Friday, December 7, 2007

The Music Industry -- How To Lose Money And Ruin Your Career With A Number One Hit Song?

Any career development person worth his salt, wants you to have a career that is constantly rising. Hence, that is why you should have three CDs worth of material already written when you approach your career development person or music industry executive. (For those of you who don't know what I am talking about, see my last article entitled "The Music Industry- Here is what a young artist needs to know to be a star.") A good career development person will survey your material, ask you to throw away the songs that didn't survey well, then ask you to write some more songs, survey again, etc. until he can finally place your songs in an order that results in your first CD being good, your second CD better, and your third CD best of the three. He will do all of this by surveying your material. Some survey techniques are so accurate that they can even tell you where your song will place in the top 40--number 15 or number 35.Why does your career development person do this? Because you can actually lose money and ruin your career with a poorly planned number one hit. Now remember, rankings in the top 40 are determined by air play, not sales. So, here is how it works. If you are an unknown artist, and you release your best song first, and your agents and managers and executives at the music companies are good salesmen, you might start getting airplay. If you get enough airplay you might break into the charts at say number 35. Music stores and major download services, however, probably won't carry it right away, because 1) there are lots of people vying for "shelf" space, so to speak and the music stores are going to wait and see how this new artist does before they commit to giving you any space. (After all you might break in at number 35 and be gone from the charts the very next week.) So let us just say there is not necessarily a mad dash to get your number 35 hit into the stores and onto the shelves; and 2) even if there is a huge demand (maybe you broke into the charts at number 15 your very first week, it is still going to take awhile for the music company to press the CDs and ship them to the stores. (often weeks). It has happened numerous times in the past that a song will zoom from say the number 35 to the top number 1 spot BEFORE any CDs can be shipped to the music stores. By the time the stores do get the CDs, the song has fallen down the charts and is no longer getting the airplay on its way out (at say number 38) that it got on its way up to number 1. Let's say the music executives representing you zealously pressed 500,000 CDs when your song was number one, but now that it has finally arrived at the stores it is not getting airplay anymore. People start forgetting about it and the actual sales only amount to say 50,000 units. The music company loses money on this scenario because the cost to manufacture and ship the 500,000 CDs exceeds what they made on the 50,000 actual unit sales. Now, internet distribution and sales have made it a lot easier to counter this kind of scenario, but it still can happen with inexperienced, and inept music executive making the wrong decisions.Now here is what an experience career development executive would do. Again he would survey your material and your first release would be a song that he knows will break into the top 40 at about 39, rise to number 30 than fizzle out after that. No one worries very much about getting CDs into stores or anything like that. What this accomplishes, however, is everyone becomes aware of you. The stores are aware of you, the internet downloading services are aware of you, and fans in general are aware of you. After all, a number 30 hit on your first release is not too shabby.Now your second release is going to be a surveyed song that your career development person knows will place in the low 20s or high teens on the charts. So now all the people that were made aware of you by your first release realize that this is even a better song, that there really is something to you, and the mad dash to get you on the shelf DOES begin. Everyone knows you are not a one hit wonder and that this second release is going to make every one money.Now imagine what happens when your third release does even better and makes it to number 10 on the charts. Then imagine what happens when your second album comes out. Well the people are lined up to buy it sight unseen, and when they hear it and it is even a better album, when you have three top ten and one number one hits off of it, you career is well on its way to being established forever. When your third album comes out with your three number one hits. You are pretty much guaranteed to be in the music business as long as you want.Now imagine the opposite. Suppose you released your best song first and every thing got progressively worse from there. Does a "one hit wonder" ring a bell. Does anyone even remember the names of the numerous groups who have done just that? NO.So a word to the wise: Use experienced career development people. Survey your material. Do it smart. Do it right. Be successful. (c) 2007 Stan Medley
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About the Author: Stan Medley is the CEO of Viscount Productions, Inc. which specializes in career development. Additional information on this topic is at

