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I blog all things for the unsigned songwriters, and artists!
Recording Acoustic Guitars is easy, all you have to do is plug a microphone into a recorder, place the microphone in front of the acoustic guitar, press recorder and start playing. Its that easy and you might get a good recording but, there are things you can do to get better recordings.
Just by changing the position of the microphone in relation to the guitar will have an affect on the way the acoustic guitar recording will sound. And, by using a different type of microphone will affect the sound of the guitar recording. Here are a few things you can try, but, just remember, one way isn’t necessarily better than another, you will just get a different result. So it’s important to experiment until you get the sound that you like. One important thing is your guitar needs to be in tune so it’s best to use a guitar tuner to keep it in tune.
Last Tuesday night I was invited to be on the judge’s panel for Puckett’s “rising star” program here in Franklin, Tennessee. Haven’t done one of these types of events in a long time and wanted to share some thoughts. On this night we were judging the song, not the artist. Puckett’s, along with the Bluebird and a few others, do a great job of showcasing and supporting new writers and established ones.
Everyone asks for songwriting tips. I recently bought a book about songwriting tips and it had some great advice. You know what the best songwriting tip is? It’s from an ad jingle…..just do it. Just write songs. I know it sounds simple, but the best thing you can do is just write. In fact writing songs is no greater than imitating what you hear. A really good songwriter is the person who is able to HEAR a great song and THEN imitate it. 90% of songs on the radio don’t qualify as ‘good’ songs. You must first understand what makes a good song. However, if you’re after the cash and not the credit then you’ll quickly learn to 1) give in and write mediocre songs (and be a GREAT salesman), 2) carefully balance musical greatness with commercial music, or 3) just become a great song writer. Of course you will always continue working on your songwriting technique as you grow. Consider taking various songwriting classes, attending songwriting workshops and songwriting camp.
Now that you know the greatest songwriting tip (just write songs), one question remains. How do you make money with music and songwriting?
Royalties are your songwriting money. You get paid from the use of your song. There are four types of royalties earned from songs - mechanical, performance, synchronization and print. The publisher of your song (whether it’s you or someone else) collects the mechanical, synchronization and print royalties, and the performing rights organizations such as BMI, ASCAP and SESAC (or SOCAN in Canada) distribute royalty checks for performances a few times a year.
Mechanical royalties are what you call the money you make from sales of physical records, tapes, CDs, DVD’s, etc. There is a fixed rate per song that you will get paid. For example, at the time of writing the rate is 8 cents. Let’s say you have one song on a CD and it sells 100,000 copies then you’ll make $8000. If you wrote 10 songs on that CD, you would have $80,000. Unless you self publish it is traditional to split that 50% with the publisher. So quickly learn about publishing and become your own publisher!
Now let’s say you wrote one song on an album that sold a million copies - $80,000 in mechanical royalties. Then they released a CD single of your song and it sold 100,000 copies (not to mention hit the airwaves for performance royalties - discussed below). The CD single contained the original version of the song plus 4 dance remixes. That’s 8 cents for every remix version of that song on every album sold - another 8 cents times by 5 versions = 40 cents x 100,000 copies = $40,000. You can see how this can add up fast. It’s compounded for each song you have on that album or single and this continues as long as the song is selling albums, years down the road. At the end of the year some merchandiser like Time Life does a ‘Best of 200x’ CD, advertises it all over television and in comes more money. Five years down the line someone covers your song, or it crosses over to country, or it winds up on a tv show or ad commercial. Big money my friend. It is to your advantage to work on your songwriting technique and introduce yourself into the songwriting market fast. Check out some of the recommended books found on this site.
Here’s another big one. This is a major source of money for any writer. This typically pertains to the money you will earn from radio airplay, television, jukeboxes, music services and live performances.
Radio and television stations pay yearly license fees to the performing rights organizations and are typically negotiated as a percentage of their advertising revenue. Performance royalties can include cable tv, concerts, health clubs, museums, airlines, music on hold, restaurants, trade shows, internet radio, and anyone else required to pay fees to play music.
