
How I Learned How To Play The Guitar After Giving Up In Disgust
I was 17 at the time (the Beatles era), and it was considered cool to play the guitar. I had a little training in music in elementary school where I had learned how to play the trumpet. I remember that the only reason I started the trumpet was because my daddy had run across an old beat up horn that a woman was selling for $10.
Reaching For The Soul Zone
Every searching artist wants to get there. It's that magical place where something takes over, you know, when something bigger than you whispers in your ear and says "Relax - I'll take it from here!"
Greg Koch Fender Guitar History
The Greg Koch Fender guitar began to take shapeall the way back when Greg Koch was in the thirdgrade. Greg cut out cardboard Fender Stratocasterguitars, then Koch used his sisters sewing machinepedal as a wah-wah. By watching, listening and copyingwhat he heard on records he was able to advance quickly.
Soul Band for a Party
Was the request six months ago, a sixtieth birthday party, the client said. It got me thinking. There is a whole untapped market out there for people who lived as teenagers and twenty somethings through the sixties and seventies. They are all coming up to this big sixtieth birthday date and they all love the kind of music I love to play and earn my living out of! More than that, their kids are off their hands, their mortgage is paid up and they can afford to splash out on a big celebration.
Piano Lessons Can be Fun!
There are essentially two ways to learn piano - note reading or chords. For those who want to spend years learning how to play other peoples music, note reading is the way to go.
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.
An Interview with Angus Young of ACDC - Why He Plays a Gibson SG
Steven:Maybe more than any other guitarist ever, you're inextricably linked to the Gibson SG? What was the evolution that brought you to this particular instrument?
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