Five Proven Art Festival Showing Strategies for Artists Selling Their Work

So you've always wondered what it would be like to be an artist and show and sell your work around the country at weekend art shows. Here are some tips that can increase your chances of succeeding.1. Visit the Art Shows First - You may not always have the luxury of visiting each and every art show before you apply for acceptance. After all, if you visit before applying, you'll have to wait another year to participate (if you are accepted) and most of us are not that patient. However, when you can visit the show first and talk to participating artists, you will get a feel for whether or not this is a show in which you wish to participate. Be up front with the artists that you talk with and ask a few questions. Most will be happy to answer your questions if they sense your honesty and sincerity and you don't distract them from those who visit their booth. After all, they are there to show and sell their work, not to act as your show researcher. With their permission, ask how long they have been doing these types of shows? Is this considered a good show? Was it hard to get in? Is the fee reasonable? How is the attendance? Are the show hours long enough, too long, or just right? Was the set-up and take down schedule suitable? What do you like about this particular show? What do you not like about it? Do you plan to return next year? There are a number of other questions that could be asked, but please respect the artist's time.Some events that bill themselves as art shows or even arts and craft shows end up with a lot of questionable "art" booths that are not really art at all. If the "art" show has more than it's share of artists who make foam rubber alligators on a coat hanger or rubber band gun crafters, it's probably not that high quality of art show. That is not to say that there is not a place for these products. There are many large festivals that attract huge crowds that have all kinds of vendors from artists and crafters to cosmetic salespeople to sausage-on-a-stick vendors. Don't knock these venues, just be aware that you will encounter a lot of folks at these events who may have little or no interest in your art. The good thing is that you will encounter a lot of folks and sometimes that's what it takes to find a few gems who will make your efforts worthwhile. I have experienced successes at both types of venues and I have come up short on occasion, as well.On the other hand, a juried event will elevate the level of quality work that is shown, which should attract an audience that has a greater appreciation for art. It may reduce the number of attendees, but those who do attend may be a more "qualified" audience. By qualified, I mean that they not only have a greater appreciation for art, but hopefully the means to purchase it if they like it.Once you have determined that you want to participate in a particular show or festival, here is what I think is vital to your success both as an artist and as a businessperson.2. Have a Consistent Body of Work - Even though you may be good at every artwork you ever produce, your audience of potential purchasers/collectors will likely identify you with a particular subject, a color, a style, a medium, a method of presentation, etc. Show a lot of whatever you enjoy doing the most and a lot of what seems to be connecting with folks the most. A bunch of random paintings of various subject matter with no distinctive style or color pallet in cheap mis-matched frames will not likely hold a potential buyer's attention for long, even if the paintings are good. A hodge-podge of sculptures that look like they were made by ten different sculptors will not likely enhance your reputation. This randomness does not help to identify what you are all about. I'm not advocating that you never try anything new or experimental, but you must make your art memorable to gain any kind of following. Consistency is the key. Look at the work of some of the more successful artists that you admire. What ties their work together and identifies it as their own? Subject matter or theme, style (the way they paint or sculpt), choice of colors used, size, framing? Any and all of these characteristics may apply. Don't copy their work, but learn from it. If you are doing work that connects with an audience, folks will seek you out to buy your art, even after the show is over. It's happened to me many times.3. Have Varying Price Points - Whether you choose to show only originals, or limited editions, or a combination is often dictated by the show guidelines. Sometimes, it is entirely up to you. If you have a body of work that connects with viewers, it obviously would be desirable to sell some of it. If you limit your offerings to large, expensive (whatever that means to you) original works, your potential market will be smaller and you will eliminate a number of folks who, otherwise, might like to purchase. That may be OK if your work is selling for the prices you want on a regular basis. However, my experience is that having artworks at several price levels makes it possible for purchasers/collectors to enjoy ownership of some of my art in the "now" until they are ready to move up to more collectable, thus more expensive and profitable, pieces. This might be achieved through offering a number of sizes of original works, offering print or sculpture editions in two or more sizes, having some limited editions and some less expensive open editions, or even offering gift type products such as note cards or calendars with your art reproduced on it (if the show allows it).While it's true that some will never purchase anything of significance, others may use this as a stepping stone to begin their collection of your work to whatever extent they can afford. Your job after that purchase is to keep these lower end purchasers (as well as all of your purchasers) informed about you and your art through mail outs, newsletter, website, newspaper or magazine articles, or however you can to let them know you appreciate their business and look forward to seeing them someday own some of your better art pieces. They are more apt to desire to own more of your art when you show your appreciation for their purchase and they know more about you and your progress as an artist.4. Have a Clean and Attractive Display Booth - There are a few generally accepted artist booth set-ups that are used at most quality shows. The standard size booth is often a 10x10, so many canopies, or tents, are made to this size. EZ Up, Flourish, ShowOff, and a few others seem to be the most popular. As your inventory and sales increase, you can always add on for a double booth space, when available. Though some brands of tents come in a myriad of colors, a white top is recommended. Some shows won't accept anything else. Choose the one that suits your budget and make sure it has adequate sidewalls and leg weights in the event of inclimate weather. If you show long enough, you will experience inclimate weather. The actual racks that you hang your work on or use as a background might be metal grid type panels such as those made by Graphic Display Systems, or carpeted type panels such as those made by Pro Panels, or mesh netting made by Flourish. Get what you can afford and upgrade as sales allow. An indoor/outdoor carpet or other ground covering is a nice added touch if it enhances your booth and does not distract from your art.Have a focal point in your booth, a "whopper," a signature piece, or something that stops the show attendees in their tracks so that they will want to come in and see what your art is all about. I hang a matted and framed 24x36 limited edition of my signature piece above a custom made credenza (that is on wheels, but the wheels are camouflaged) right in the middle of the back wall of my booth. This popular image is what I am most identified with as it has become my best selling print. Since I have started doing this, I have seldom failed to sell one of these framed prints. The credenza also tastefully displays very small pieces such as note cards, hand painted tiles, and a guestbook for addresses and e- mail addresses (my favorite way to contact folks).Inside the drawers of the credenza are my change (keep adequate change), sales tickets, credit card forms (in my opinion you must accept credit cards for higher end items), tape, string, insect repellant, business cards and brochures, and extra hang tags for my framed pieces. Underneath are unframed prints ready to replenish my print rack when one is sold. All of my work that is hanging is framed (with the exception of an occasional gallery wrap canvas) in similar style frames with brass nameplates to enhance the value and identify the title of that piece. All unframed prints are sleeved in clear bags that have an adhesive flap to seal them and placed in a browse rack.Have a tool box to contain such items as pliers, hammer, nylon connectors, wire, duct tape, clamps, small broom and other miscellaneous items that you may need over the course of the show. Once you have shown a few times, you will get an idea of what items are useful. Keep this and anything else that might distract from your art out of sight as much as possible.5. Give Your Potential Customers Room - I have noticed that more people will actually come inside my booth exhibit and look longer if I stay outside my booth until I sense an interest in my work. I try to be very attentive, but I will only approach a visitor when I sense some kind of interest, however slight. Do not block your entrance by positioning yourself and your staff or friends and family where no one can walk in and look around. Even if there are two of you and each is sitting at the side near the front of your booth, there seems to be an invisible barrier through which visitors will not pass. I have seen other ideas of where the artist(s) position themselves to encourage better "booth visitation," and in a larger booth than 10x10 I could see where sitting over to the side at the back of the booth might work well. However, in my own personal booth I don't want my face to compete with my art. At this point, I am only incidental to the art. I created the art and I answer any questions and take the money. Otherwise, I don't want to get in the way. Yes, I want the customer to remember me, but I first want them to see my art. When you make a sale of any significance, follow up with a handwritten thank you note.Showing and selling your work at outdoor art festivals is hard work often accompanied by some expensive lessons. However, when you finally make that connection with folks who like your work and are willing to part with their money to own some of it, the rewards can be great, both financially and artistically.
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About the Author: Neil Lemons represents Texas Artists Industries, an eight year-old professional fine art painting company. For more information, visit