So how do they know when your song is played? It varies based on the performing rights society. I used to work in radio and every three months we were asked to log every song we played for a certain period of time, usually one week. Luckily we were already computer generated so we just printed off the play list hour by hour, marked songs they were interested in, noted the song, artist and society responsible for the copyright, and then fill in by hand any information that got played manually, like request shows. The performing rights society then used this information as a ‘sampling’ of what was being played in similar markets. Then they apply statistical formulas to determine how much money each songwriter that was played during that period received. Keep in mind that this assumes what was played during that sampling week was the same thing played for the entire 3 month quarter!
Radio Airplay Secrets
As an artist, a good thing to do after writing your own songs, working on your songwriting technique, and getting a good understanding of the music business, is becoming friendly with the music directors at some radio stations, and make sure your song is getting played in regular rotation during a reporting period. It’s not unheard of for a nobody artist with two turntables and a microphone to get a $300 check from airplay at one college station during a reporting period. That money can buy a fancy new microphone…..and the publicity gained is probably enough to capture a few gigs. Multiply that by a few songs over time, a few radio stations, bigger markets that pay more fees to the performing rights societies, etc.
Live ‘in studio’ appearances for local radio shows during a reporting period is another great earner. Let’s say you know a DJ who features local bands. You’ve got a CD. Find out when the reporting period is and have him interview you during his 60 min show and play a few cuts off your CD. Maybe he will go on vacation and replay that interview tape during the next reporting period. Money in the bank.
As time goes on, there are systems being put into place that will capture each song played and therefore give a more accurate royalty payout for those artists that deserve it, instead of just those getting aired during the sampling period. In which case ANY airplay you get is as good as cash.
Synch royalties can be substantial but they are a little different from the others. Synch typically means licensing the right to record the music or songs in synch with the pictures of film or TV movies. How much you get for this is usually negotiated between the publisher and the producer of the flick.
If cranking out instrumental music is your thing then this may be a market for you to break into. Background music in a movie would be a good example (not necessarily film scoring). Unless you have a previously popular song there’s a good chance that you’ll work for a flat fee plus screen credit, foregoing the synch royalties for the chance to do it again.
Songwriting Craft and Business
Even if you only intend on being a singer or band member, by participating in songwriting and getting your name at least as a co-writer you will increase the money you make in music. If you are seeking a record deal this information will help you in negotiating rights to your music.
To delve further into how to get paid for songwriting, or other lucrative career options that we won’t go into here (like print music options, religious music or children’s music), I highly recommend you pick up a copy of The Craft and Business of Songwriting, Third Edition by John Braheny. That’s my songwriting tip to you. The book is FULL of great songwriting tips, and is split about 50/50 on songwriting technique and the business of songwriting. I don’t think any other book covers as much pertinent information to your songwriting success as this one. He also has some great stories and examples from his friends in the industry and from his time spent in the Los Angeles Songwriters Showcase. Although I have many music books on my shelf, this is the one that I refer to most and I recommend it as the book you both start and finish with.
Ok, we’ve all heard about this “poor man’s copyright” technique, right?
We’ll explain it once again, for those who have been living in caves, but before we do, you should know right off, IT DOES NOT WORK!
NO COURT HAS EVER ACCEPTED THIS METHOD AS LEGAL PROOF OF COPYRIGHT, so don’t waste your time. But here’s what it’s supposed to do (and why it doesn’t work).
The poor man’s copyright (not copywrite) is when you mail either a CD, or sheet music, or some other physical form of your music, to yourself (or a friend) by regular, or certified mail.
The concept sounds reasonable: A few days later, when you get your songs or music back in the mail, you DON’T open the envelope. You just hide it away somewhere, in a drawer, a safety deposit box, with your underwear, and just wait until someday when someone tries stealing your songs or music.
