Archive for October 2, 2011

Glossary: Music


identify recordings (tracks or masters).

Article: Make Practice Perfect by Cecili Simmons

As musicians we’re all constant works-in-progress. Picture your favorite musical moments from even the most gifted of musicians/artists alike and I guarantee you at some point one of them will admit that during one of those times, they felt they were not performing to the best of their capabilities.  It’s an inevitable facet of the human existence, and a necessary hurdle to jump early on in your artistic career. Plain and simple. We can’t be “on” everyday. On the flipside, there are things we CAN do to eliminate this truth from ever obstructing our creative improvement ever again.

It’s similar to the adage of “doing the best you can,” and in the unavoidable events where things still go awry, it means cultivating a resilience that comes from being experienced enough that your “mistakes” are good ones- or not noticeably mistakes at all.

Yes, it’s a relative subject depending on personal taste and area of expertise. (ie: singing vs playing guitar) There will always be someone that thinks a band is garbage, but a strong stance is usually an indicator that a band has something of value in the area of talent to offer someone else. The point is, we will always make mistakes. See a mistake as a defined area for you to focus more attention on in your practice, and therefore not really a mistake at all. Not to mention, the argument exists that your inexperienced approach toward areas of less familiarity in your craft offers congruent opportunities for innovation in your craft. (Yes I’m an optimist!)

Now understand that when it comes to practice it’s not a battle of quality vs quantity.. but a healthy balance of each that form a solid foundation upon which you can build your dream creative yield.

An all too familiar example (and reminder that we all need to step up our live performance game) is discussed in Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers” in reference to the Beatles’ playing 1200 shows before achieving their success. It’s an obvious example of the benefits of frequency of practice and we can all assume that this quantity of work was a major factor in the Beatles’ success in becoming major.

On the other hand, Paul McCartney himself somewhat argued that although true, Gladwell’s research for success’ recipe alone isn’t necessarily a guarantee by stating, “there were an awful lot of bands that were out in Hamburg who put in 10,000 hours and didn’t make it, so it’s not a cast iron theory. I think, however, when you look at a group who has been successful… I think you always will find that amount of work in the background. But I don’t think it’s a rule that if you do that amount of work, you’re going to be as successful as the Beatles.”

Through McCartney’s first-hand account of the subject of Gladwell’s actual case study, we learn that rote action practice is not enough to achieve best results.

A common misconception among “lazy” practicers is to “practice” things at which you are already accomplishing successfully. For example, playing the same riffs and fills that we’ve already mastered. It’s incredibly rewarding to hear the vocalizations, and notes that you can execute well and are comfortable with-but what about the ugly ones? The underlying gold along our road to success in practice is in the ugly bits-our mistakes.

Taking things a step further, maybe the Beatles’ formula for practice led to success by virtue of getting a lot of their “practice” time in during live shows due to their rigorous gigging schedule. Maybe in addition to the frequency of playing, they were able to detach from worrying about making mistakes during shows, and able to let it all hang out.

It’s an important idea to grasp, since from that example, so many musicians have automatically mined that 10,000+ hours is the key to the career of their dreams. While not entirely false, more fleshing out is needed in order to get close. Here are a few tips to help you figure out  how to proceed in foggier areas of your practice routine, and generate optimum results.

1. Practice the ugly bits. – You know that part where your stomach turns when you attempt it? That’s it!

2. Get an audience. – Invite a colleague in music to join you in your practice routine, create a mastermind or meetup group in an area you want to improve or in or that you’re most uncomfortable with.

3. Improv a song at your next show. Do something musically that is unplanned, unrehearsed or freestyle. Mistakes may come, hopefully only you will know (and the know it all musicians in your audience), but the rewards in confidence, and freedom will be most profitable overall.

4. Analyze your next practice session and notice what tasks/actions you are drawn to and what you are less thrilled about doing and why. Then change areas of focus to insure proper attention is given to areas according to level of mastery greatest to smallest.

5. Devise a plan for your practice. Don’t just wander through your practice time. Construct a plan, focusing on repetitive tasks/actions first with a set amount of time for each. Perform your more creative open ended, improvisational tasks that may take longer to complete (songwriting, finding song melodies/topics,etc) thereafter.



Article: Ian Hargreaves Q&A: The Man Behind The U.K.’s Groundbreaking Digital Copyright Reform Plan By Juliana Koranteng

Ian Hargreaves
Digital Renaissance Man: Ian Hargreaves, professor of digital economy at Cardiff University, Wales and former editor of The Independent and ex-director of BBC News.