The Power of Music

Music's power influences the human spirit and emotions should not be underestimated. Music has a great influence in all cultures and religions. Who has not had the experience of suddenly humming or moving to the rhythm of a tune heard for the first time long ago?Many of the most important events in our lifes are commemorated with music. Those who have served in the military never forget the stirring cadence of a military march. Even decades later the sound of a military band will take the old veteran back to the days when his step was sure and strong and his new found confidence in his ability to defend his country and his buddies from harm knew no bounds.Tunes often are associated with important events in our lives. Perhaps it is the song that you danced to at the high school prom with the person who later became your lifetime partner that still fans your passions. Perhaps it is the tune that was playing as you danced with your new spouse at your wedding party. It may be a song or two that was sung by a famous entertainer whose performance you were lucky enough to hear on your 30th birthday.I still vividly remember seeing Elvis Presley perform near the end of his career. It was my friends birthday present to herself. I was her date for the evening and never expected to be so moved by 'The King's' performance. But I was, and am still grateful to my friend for asking me to escort her to the live show.I wasn't that much of an Elvis fan prior to his performance but had a far greater appreciation of his talent after seeing the master at work. What a show!The Internet has created a new important venue for music. Lyrics to just about every song that has ever been written have been archived and can be easily accessed with an Internet search. The sharing of music files has been controversial all be it widespread. Legal means of gaining access to any type of music from Internet sources are under development and have lead to an entirely new growth industry.The power of music can be a strong unifying force in a world that badly needs unification and cooperation on issues that affect us all. Peoples of the world should rejoice in the rich heritage that music brings to every culture. The sharing of ideas and music over the Internet only adds to the significance of music as a universal medium of communications.People all over the world love their music. You can bet there is as much enthusiasm for a new Eminem rap song among Eminem fans as there is for classical jazz or a classical piano performance among more conventional music fans. There are different strokes for different folks as they say in Dixie and nowhere is this better illustrated than in the field of music.However varied musicial tsstes may be amoung individuals we should consider the common thread that music weaves between all peoples and build upon that common ground to achieve a better understanding of how we are connected in our humanity.People the world over have common basic needs and music is one of them.
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About the Author: Lyrics UK is an informative resources site about Song Lyrics. Find out how Lyrics UK can expand your horizons.

The Lil' Romeo Story

Lil' Romeo was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on August 19, 1989. He is the son of renowned rap star Master P who accumulated quite a fortune through the entertainment business and is still a major player in the rap music industry.As a child, Lil' Romeo was very interested in music and by the age of four, he could emulate the rhythm of almost any rap song he heard. Master P discovered his raw talent for rapping when he was about nine years old and patiently guided him to through his formation years as a musician helping him to become one of the youngest professional rappers in history.When Lil' Romeo was about twelve, Master P decided that it was time for him to cut his first solo album. The self-titled release was so well-received that Lil' Romeo was instantly celebrated by hip hop music lovers, especially teenagers all over the world.The popular single "my Baby" became the teenage anthem of that time and ascended to the number one spot on the US music charts. In the same year, Lil' Romeo also tried his hand in acting, appearing in the movie "Max Keeble's Big Move".Spurred by the success of his first album, the prolific musician cut a second release entitled "Game Time" the next year. The response for this album was even more encouraging, as it took the top position on the US R&B charts. Around this time, Lil' Romeo also managed to secure the lead starring role in the Nickelodeon TV show called "Romeo". This teenage program truly proved to be the ideal training ground for his acting skills and more importantly, made Lil' Romeo a household name. The show is no longer being produced but you can find reruns on the nickelodeon channel.In the next few years, Lil' Romeo released two more records, "Romeoland" and "God's Gift" but they were far from the achievements of his first two albums. But things were beginning to shape up in his acting career. He starred in five more movies and proved his versatility as an actor in very varied roles.Lil' Romeo is also a very skillful basketball player, having played for the US Junior Olympics Team. Only recently, he received an invitation to develop his skills with the top basketball training program in the country. We will have to wait and see if he is going to continue to pursue this as a career and maybe even someday we may get to see him in the National Basketball Association.With upcoming concerts and new movies Lil' romeo's fame is sure to continue to grow and we can all look forward to more great music and movies featuring Lil' romeo.
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About the Author: Greg Lucas is a small business owner and an on-line marketing expert who owns and operates a large network of informative and educational websites. for more information please visit: lil romeo