Then you whip out your sealed envelope, bring it to Court during your copyright infringement lawsuit, and let the Judge open it.
Then the Judge is supposed to think that the postmark on the envelope “proves” that the songs or music inside were in existence as of that date! So, assuming the bad guy who has stolen your music started playing your music after your postmarked date, the Judge is supposed to stand up and cheer, tell the jury you win your copyright case, award you millions in damages and you go home, record your song and win American Idol!
Only problem is… as we’ve already said, there are NO courts that have ever used a postmark from an envelope as proof in a copyright case!
Why doesn’t it work you ask? Plenty of reasons:
In fact, there are SO many ways to tamper or manipulate the postmarked envelope, or the supposed “copyrighted” music inside, that we couldn’t fit them all on just this one page. But here’s a few quick examples:
The most obvious way to “game” this method is to just mail yourself an empty envelope and just barely seal it (or don’t seal it at all). Then when you get it back with its postmark, you just store it until you want to steal someone’s song maybe years later.
Then you stick the words and music to someone else’s song into your empty envelope with the old postmark and seal it up REAL GOOD. And, presto, now you’ve got “proof” that you created that song way back when it was postmarked — since it’s “obviously” been in that “sealed” envelope all that time!
[And if you’re really clever, you could also save some old newspaper article, with a date the same as the postmark, and stick it in with your newly-sealed song years later…]
Or even if you didn’t try to cheat, how do you plan on verifying the security of the sealed envelope? Bringing in scientific experts to verify you haven’t played with the envelope seals? NO expert could testify to that (or when exactly the envelope was sealed or resealed)!
Or, how are you going to prove the postmark, or certified mail notice, is genuine? Find the post office person who stamped it? Yeh, right.
And then, of course, there’s the problem of BIAS. Who will testify in court about preparing the envelope, sealing it, mailing it, getting it delivered back to your address, who handled it, how it was never opened, etc. etc.? YOU? Your friends? Your relatives? Do you see the problem with that?
YOU (and your friends and relatives) are NOT independent, unbiased witnesses. You (and people connected with you) have an obvious stake in the outcome of any copyright case which involves YOU! Having someone who wants to win in court (or a friend) also be a witness in the same case is about the WORST thing you can do! Ask any lawyer… NO ONE WILL BELIEVE SUCH BIASED WITNESSES. When it comes to copyright issues, you always want unbiased, independent witnesses testifying!
As you can see, there are endless ways to cheat using this “poor man’s copyright” routine. So don’t waste your time since it won’t protect you or your songs.
For most composers, their songs are just too important to take such stupid chances leaving them unprotected with the farce known as the “poor man’s copyright.” Especially when you can get real protection so inexpensively, using an INDEPENDENT, UNBIASED, RELIABLE service, such as SongRegistration.com
Written By: Wray Herbert
I had the good fortune to come of age during the richest musical epoch — well, ever. The Grateful Dead, the Beatles, Dylan, Janis Joplin, Zappa. I could go on and on. The ’60s witnessed an unparalleled burst of musical creativity, ranging from Cream to CCR to Hendrix and to Neil Young and Paul Simon and Joni Mitchell. There is simply no match — not before nor since — for this outpouring of enduring song. And what’s more, nobody really disputes this.
Okay, okay. I wrote all those superlatives in part to provoke a reaction. There are people who dispute this claim, and indeed some are among my own friends and family. They say that ’60s music just seems incomparable to me because I was a young man when I encountered it. If I keep going back to Leonard Cohen and The Doors even today, they say, it’s only because those melodies were seared into my neurons when I was youthful and impressionable.
It’s hard to prove, one way or the other. But my critics do have some psychological science on their side. My musical preferences could be part of what scientists call the “reminiscence bump” — a peak in personal memories, of all kinds, that consistently comes in late adolescence and early adulthood. That is, we all remember more detail, more clearly, from this stage of our development. Since music is so emotional and personal and memorable, doesn’t it make sense that it would peak the same way?