To seal controversial loopholes in the reportedly rashly-adopted U.K. Digital Economy Act (DEA) in June 2010, the U.K.’s coalition government turned to Ian Hargreaves, professor of digital economy at Cardiff University, Wales. He was commissioned by Prime Minister David Cameron to write an independent review recommending ways to toughen copyright protection, encourage innovation within Britain’s music and other creative industries, and boost the digital economy.

Called “Digital Opportunity – A Review of Intellectual Property and Growth,” the report was officially commissioned in November 2010. , which included the creation of a groundbreaking centralized Digital Copyright Exchange. ( ). This would enable rights owners to license their works to content users more easily.


The reforms suggested also encouraged freedom to parody content including music videos. The government’s approval of the recommendations was widely reported in the media. What has rarely been published is Hargreaves’ own views on the state of the creative and music industries. The former editor of the national newspaper The Independent and ex-director of BBC News and Current Affairs tells Billboard why it is imperative for the music business to go totally the digital sooner than later.

Billboard: The concept of a Digital Copyright Exchange sounds like a phenomenally large amount of work to set up in the first place.
Ian Hargreaves: There have been attempts to do some of the things the Exchange is designed to do, but I don’t think there’s anything like the Digital Copyright Exchange in any other country. The principle is to get digital content available for standardized transactions where possible and tradable at the click of the mouse. I think we’ll know in six to 12 months whether or not it will happen. I’m optimistic that it is capable of happening. If it doesn’t, these markets will be organized by forces other than the music and creative industries. These [forces] include the big re-shapers of the digital space – the search-engines and social-network providers. And that is something the music industry would not like. What I’m proposing is a way of getting these markets organized at digital speed by a body which is required to take into account a balanced set of interests.

How many different countries’ copyright legislation did you have to analyze and how many creative sectors did you consult to grasp the enormity of your task?
This was done in an unusually short time. The Prime Minister gave a speech about it in November 2010, we started working on it just before Christmas (2010) and finished in May this year. It was clear from that timetable we were going to have limited opportunities to travel. We did go to the U.S. for five days, including Silicon Valley, North Carolina, Harvard in Boston and Washington D.C. for meetings with movie and music rights [organizations]. You can also learn a lot by reading, and it was very obvious that all intellectual property (IP) rights are international in scope and subject to, in one form or another, international frameworks.

The government has declined to block illegal websites. But if parasite websites do business on the same digital platform (Internet) as legal ones, how could that boost the economy in any way, let alone by (the reported) nearly £8 billion ($126.3 million)?
If all the reforms are adopted, they could add between 0.3% and 0.6% to the U.K.’s annual GDP growth. How would that occur? An open and competitive market generates healthier rates of economic growth, compared with markets that are closed or unhealthily dominated by interests that are narrow.

The government says it is seeking “open and transparent” evidence from the different sectors affected by copyright law as it prepares to update the current legislation. Is the music industry transparent enough?
I think the digital marketplace is going to be significantly larger and more international than the analog era has been. However, that has to be understood in context. They must make it easier for consumers to make copies legally. Its reaction to the review has been quite diverse and quite balanced. I’m not saying all of the music industry like all aspects of it. But the smart people in the industry recognized the importance of getting digital licensing to work fast at lower transaction costs across international boundaries. Getting it to happen requires a strong and even inspirational leadership. I believe it’s in the interest of musicians and the industry to embrace these changes.

In the report, you make a lucid argument for why parody should not be stifled. But what if the parody becomes a bigger hit than the original, does the original work’s rights owner have a say in the matter?
The review takes a view that parody has existed in all art forms since the beginning of time. Shakespeare couldn’t have written a single play if he couldn’t have absorbed other people’s works. The fact is that (music) videos used to be very hard to parody because you needed sophisticated video-recording equipment and technology. But now, it is easier. The technology is cheaper and the technical skills (now acquired by ordinary people) will not go away. I can understand the argument that you should not be allowed to do that to profit from someone else’s work. But that freedom (to parody) should be open or you limit creativity in a way that is more negative than positive. It’s a question of balance. It’s time to ease up on that.