The Ringtone Hall of Fame

Getting ringtones for your cell phone has become one of the hottest ways to set yourself apart on today's scene. If you want to stand out in a crowd, the ringtone you choose can be a big step in the right direction. So you want a great ringtone, but have no idea what makes one great? Follow the advice below and learn where the bar has been raised by the top 10 list below, dubbed the first class of the ringtone Hall of Fame. Separating great ringtones from the rest of the bunch requires a series of judging criteria. First and foremost, a great ringtone must come from a great song. While it is possible for great songs to yield disappointing ringtones, the opposite is impossible. The ringtone must also be easily recognizable to many people. Everyone wants that ringtone that makes people smile and say, "I love that song" when your phone rings. From a musical standpoint, the ringtone must be created from one of three song portions: the intro, the hook, or the solo. The success of these three parts to the musical equation are make or break for hit songs, making them essential to the success of a ringtone. Because of the technology format, songs that make great ringtones also need to have simple layers. Songs with dueling drums or guitars cause a ringtone to sound cluttered, making it difficult to identify by ear. The intros to songs like "Stairway to Heaven" and "A Thousand Miles" make great ringtones because they are catchy and easy on the ear. In addition to coming from a particular section of a song, great ringtones must also feature a strong, repetitious percussion line. Whether that persistent pulse comes from the bass line of "Drop It Like It's Hot" or from the synthesizers in "Take On Me," the ability for many people to recognize a specific song comes from that repetition. While the final keystones are being cemented into the ringtone shrine, here are the first ten inductees into the Ringtone Hall of Fame: 1. "In Da Club" 50 CentBesides being Billboard's inaugural Ringtone of the Year in 2004, 50's first #1 hit has a bass line built for making heads bob. The strings section adds suspense to the song and puts high notes on top of the gutter base line. Having "In Da Club" as a ringtone means the party is never farther away than your phone. 2. "Stairway to Heaven" Led ZeppelinThe calming woodwind that accompanies Page's slow guitar picking makes for rock and ringtone heaven on earth. Several portions of this song have been made into ringtones, but the tone depicting the song's introduction is truly a classic. 3. "Sweet Home Alabama" Lynyrd SkynyrdMusic fans of all ages get a smile on their face at the first sound of this southern-rock classic. Change a party's atmosphere from get together to jamboree by a simple "ring-ring." The MP3 version is a required tone for country and classic rock fans. 4. "Super Mario Brothers" Game ThemeThe essential ringtone for gamers. The polyphonic tone is an exact replication of the track from 16-bit Nintendo. 5. "Halloween" Movie ThemePerfect custom tone for friends named Michael Myers. One of the most popular ringtones of all time that can outsell pop hits year round. 6. "The Next Episode" Dr. DreWhile many hip-hop ringtones sound poor due to the overuse of dull bass lines, "The Next Episode" features thumping bass and a pulsating G-funk guitar lick, creating the bench mark for multi layered ringtones.7. "Mission Impossible" Theme SongAnother incredibly popular ringtone despite its age that will only get more popular after the fourth installment of the movie franchise begins filming. Perfect as a custom tone for those over-demanding bosses in the workplace.8. "Sandstorm" DaRudeLike "Super Mario Brothers," a distinct song replica is created by the polyphonic ringtone. A must for fans of techno music and another, sure fire, party-starter tone. 9. "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" Theme SongThe only hip-hop song your father can rap over is one of the most recognizable ringtones available. The beat is so contagious that setting it as your default ringer in a public place will cause a room to begin rhyming along as if they were Will Smith.10. "The Jetsons" Theme SongWhile the Jetsons had a lot of great things in their future world, one thing they don't have is their own song as a phone ringer. We don't have flying automobiles yet, but show off the evolution of cell phone technology with the upbeat polyphonic ditty.
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About the Author: Bob Bentz is co-owner of Advanced Telecom Services--a leading provider of 900 numbers, text message services, and "">ringtones.

Which Ringtone Should You Put on Your New Cell Phone?

