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I blog all things for the unsigned songwriters, and artists!
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
Are you looking to expand your fan base, while keeping your existing fans interested and excited about your music? Could you use an easily-accessible page where you can list your band’s history of gigs, news, song releases, and everything else? Would you like to share more in-depth info with your fans than what you can post in a Facebook update or Tweet?
Many popular artists and bands keep a running, current blog page on their websites, and if you don’t already, you should consider starting up a blog page too! A blog can be an invaluable tool not just for your fans, but for you personally as an artist/band.
Your blog can include anything and everything about you as an artist, from your official updates, news and upcoming releases, to personal thoughts and statements you’d like to share with your fans and site visitors. A blog is also a great archival tool where both your fans and you can look back and check important past information, or just reminisce on your great experiences and history as an artist.
Our friends over at Music Think Tank recently posted a great article about why your band needs to blog. They list 4 great points about how having a blog page for yourself as an artist/band can really benefit you and your fan base.
1. Jimi Hendrix
2. Django Reinhardt
3. Jimmy Page
4. Steve Vai
6. Mark Knopfler
7. Gary Moore
8. David Gilmour
9. Kurt Cobain
10. Yngwie Malmsteen
11. Frank Zappa
12. George Harrison
13. Stevie Ray Vaughan
14. Chuck Berry
15. Alex Lifeson
16. Joe Satriani
17. Randy Rhoads
18. Eddie Van Halen
19. Jerry Garcia
20. Kirk Hammett
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Since 1995, the USA Songwriting Competition®, the world’s leading international songwriting event, has been honoring songwriters, composers, bands, and recording artists everywhere. This is open to all, regardless of nationality or country origin.
*Winners are selected by a Blue Ribbon committee of music industry judges including record label publishers, producers, A&R from Universal Music, Warner, EMI, Sony Music, and other distinguished professionals. This is your chance to be discovered by the biggest names in the music business!
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could simply get a list of the things “not” to do in home recording? In this episode of the Home Music Studio 1 Podcast I talk about 10 mixing mistakes to avoid. For more answers to some of the most frequently asked questions in home and project recording,
As every week, the new radio programme is available on the website of TalentCast. This time the Song of the Week winner is Julie Lamb, a rock-based singer-songwriter from New Zealand.
Before focusing on her own music, Julie Lamb played in various bands, from Channeling Janis - a tribute band, to 10dd - an acapella band of 14 singing 10cc numbers.
Now, Julie Lamb performs with her own 12-piece band (Julie Lamb Originals Band - the Lambinators). Their sound is a fusion of rock, blues and jazz with a touch of progressive metal.
In July 2012, Julie Lamb released her second album “Trippin’ the Light”, which, as she says, “wrote itself… it was only helped a little bit”. The album received great reviews and was soon picked up by UK radio stations and blogs. “Trippin’ the Light Fantastic”, has become one of 20 songs chosen for “1st Renaissance”, a UK compilation for Reddragon Ltd.. Another song from the album, “Time Flies”, is about to become part of the compilation “Jack and Jill” in Australia. The songs “Undone” and “Time Flies” are played on US radio. On Reverbnation, Julie Lamb is currently on No. 1 in Wellington Rock Charts and in New Zealand Rock Charts. The album can be purchased on Julie’s website, Bandcamp or iTunes.
Julie Lamb has recently signed up on SellaBand to raise funds for music videos for two songs from the album: “Waterproof” and “Trippin’ the Light Fantastic”, this week’s winning song.
Increasingly, the music we listen to is stored on our computers or streamed from distantservers. As a result it’s now jumbled in with news, talk radio, and podcasts. Fortunately, a new generation of media hardware is bringing this sonic bounty to us. Here is a look at three very different networked audio players geared toward different needs, at different price levels and with varying degrees of complexity. If you’re looking for something simple, Logitech’s UE Smart Radio (US $180) is designed to be a stand-alone replacement for the traditional kitchen or desk radio. Its old-school front panel features a single speaker on the left and controls—including what looks like a large tuning knob—on the right. If not for the sharp 2.4-inch color screen and a few extra buttons, it could pass for a standard AM/FM radio.
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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It was an April morning when they told us we should go
As I turn to you, you smiled at me
How could we say no?
With all the fun to have, to live the dreams we always had
Oh, the songs to sing, when we at last return again
Sending off a glancing kiss, to those who claim they know
Below the streets that steam and hiss,
The devil’s in his hole
Oh to sail away, To sandy lands and other days
Oh to touch the dream, Hides inside and never seen.
Into the sun the south the north, at last the birds have flown
The shackles of commitment fell, In pieces on the ground
Oh to ride the wind, To tread the air above the din
Oh to laugh aloud, Dancing as we fought the crowd
To seek the man whose pointing hand, The giant step unfolds
With guidance from the curving path, That churns up into stone
If one bell should ring, in celebration for a king
So fast the heart should beat, As proud the head with heavy feet.
Days went by when you and I, bathed in eternal summers glow
As far away and distant, Our mutual child did grow
Oh the sweet refrain, Soothes the soul and calms the pain
Oh Albion remains, sleeping now to rise again
Wandering & wandering, What place to rest the search
The mighty arms of Atlas, Hold the heavens from the earth
The mighty arms of Atlas, Hold the heavens from the earth
From the earth…
I know the way, know the way, know the way, know the way
Oh the mighty arms of Atlas, Hold the heavens from the earth.