The review aims to simplify copyright law in the increasingly complex digital-media space. But didn’t copyright legislation get complicated in the first place as rights owners/policy makers sought to seal the loopholes?
There are very few laws that don’t have loopholes. The U.K. copyright legislation (Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988) dates back to before the creation of the Internet. The law is out of date. Is it possible to create laws where there is absolute clarity? That would be a very big challenge. But, can you get it clearer than it is today? When you talk to people, you realize that no one understood that they were breaking the law when they copied a purchased CD from their laptop on to their MP3 player. Personal format shifting is something a very large number of people do and for it to be illegal creates an environment where the law is disrespected by most people and that’s an unhealthy basis for refining the law and for dealing with websites that are selling illegally.  And as for orphan works, we’ve got vast volumes of creative material locked away as a result of the way the law is working now. I think it’s a no brainer that it should be sorted out. You’ll get advantages that will be difficult to quantify but be of greater benefit than it is now.

Has the UK government responded to your review in the way you expected or hoped?
I set out to think about the position the government is in. Can we get better levels of innovation and economic growth if we change things? Yes. You’ll require a significant shift, of course, and there will be many arguments of interested parties to the contrary. But I’m very pleased with the government’s response and I don’t think I could ask for more.



Real World: Occupy Wall Street Update. Follow The Movement Spread The Word!!!!

(Reuters) – Police reopened the Brooklyn Bridge Saturday evening after more than 700 anti-Wall Street protesters were arrested for blocking traffic lanes and attempting an unauthorized march across the span.

The arrests took place when a large group of marchers, participating in a second week of protests by the Occupy Wall Street movement, broke off from others on the bridge’s pedestrian walkway and headed across the Brooklyn-bound lanes.

“Over 700 summonses and desk appearance tickets have been issued in connection with a demonstration on the Brooklyn Bridge late this afternoon after multiple warnings by police were given to protesters to stay on the pedestrian walkway, and that if they took roadway they would be arrested,” a police spokesman said.

“Some complied and took the walkway without being arrested. Others proceeded on the Brooklyn-bound vehicular roadway and were. The bridge was re-opened to traffic at 8:05 p.m. (0005 GMT Sunday).”

Most of those who were arrested were taken into custody off the bridge, issued summonses and released.

Witnesses described a chaotic scene on the famous suspension bridge as a sea of police officers surrounded the protesters using orange mesh netting.

Some protesters tried to get away as officers started handcuffing members of the group. Dozens of protesters were seen handcuffed and sitting on the span as three buses were called in to take them away, witnesses and organizers said.

The march started about 3:30 p.m. from the protesters’ camp in Zuccotti Park in downtown Manhattan near the former World Trade Center. Members of the group have vowed to stay at the park through the winter.


In addition to what they view as excessive force and unfair treatment of minorities, including Muslims, the movement is also protesting against home foreclosures, high unemployment and the 2008 bailouts.

Filmmaker Michael Moore and actress Susan Sarandon have stopped by the protesters’ camp, which is plastered with posters with anti-Wall Street slogans and has a kitchen and library, to offer their support.

Friday evening, more than 1,000 demonstrators, including representatives of labor organizations, held a peaceful march to police headquarters a few blocks north of City Hall to protest what they said was a heavy-handed police response the previous week. No arrests were reported.

A week ago, police arrested about 80 members of Occupy Wall Street near the Union Square shopping district as the marchers swarmed onto oncoming traffic.

A police commander doused a handful of women with pepper spray in an incident captured on video and spread via the Internet, galvanizing the loosely organized protest movement.

The group has gained support among some union members. The United Federation of Teachers and the Transport Workers Union Local 100, which has 38,000 members, are among those pledging solidarity.

The unions could provide important organizational and financial support for the largely leaderless movement.

Similar protests are sprouting in other cities, including Boston, Chicago and San Francisco.

(Reporting by Ray Sanchez; editing by  and )

Industry Tips & Advice: Ty Cohen’s Indie Music Biz / Business 101 : Call 2 – Part 1

Music Industry “Experts” fear me because I give away the same information that you need to succeed in the music biz that they charge thousands of dollars for. Listen in to past recordings of my “Motivational Music Mondays” tele-seminar series, plus sign up to become on of my elite “Music Industry Success” students for Free at www.MusicBizCenter.com then join my one-on-one coaching program at www.MusicIndustryCoachingClub.com/discount

Article: 10 Best Female Rappers: # 3. Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah couldn’t have picked a more appropriate stage moniker. Thanks to a brilliant mesh of social commentary and political consciousness, this queen had no problem attracting a cult-like following from the jump off. Latifah was one of the first to demand self-respect and gender equality in hip-hop. Who can forget the Grammy-winning “U.N.I.T.Y.” (from Black Reign), where she made it clear that addressing her as a b***h is a quick way to get yourself “punched dead” in the face?




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