So you know you want to buy a ringtone, but have no idea what kind to look for? Many sites offer a wide variety of different ringtones for numerous cellular carriers.Take the following quiz to help narrow down what type of ringtones you should shop for:1. I listen to music like _____:a. cheetahs run after prey.b. cats drink milk.c. dogs bite mailmen.d. cows eat grass. 2. The kind of music I like listening to when working out is:a. danceable pop musicb. head bobbing hip hopc. aggressive rockd. whatever is on the radio3. My Ipod:a. has thousands of songs from all different styles.b. has a good variety of songs, but I don't download often.c. has only my favorite songs.d. I don't have one yet, but I'm hoping to win one.4. A night on the town must include:a. dancing at a night club b. dinner at an elegant restaurant c. bellying up to the bar at a watering holed. tossing out $10 for a flick5. I think dancing:a. is the best way to express yourselfb. is good fun if the time is rightc. is for those who like it, not med. looks stupid and is sillyScoring for questions:A: 5 pointsB: 3 pointsC: 2 pointsD: 1 pointIf you scored:20-25 points: You are club royalty. You don't go to the party, the party comes to you. Your personality is very outgoing, and you know that you only have one life to live. The music you like to hear is danceable, fresh, and always tearing up the hottest night spots around the world. Recommended Ringtone: "Disco Inferno" by 50 Cent, Rap ringtones, Dance ringtones15-19 points: You enjoy being out and about, but as a change of pace rather than as a standard. Dancing and being out with your friends is fun if the mood is right. While you can be a major extrovert, you first have to adjust to the surroundings. You like listening to music and have an eclectic collection, but you don't always follow the latest trends. Recommended Ringtone: "U Don't Have to Call" by Usher or other R&B ringtones10-14 points: Although you don't hit the town often, it is a blast when you do. People see you as a quiet type, but those who really know you see a bit of a wild streak. You have a strong opinion and aren't afraid to express what you think. While you listen to music frequently, you have a small list of favorites that you play again and again. Recommended Ringtone: "One Step Closer" by Linkin Park or Rock ringtones5-9 points: You're the type of person who does their own thing, is very opinionated, and has no fear of telling people what you think. You like being around people, but sometimes doing something solo is cool, too. The type of music you tend to listen to is a little under the radar to your friends, but you enjoy being on the cutting edge of what is out there. Recommended Ringtone: "Take It Away" by The Used or Alternative ringtones
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About the Author: Bob Bentz is co-owner of Advanced Telecom Services--a leading provider of 900 numbers and cell phone ringtones.

Top 50 Music Quotations

Discover the phenomenonal complexity of music and reflect on the way it can positively influence your life with this sound collection of riveting quotes..."Music, the greatest good that mortals know, And all of heaven we have below."-- Joseph Addison"Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness."--Maya Angelou"Music is either good or bad, and it's got to be learned. You got to have balance."-- Louis Armstrong"Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."-- Berthold Auerbach"The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul."--Johann Sebastian Bach"Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life."-- Ludwig van Beethoven"Music - The one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend."-- Ludwig van Beethoven"Music can change the world. "-- Ludwig Van Beethoven"Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable."-- Leonard Bernstein"Music has to breathe and sweat. You have to play it live. "-- James Brown"Music is well said to be the speech of angels."-- Thomas Carlyle"All music comes from God."-- Johnny Cash"If you learn music, you'll learn most all there is to know. "-- Edgar Cayce"Music is nothing separate from me. It is me... You'd have to remove the music surgically. "-- Ray Charles"Good music is good no matter what kind of music it is. "-- Miles Davis"There is no feeling, except the extremes of fear and grief, that does not find relief in music."-- George Eliot"You are the music while the music lasts."--T. S. Eliot"We need magic, and bliss, and power, myth, and celebration and religion in our lives, and music is a good way to encapsulate a lot of it. "-- Jerry Garcia"Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife."-- Kahlil Gibran"When people hear good music, it makes them homesick for something they never had and never will have."-- Edgar Watson Howe"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossile to be silent."-- Victor Hugo"The history of a people is found in its songs."-- George Jellinek"Music is the vernacular of the human soul."-- Geoffrey Latham"It requires wisdom to understand wisdom; the music is nothing if the audience is deaf."-- Walter J. Lippmann"Just as certain selections of music will nourish your physical body and your emotional layer, so other musical works will bring greater health to your mind."-- Hal A. Lingerman"Music is the harmonious voice of creation; an echo of the invisible world."-- Giuseppe Mazzini"Music is a beautiful opiate, if you don't take it too seriously."-- Henry Miller"I started making music because I could."-- Alanis Morissette"Music helps you find the truths you must bring into the rest of your life. "-- Alanis Morissette"Music is spiritual. The music business is not. "-- Van Morrison"Like everything else in nature, music is a becoming, and it becomes its full self, when its sounds and laws are used by intelligent man for the production of harmony, and so made the vehicle of emotion and thought."-- Theodore Mungers"Without music life would be a mistake."-- Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche"In music the passions enjoy themselves."-- Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche"Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn. They teach you there's a boundary line to music. But, man, there's no boundary line to art."-- Charlie Parker"Music should be something that makes you gotta move, inside or outside. "-- Elvis Presley"It's the music that kept us all intact, kept us from going crazy. "-- Lou Reed"The music business was not safe, but it was FUN. It was like falling in love with a woman you know is bad for you, but you love every minute with her, anyway."-- Lionel Richie"Music should never be harmless."-- Robbie Robertson"Give me a laundry list and I'll set it to music."-- Gioacchino Antonio Rossini"All music is important if it comes from the heart. "-- Carlos Santana"Music is the key to the female heart."-- Johann G. Seume"The best music... is essentially there to provide you something to face the world with. "-- Bruce Springsteen"All I try to do is write music that feels meaningful to me, that has commitment and passion behind it."-- Bruce Springsteen"In music one must think with the heart and feel with the brain."--George Szell"When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest."-- Henry David Thoreau"For heights and depths no words can reach, music is the soul's own speech."--Unknown"Most of us go to our grave with our music still inside of us."--Unknown"I believe in the power of music. To me, it isn't just a fad. This is a positive thing."-- Eddie Vedder"Music at its essence is what gives us memories. "-- Stevie Wonder"There's a basic rule which runs through all kinds of music, kind of an unwritten rule. I don't know what it is. But I've got it."-- Ron Wood
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About the Author: Hard Sound is an informative Music site that looks into all aspects of Music from Instruments to Artists. To find out more visit Music