That’s the question that Cornell University psychological scientist Carol Lynne Krumhansl set out to explore — or one of the questions. She wanted to see just how our early musical memories intersect with, and shape, our other autobiographical memories. She also wanted to see how music is transmitted from generation to generation, and to explore whether this pattern may have changed along with dramatic cultural shifts of the past half century.
LONDON – A BBC program to air on TV and radio will see artists including The Stereophonics and Mick Hucknall attempt to rerecord The Beatles’ Please Please Me album at Abbey Road Studios.
Marking the album’s 50th anniversary, the acts will have just 12 hours to complete the work, mirroring the marathon single session that resulted in The Beatles’ debut album.
STORY: Paul McCartney Says Yoko Ono Didn’t Break Up The Beatles
The musicians will use the same studio, with all the tracks recorded in order for the event scheduled for Feb. 11 to be broadcast live on BBC Radio 2.
The event also will be filmed for a BBC Four special called 12 Hours to Please Me, scheduled to air Feb. 15 in the U.K.
The event will be hosted by BBC radio broadcasters Stuart Maconie and Jo Whiley. Guests on the show will include names from the original session 50 years ago, including engineer Richard Langham and Beatles press officer Tony Barrow.
The show is billed as the centerpiece of a series called The Golden Age of the Album — a two-week celebration across BBC Four, Radio 2 and the public broadcaster’s 6 Music station.
Said BC Four controller Richard Klein, “We’re taking a look behind the scenes of a really exciting moment in popular music history when some of our most iconic albums were recorded and trying to discover what the essential ingredients are that make an album great.”
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On a twisted highway of chord progressions and music theory, the blues scale is an express lane for beginning jazz soloists.
Sheet music is like a home cooked meal. You grew up with it, you know all the ingredients, it makes sense to you—it’s familiar. But then one day, a hulking beast barges in, gobbles up your sheet music, and demands you to play anyway. His name is jazz, and he’s got no time for notes on a page. If you’re new to jazz improvisation, learning the blues scale will save you hours of pain and discomfort. You can apply the blues scale to pretty much any solo, in any song, and at least sound like you have a clue.
The blues scale for each key consists of the minor seventh chord (in this case, Cm7), plus the fourth and flat fifth (F and Gb). While it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the blues scale for each key, you can usually fall back on the root blues scale at just about any point in a jazz solo. In other words, you can rely on the C blues scale throughout a C blues jam, even though the key may also change to F and G.
Beginners often fall into the trap of only playing the notes in the chords. The result is about as exciting as a bedtime story from Ben Stein. In jazz, dissonance is a virtue. It gives a solo texture and color. The flat third and flat seventh (both contained in the blues scale) are especially sexy target tones to play over a major chord, where those notes are otherwise natural. Even the blues scale fatigues with overuse. A musician should have a toolbox of other scales and chord tones to draw on during his solo, says Bill DiCosimo, a jazz pianist and chair of music and entertainment industries at Syracuse University’s Setnor School of Music. DiCosimo suggests using the relative minor blues scale over the dominant chord. So, in the key of C, the relative minor is A, or the sixth, and the notes of the A blues scale are A-C-D-Eb-E-G-A. Chord extensions, especially the ninth, eleventh, and thirteenth, also help spice up a solo.
You can learn jazz theory on any instrument, but you can master it on piano. If you are serious about learning music theory or composing, it’s helpful to have a keyboard or piano on hand, regardless of your main instrument. Since the keyboard clearly lays out every note, studying theory with a piano is like traveling in a foreign land with a roadmap.
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Original Post At: http://www.ehow.com/how_7155304_zip-mp3-files.html
Zip files allow users to compress, or archive, a number of other files (including MP3 music) to a smaller format for storage purposes. Since zip files are smaller in size, they are more easily transmittable through email and take less time to transfer between computers or devices. Windows offers the option of creating a zip file in a pre-existing folder, or to create and store it directly to their desktop.