Original Post From http://www.songwriting.net
The Beatles are known as the most successful music group in music history, selling over a billion records worldwide. The songwriting partnership between Lennon and McCartney is legendary. The Beatles collectively were also songwriting Ninjas, but they employed many tricks that anyone can add to their songwriting tool box. Here are 5 less obvious examples:
1. Mutate Your Chorus As well as starting songs with the chorus, some of The Beatles’ greatest hits open with a chorus hybrid that previews the title and hooks. The intro to Help has the same chord progression as the chorus but moves twice as fast and features the title 4 times (to the chorus’s 3). Use this trick and by the time you reach your chorus the listener will be hooked by the reassuring feeling that they’ve heard your song somewhere before.
2. Bluesify Your Melody We expect to hear blue notes like the b3, b5 and b7th in rockers like Back In The USSR but the Beatles often added these notes into more melodic material too. In Blackbird the final phrase uses the b7 on inTO the LIGHT and the b3 on dark BLACK night. Tricky to pull off if you’re not a confident singer — you might want to insert the blue note into your chord until you’ve learnt to pitch it correctly. Using it will add a soulful edge to your melodies. Also used on: Ticket To Ride, From Me To You.
3. Delay The Root Chord Starting a song on the tonic chord is a rut the Beatles managed to avoid a surprising number of times. Eleanor Rigby starts on C major (the bVI of Em) before heading to the home chord. It’s one of the many things that gives the track such an immediate sense of tension. Using this trick will give your progressions more forward momentum. Also used on: All My Loving, Hello Goodbye.
4. Utilise The Outside Chord Many of us employ ‘out of key’ chords (whether we realise it or not!). But out of 186 Beatles compositions only 22 remain in key! In Strawberry Fields Forever, Lennon pulls the rug from under the Bb major tonality by replacing the F major chord with an F minor . Bb Let me take you down ‘cos I’m going Fm to… It’s like the stomach drop you experience on the crest of a rollercoaster. Later he creates a disorientating momentary high by replacing the Gm with a G major. Eb Nothing to get G hung about Outside chords will surprise your listeners and freshen your melodies. Also used on: I Am The Walrus, Fool On The Hill.
5. Restate Your Lyrics The Beatles didn’t make their lyrics memorable just by repeating sections wholesale. They also repeated and adapted words, phrases and sentence structures. Take A Day In The Life. 4 verses, a middle 8 and only one repeated line. And yet it’s memorable (in part) because of lyrical links like these - I read the news/saw a film today, oh boy and though the news was rather sad/holes were rather small found my way downstairs/coat/way upstairs I just had to laugh/look Using this subtle trick will make your lyrics sticky and give a sense of unity to a track.
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Songwriting is art. Like all art, songs require a healthy dose of inspiration, which is nearly impossible to predict or control. In that way, the spark that results in the creation of a song is a gift but the rest of the process is nothing more (or less) than good, old-fashioned work. By following through in a variety of different ways, you stand a much better chance of achieving the goal of getting your songs out in the world and hopefully generating some income for you.
1. The Song Gets Finished. We all have them: bits and pieces of what seemed like a good start to a song that have languished in notebooks or lost folders on our laptops. This is an unavoidable and necessary part of the creative process, but there comes a time when some of these ideas should be finished. Not all songs come easily and, on occasion, some of the best ones are ideas that just needed a little elbow grease to finish up. By reviewing some of these orphaned ideas from time to time, you’ll often find that there’s something well worth finishing. By following through in this way, you’ll end up with songs that might not otherwise have happened.
2. The Song Gets Demoed. Having a finished song is a victory in and of itself. That being said, the reality of our business is that these finished songs need professional demos in order to give them (and you) a fighting chance of being acknowledged by the decision-makers in the music industry Having a bunch of great songs that aren’t presentable isn’t a viable way of pursing a professional songwriting career. By the way, not every song you write will be demo worthy but for those that are, following through with a plan on how and when to make high quality recordings of them is a big step towards having your songs generate income for you. Like any business, you need to invest money in order to eventually make it.
3. The Song Gets Cut/Placed. Okay, so you’ve got a great song and a beautiful sounding recording of it. Congratulations. However, if only a small group of family and friends ever hear it, then it might as well not exist in the eyes (and ears) of the industry. I’ve talked about this in previous articles, but there is nothing romantic about pitching your songs. It’s work. Still, it is an absolute necessity if you’re hoping to sell your music. Follow-through can take a variety of forms here, including reading industry pitch sheets to find artists looking for new material, seeing which music supervisors are looking for songs for a film or television show and even making sure that an up-and-coming artist in your community (without a record deal) has a chance to put their vocal over the instrumental mix of your existing demo. In other words, get your songs out there. By the way, just in case you think sending your song to someone means your work is done here, it’s the follow-up (and follow-up and follow-up) that separates the pros from the novices. Never assume that just because you’ve sent in your song you can sit back and wait for your phone to ring. I highly recommend placing a note on your calendar to follow up with an email or phone call two weeks later and two weeks after that if you still haven’t heard anything. By following through on your pitches and following through on your follow-through (getting my point?), you’ll give yourself a fighting chance of getting your songs heard — after that, the sky’s the limit.
Talent is a wonderful thing. On some level, we’ve all got it. However, what separates the success stories from the tragically unrecognized geniuses is what you do after the inspiration is over. By digging in, doing the work and following through you’ve got a much better shot at the kind of songwriting success we all dream about.
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