6 Simple Steps To Becoming A HOT Guitar Player!

Learning how to play guitar well is not easy. There are so many methods and so many conflicting opinions, it makes it difficult to know what to do.But the simple fact is, if you want to be the best you can, as soon as you can, then all you need to do is - copy what the pro's do...Master the Basics!Mastering the basics means being able to play in all keys. Being able to transpose any song to any other key - on the spot preferably.Did you know that 95% of guitarists DON'T master the basics. Oh yes, they mean to get around to it, but they hardly ever do.Why is that? Well, it's because they think it's boring, complicated and too much hard work. And most of all - no fun! And mostly they were right. Well, it needn't be that way. Mastering the basics can be a lot of fun if you go about it in a methodical set-by-step way.What does mastering the basics entail?There are 6 basic steps you need to follow:1. Learn the names of all notes on all strings, one string at a time.2. Learn how to construct a C Major scale.Basic must-know guitar theory. Easy stuff.3. Learn how the chords of the major scale are made and what they are... their names etc. C Dm Em F G Am Bdim.Basic chord construction knowledge.4. Learn the triad patterns for the C major scale all over the fret board.Triads are simple 3-note chords. Easy and fun to learn and play.5. Learn to play those triads with common chord progressions.Learn to play and apply the triads to the most common chord progressions that fit thousands and thousands of songs.6. Learn to do step 5 in all keys.Once you can do steps one to five in the key of C, it's real easy to learn it for the other 11 major keys.Hint: It's much easier than you think. All the patterns are exactly the same as what you learn for C major. You don't have to learn any new patterns. Cookie cutter stuff.It really is not hard at all. All you need is a methodical step-by-step method that makes sense and is easy and fun to use.Having taught the guitar for many years, I see the majority of beginners experiencing the same problems and making the same mistakes over and over again in their quest to learn how to play guitar. It's my job to steer them through these problem areas.These "mistakes" are basic errors that most beginners naturally tend to make. But these mistakes can cause major problems if you allow them to become habits in your playing. Unfortunately, 90% of guitarists have done just that!
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About the Author: Buying Guitars is an informative Guitar site that looks into all aspects of Guitars from Learning to Play to Buying Tips. To find out more visit Guitar Tips

Make Water Lively!

When the waves splash on the beach, I can see droplets of water flying in the air. When the waves crash against the walls of the coastline, you see droplets of water flying in air. I have tried to take the photos of waves before and this is what I have found out. If I took a photo of the waves without the droplets of water flying all around as it crashed against the wall of the coastline, the picture failed to bring out the liveliness of the water. Similarly, if I took photo of the waves before they reach the beach, they do not appear that lively. How did I know that? This is because I took a number of shots at the waves. And the only one that stands out is when the front wave hits the beach with splashing effects.You can conduct a simple experiment to see for yourself. Go to a swimming pool. Watch as people jump into the pool. When a person jumps into a pool, droplets of water splash around the surrounding. This is like making the water alive. When a person is swimming especially in butterfly style, you will notice that the droplets of water fly into the air and splash all around the swimmer. These flying droplets of water make it appears lively and full of energy.Basically, you can make water lively in a photo by creating the splashing effects. However, this may not be appropriate in a case of a pond. Since there are no waves in ponds, it is not natural to have splashing effect. Throw a stone into a pond and observe. If you are trying to capture the impact of the stone when it hits the pond, then the splashing effect is applicable. But if you just want to capture the stillness of the pond, then you need what I termed as the ripple effect. You can see ripple of water created by the impact of the stone into the water. This is only possible because of the stillness of the pond.Well, how to create the splashing effect or ripple effect artificially? Well, you can do so by creating disturbance to the water surface. Maybe you can throw a stone into a pond. Maybe you can throw a basin of water into the swimming pool or the sea.In short, the simple idea that I will like to share with you is:Make water lively by creating the splashing or ripple effects.
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About the Author: Max Ng shares about his struggling for success at He learns from success people via online video seminars at His photography tips can be found at