1) Launch a new Windows Explorer window. Navigate to a folder where you want to create a new zipped file. Navigate to your desktop if you want your zipped folder saved to your desktop.
2) Right-click the location where you want your zipped file stored (either a folder or on your desktop) and hold your cursor over the “New” sub-menu. Select the “Compressed (zipped) Folder” option.
3) Enter the desired name for your zipped folder and press “ENTER” on your keyboard.
4) Open a new Windows Explorer window and navigate to the MP3 files you want zipped. Drag and drop your MP3 files directly into the zipped folder icon.
Focusrite are famous for their high-quality external USB audio interfaces for Macs and PCs. Especially their preamps get consistently good reviews as being especially clear and defined. After much research I decided to put a Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 on my Christmas wishlist.
During the autumn of 2012, Focusrite has released another interesting interface called the iTrack Solo. It’s pretty much a standard Focusrite USB interface like the 2i2 or the 2i4, but with just one input – a combined instrument cable/XLR connector like on all their other devices. What makes iTrack Solo stand out though and what’s given it its name is that it has an iPad connector as well as a USB connector. And of course it connects digitally to the iPad using the docking port, rather than analog like som earlier audio interfaces for iPad and iPhone.
If you want to record on your iPad and on your computer, this could be a really interesting option. This is probably the most advanced audio interface for iPad around. I’ve decided, however, it’s not the optimal setup for me, for a number of reasons:
One instrument input is not enough, I really like the option of two simultaneous guitars (for jamming).
No iPhone support – I use my iPhone with my guitar all the time
No balanced outputs
I already have to great iPhone/iPad interfaces (one Apogee Jam and one GuitarJack).
But for someone with an iPad and no decent external interface for their computer, this could be a great alternative.
SPECS FROM FOCUSRITE.COM:
2 in / 2 out USB audio interface
96 KHz, 24-bit conversion
1 Focusrite microphone preamplifier
Silver “soft-touch” aluminium unibody chassis
1 microphone input – XLR
1 Instrument input – ¼’ unbalanced
2 Gain knobs
2 Gain halo signal indicators
48V Phantom power switch
Direct monitor switch
Large monitor level dial (controls headphone and line level outputs)
USB Connection LED indicator
Headphone output – ¼” TRS Jack
2 unbalanced monitor outputs – RCA Phono
DEVICE LINK port (to connect iTrack Solo to iPad)
USB 2.0 Port
Kensington Lock slot
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Software for writing music has to be fast, intuitive to work with and should keep you focused on your work
There are as many different ways to write music as there are composers out there. Some write their ideas with musical notes on paper, some prefer to record them on tape (or HD these days…) while others use Software to get them down in reality.
In the Computer world it mainly depends on what kind of producer you are. If you are already working with a fully fledged recording package like Logic Pro or Cubase with built in notation, you might not need an extra Notation Software for writing music.
If you want to write a musical score for an orchestra as a movie score maker. you may need an extra software that is easier to write scores with. Let’s start with…
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The Akai XR20 looks much like any other drum machine. It has all the standard bits—pad grid, various function buttons and transport controls, and a data-entry wheel, and at the back of the unit, a pair of unbalanced main audio outputs, a stereo aux output, a headphone port, a couple of footswitch inputs, and MIDI In and Out.
It also includes a quarter inch mic input, in case you wish to perform using only drums and a voice, but the manual says very little about microphone, besides, “the input signal will be mixed with the audio,” and I couldn’t find a way to change the input from the audio. The feet on my unit didn’t sit quite flat on the floor, giving the whole machine an undesirable wobble, but aside from that, the unit looked typical and robust. When the unit is turned on, however, it reveals itself to be way ahead of other drum machines. The lighting system of the pads, which is a bright blue, is set up to be both useful and cool looking.
During pattern playback the lights go out, turning back on as the pad is triggered by hand or by the programmed pattern. It also has a distinctively large display screen, which aspect it shares with the Alesis SR18. The XR20 can accommodate 200 patterns—100 preset and 100 programmed by the user.