The Top Selling Mastertone and Polyphonic Ringtones of 2006

Akon's "Smack That" was the top selling ringtone of 2006, according to Nielsen Mobile. 2006 should be known in the ringtone world as the year that Mastertones took control of the market. Mastertones are the latest evolution in the ringtone industry. Put simply, Mastertones are the original songs that play on the cell phone in the same way that they do on the radio. This differs from the older ringtone version polyphonics which are a musical recreation of the popular song with no lyrics.Another enhancement in the ringtone industry for 2006 is the movement of Mastertones away from re-makes by less popular bands as opposed to the more popular orginal artists. More often than not, in the past, some buyers were less satisfied when the ringtone they purchased featured singing by "49 Cent" instead of 50 Cent. Clearly, the record labels have seen the lucrative financial opportunities in offering the original artist songs in ringtone format.Interestingly, obtaining radio play for a song does not guarantee its success as a ringtone. Mary J. Blige's "Be Without You" was the most played song on the radio in 2006, but it didn't crack the top 10 ringtones chart. In fact, none of the top 10 most played songs show up on the top 10 ringtones chart. Clearly, cell phone users have different criteria for what they want to hear when their phone rings than what they listen to on the radio.The same situation holds true for artists. Nickelback was the most played band on the radio this year, but not a single Nickelback tune made it onto the ringtone charts. Country artists like Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, and George Strait were in the top 10 in terms of artist airplay, but none of them were popular in the ringtone format which is dominated by hip-hop.Still, some good old tunes consistently make their way into the polyphonic ringtone charts. The Pink Panther, Mission Impossible, and Halloween theme songs have been regulars for many years on the top 10 polyphonic ringtone charts. Theme songs are ideal in polyphonic format and don't translate as well to Mastertones where the sound is essentially the same since there are no lyrics.Here's the complete list of US ringtone sales for 2006. The ringtones are broken down by the two most popular formats--mastertones and polyphonics.TOP 10 MASTERTONES 1. Smack That -- Akon 1,574,362 2. Lips of an Angel -- Hinder 1,270,996 3. Sexyback -- Justin Timberlake 1,215,058 4. Irreplaceable -- Beyonce 1,039,231 5. We Fly High -- Jim Jones 1,012,949 6. Money Maker -- Ludacris 944,581 7. Chain Hang Low -- Jibbs 927,899 8. My Love -- Justin Timberlake 901,369 9. I Wanna Love You -- Akon 884,912 10. Walk it Out -- DJ Unk 753,487 TOP 10 POLYPHONIC RINGTONES 1. Super Mario Brothers -- Theme 747,900 2. My Humps -- Black Eyed Peas 517,757 3. Grillz -- Nelly 499,935 4. Ms. New Booty -- Bubba Sparxxx 455,550 5. Laffy Taffy -- D4L 367,106 6. Pink Panther -- Theme 347,217 7. Gold Digger -- Kanye West 310,763 8. Halloween -- Movie Theme 291,077 9. Mission Impossible -- Theme 284,335 10. Candy Shop -- 50 Cent 282,203
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About the Author: Bob Bentz is co-owner of Advanced Telecom Services--a leading provider of 900 numbers and interactive text message services. Bob's daughter once sent 3867 text messages in a single month.

Rock Musician Claims White House Has Banned His Song

Jets, an anti-Bush dark pop/rock anti-war song by Mick Star which combines actual Bush speeches with the music and song lyrics in an interesting and poignant way, has been banned on American radio as a result of White House tactics to hold back funding from private, public and college radio stations across America that play Jets.Record producers, record companies and rock bands that are currently touring America have been ordered to honor the White House blacklisting of Mick Star and Jets or they will be placed on the same Banned on America radio blacklist. With the help of Clear Channel and other American owned and Republican Party run radio station monoliths, these rovian tactics have proven effective. The American music community has turned a deaf ear to the most dramatic anti-Bush pop/rock song ever written and produced by an American citizen.Why is the White House afraid of Jets? Mick Star, a recluse rock poet says it's rather simple. Jets features George Bush himself declaring victory, taunting the world and committing other people's money and lives to his arrogantly blind vision. Mick Star says Jets is a song that wrote itself.As recluse rock poets go, Mick Star has little money. But Mick Star has a passion for the truth and Mick Star has a lap top computer. Mick Star travels the internet and he has taken Jets to Canada, England, Europe and South America knowing the truth will eventually override the Rovian grip of American radio. Mick Star invites you to visit his web site to listen to and download Jets for free. Jets is a song about the Jets that land at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware, USA, bearing the dead American soldiers from Iraq. The White House maintains a rovian grip on any and all press releases from Dover. Mick Star and Jets will break the rovian grip on America's conscious.Now that the death toll of American soldiers in Iraq has surpassed 3000, and there is talk of increased American troop presence in Iraq, there is renewed interest in the song Jets. While Mick Star continues to promote all of his music in the Philadelphia underground music circuit, Jets is the single song that Star believes will launch his career from an obscure Philadelphia-based writer to eventual stardom as the American public becomes increasingly dismayed by the Bush administration and its Iraq policies."If there's some way that my simple little song gets somebody to listen, then I've done my job," said Star. "That's worth more to me than any amount of record sales."Jets is not the first of Mick Star's hits. His life can be divided into four primary chapters that begin with "Songs from the Highfield," then moves on to "The Boston University Years," "iving with Ann Marie in Philadelphia," and "Futures Passing." Clearly an artist with the talent and conviction of Mick Star will continue to rock the American underground music scene.
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About the Author: Bob Bentz is co-owner of Advanced Telecom Services. Advanced Telecom recently sold its ringtone business. Bob has 57 ringtones on his Motorola. "Jets" is available at Ringingphone.