The type of drum line this machine is built for is easily determined by listening to the preset patterns. The first two patterns feature vocal hits, and the first four are called, respectively, Addidaz, Brooklyn, Killa and Blunt. The BPMS center around 90. There are one hundred preset kits provided, their audio drawn from the 720 samples which are on-board. 414 of these samples are categorized as typical drums, and the rest are called “One Shots,” which are composed of a mixture of percussion sounds and other effects.
The effects can be anything from scratches and needle drops to vocal phrases, Rhodes chords and string stabs. Using the indicated button, you move the pads between two banks of twelve sounds, which represent drum and one shot layers provided for each kit.
The sounds show up across different MIDI notes on channel 10 when the XR20 is used as an external sound module. Synth, which is a completely different, third layer, allows one of the synth sounds to be chromatically played by using the pads, or via MIDI channel 1 from an external source.
You can choose from any of 64 synth sounds, mostly synth leads and basses, but with the occasional piano or string included for completeness. Such sounds will probably not feature heavily in popular songs, but they are sometimes helpful when laying out ideas, or they can add a little kick to your sound.
Since the XR20 is a closed system, you better be certain you like the preprogrammed sounds, because you won’t be able to add new ones. The chosen sounds, however, are for the most part good, solid sounds, and creating your own kits is quick and easy. Just initiate drum set mode, choose a pad, then work your way through the edit pages to choose a sample, tune and pan it, set filter and envelope parameters, and et cetera. The stored pattern will then be saved with a specific kit.
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A song needs to do three basic things to impress a listener. I call it the songwriting triangle. A song needs to draw the listener in with an interesting lyric. A song needs to be “catchy”, as a song must please the ear rather than just reading it like a poem. Lastly a song needs to have good sound structure.
Below I will explain some of the basics of good structure and some common songwriting terms. If you have all three sides as strong as possible from the songwriting triangle, you will give your song it’s best chance at success.
If you have a weak side of the triangle or more, generally your song does not have a very good chance at pleasing listeners. It is suggested that you always continue improving your writing in those three areas.
Study songs and look at those three areas within songs that are successful. Now, lets go over some basic songwriting terms and structure fundamentals.
A song is composed of several items. A stanza is similar to a paragraph in a book. A stanza is a section of grouped lines. Usually a song will have multiple verses and a chorus. A verse is a stanza, or two of lines that give the details of the song. The chorus is a section of lines that generally contain the catchiest part of the song. Usually the chorus contains a songs hook.
A hook is a phrase of words or music that catches the listeners ear and if the listener remembers anything of the song, it’s usually that part. The hook is often the title of the song and is similar to a slogan for a company.
In most cases, a song contains a chorus that is the same or has only very small changes to it’s content each time it’s repeated. Some songs have no chorus, but most do.
A song format of AAA would mean three verses with no chorus for instance. Some songs use a bridge as well. A bridge is usually of different length than a verse and usually has different music accompaniment. A bridge usually will “sum up” a songs message, or flash forward or backwards in time or often give a different perspective or surprise twist to a song.
Here we’ve mentioned “usually” and “generally” and words like that because there are no rules in songwriting. There are guidelines or principals though that we will continue discussing here.
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Paul McCartney will sub for Kurt Cobain as Nirvana reunites for Wednesday night’s special Hurricane Sandy relief concert at Madison Square Garden. Nirvana’s Dave Grohl asked McCartney to join him and Krist Novoselic on stage for the special 12-12-12 event, according to The Sun.
“I didn’t really know who they were,” the 70-year-old Beatles legend told The Sun. “They are saying how good it is to be back together. I said, ‘Whoa? You guys haven’t played together for all that time? And somebody whispered to me, ‘That’s Nirvana. You’re Kurt.’ I couldn’t believe it.”
Cobain and Novoselic formed Nirvana in the late 1980s, and Grohl joined in 1990 as drummer. The Seattle grunge band’s brief but impressive run ended in 1994 with Cobain’s suicide. Later that year, Grohl formed the hugely-popular Foo Fighters.
McCartney, Grohl and Novoselic have been rehearsing in secret to get ready for the benefit, according to The Sun. McCartney also performed with Grohl at the Grammys earlier this year.
The Rolling Stones, The Who, Alicia Keys, Eric Clapton, Kanye West, Roger Waters, Jon Bon Jovi and Billy Joel are also expected to perform during the star-studded event. Producers believe viewership of the program could reach 2 billion.
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1) Determine whether you have the skill level instrumentally to teach others to play the guitar well and properly. Contact a teacher yourself to see if they think you are ready to teach guitar lessons to another.
2) Go to a few guitar lessons and make notes of how they teach. Think about which aspects of the lesson you like and which aspects you disliked. Then integrate the aspects you liked into your own lessons.
3) Begin gathering materials for lessons from music stands, music books, CDs of concerts or examples. Determine where you will have your lessons. Decide if you will rent a space at a music store, teach at a university or out of your garage.
4) Decide on a fair rate according to your years of experience playing and teaching. This rate can vary from city to city. Usually teaching fees range from $10-$200 a lesson, depending on your notoriety and skill.
5) Advertise your services through word of mouth, newspaper classified ads, magazine ads and school bulletin boards. Consider where you advertise and what type of student you want to work with. If you advertise on college boards, you can get anyone from experienced players to hobbyists.
6) Gather a few students and spread your good services through word of mouth. Hold recitals and opportunities for your students to display their talent and your good teaching abilities.
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It’s official: Justin Bieber was “snubbed” by the Grammy Awards. I think Bieber’s shut-out has gotten more attention than the fact that fun. swept the nominations in the top four categories. There’s a good reason for that. Everybody knows Justin Bieber; fun. is just now becoming known outside of the slice of the population that’s plugged into pop music.
With all the talk about Bieber’s snub, you would think that that every other working musician received a Grammy nomination. (With 81 categories on the Grammy ballot, it sometimes seems that way.) In fact, many other artists went unrecognized, including Nicki Minaj, Mary J. Blige, Train, the Beach Boys, Cee Lo Green, R. Kelly, Monica, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, The Band Perry and Lionel Richie. Still other artists received one or more noms, but were skipped over for high-profile “genre album” awards. Among them: Rihanna, Trey Songz, Little Big Town and Bieber’s early mentor, Usher.
Yet I haven’t seen one reference to how Bob Dylan was “snubbed” because Tempest wasn’t nominated for Best Americana Album or how Neil Young & Crazy Horse were “snubbed” because Americana wasn’t nominated for Best Rock Album. But then, Dylan, Young and most of these other artists aren’t as buzz-worthy as Bieber. You can point out that Dylan or Blige or Richie didn’t get any Grammy nominations and it won’t create a stir. Point out that Bieber was shut out and it’s big news.
Bieber had better luck at the Grammys two years ago. He was nominated for Best New Artist (though he famously lost to Esperanza Spalding). And his first full-length album, My World 2.0, was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album. Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, tweeted his displeasure with the outcome. “I just plain DISAGREE,” he wrote on Twitter. “The kid deserved it. Grammy board, u blew it on this one.” Braun also tweeted: “The hardest thing to do is transition, keep the train moving. The kid delivered. Huge successful album, sold out tour, and won people over…this time he deserved to be recognized and I dont really have any kind nice positive things to say about a decision I dont agree with.”
I sympathize. All three of the singles from Believe were well-designed to take Bieber from his early bubblegum image into the slinky, R&B-accented pop that made Justin Timberlake a superstar. And all three have been successful. “Boyfriend” reached #2 on the Hot 100, “As Long As You Love Me,” featuring Big Sean, hit #6 and “Beauty And A Beat,” featuring Nicki Minaj, is currently in the top 15.
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