Enchanting Treasures in Wood Works

The wood history Woodcarving is an art and India has been a traditional producer of woodcarving furniture for ages. Production of woodcarving is developed on a commercial scale, which is carried out by many Indian artisans from generation to generation. India has abundant collection of woodcarved furniture, out of which some has been explored and a lot remains to be discovered.It has a rich old heritage to crown its head which is believed to be the oldest heritage of the world. This has been adored and preserved by the Indians since time immemorial. The exquisite furniture range comes in various styles with varying designs, finishes, colors, shapes etc. The designs and the carvings may be etched on the back or front, which gives a remarkable and pleasing appearance. The use of high quality wood enhances the overall functional value and visual appeal of furniture. In the beginning, shisham was the only wood used by handicraftsmen. Thereafter some ingenious craftsmen experimented with teakwood from Nepal and Assam, ebonite from Assam and rosewood from the South.Struggle for survival forced the wood carving industry to pass through many critical phases. Changing scenario of industry turned the craftsmen to many other varieties of woods. Besides traditional shisham, wood craftsmen have now been using many other varieties of wood depending upon the suitability of texture, colour, grains of wood for particular job. For deep under-cutting and sculptural effect teak, rosewood and walnut are preferred. For low relief, shisham and deodar is used and for incised design ebony are considered. Rohira, sal, babul, etc are coarse grained and hard wood used for bold work. Haldu and dudhi are used for special polychromatic effects.Other most common species of wood being used by the craftsmen these days are mango wood, tun wood, neem wood, sal wood, jamun wood, rohira etc. Woodcraft of Saharanpur is famous all over the world for its elegance and beauty. Saharanpur is known for vine-leaf patterns on Sheesham wood. Floral, geometric and figurative carving is also done here with wood inlay work. Woodworks industry in the North Eastern region is scattered and the production is confined to a few items only in a few states. Gujarat has a rich culture for such carving and in addition to small chairs and tables, the swing, without which no traditional home is complete, is made. Wood inlay, which developed and flourished during the Mughal rule, is done with bits of ivory, plastic, horn, metal pieces or other types of wood into carved surfaces of wooden items.This kind is found in various parts of the country such as Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. Designs of Uttar Pradesh such as the fretwork, jali or the anguri work are also very popular. The wood carvers of Madhya Pradesh, with great sensitivity and skill transform different varieties of wood such as shish, teak, dhudi, sal and kikar into works of art. Madhya Pradesh is famous for painted and lacquered wood product such as toys, boxes, bedposts, cradles posts, flower vases etc. Kashmir is the only state in India, where Walnut trees and Fine Deodar wood are found. The craftsmen here create intricate carvings on wood obtained from the walnut tree which is used to make furniture items like tables, chairs, stools, partitions, trays, book stands, wall decorations, fruit bowls etc that have rich floral and trellis patterns carved on them. Rajasthan has its own unique wood tradition, Barmer is well known for carved furniture. Some furniture pieces in Barmer like tables, low stools etc has miniature paintings on them. Carved wood items such as cabinets, screens, chairs, tables, almirahs, racks etc are also highly decorated over here.Also each region of Woodcraft in Punjab is into making carved legs of beds and manjis and boxes. Gwalior, Sheopur-Kalan, Rewa and Budhni are main centers of wood lacquering. Uttar Pradesh has many craft centers engaged in making different items out of wood. Mainpuri is famous for woodwork on ebony or black sheesham inlaid with brass wire. Banaras is known for lacquered toys and miniature utensils for children to play with. India is the second largest supplier of bamboo and West Bengal is known for its creativity and artisans of the State specialized in creating everyday and fancy articles from bamboo and cane. Cane and Bamboo occupy a distinctive place in the life of Tripura too. Furniture made of cane; Baskets knitted out of cane and bamboo strips are some of the well-known craft produce from the Tripura, which are always on demand. Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu too, have their distinct wood carving traditions.Karnataka is famous for carvings and decorative pieces made from sandalwood. Sandalwood items like, boxes, trays, key chains, small figurines are not only carved tastefully but they also give out subtle smell of sandal. West Bengal and Kerala are known for items made from the wood obtained from coconut tree. Great prospects for Indian wooden furniture in the foreign markets The Indian furniture industry is a non- organized sector with the production of Handicraft accounting to around 85%. The furniture industry is estimated to provide employment to around 300,000 workers in India. As a rural and cottage industry, it provides employment to lakhs of people from the weaker sections of society. The skill of the wood workers of India is not only restricted to domestic use but has gain immense popularity in the foreign export markets. The industry has extended to the fashioning of panels, cabinets, doors, windows, temples and furniture.The taste of the people are moving more towards the antique kind of furniture and a variety of experiments are been carried out with designs by the Indian artisans to cleverly blend the traditional and modern woodcraft items suiting today's decor. Exquisite designs, attractive colors, unmatched workmanship and subtle elegance are the distinguishing features, which have put Indian hand crafted furniture on world map. Steadily climbing the popularity chart the market potential for furniture has reached approximately to US" 240,007.40 million in 2005. This sector has more potential for earning substantial foreign exchange.Low capital investments, higher value addition and highly labor intensive are highlights that make the sector significant for the country's economy. These items found good market in Central European countries, United States of America, England, Russia and UAE. Japan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar has also emerged as new consumers for the country. Central and State governments have been paying extraordinary attention to ensure high growth rate and development of this industry. They are also proving funds to many small businesses to help them flourish in the market. Also the Indian government is continuously taking steps to minimize entry-exit barriers for foreign companies. Liberal policies for foreign equity participation and foreign direct investments have given a further boost to the sector. Woodcraft has played its part in making the Indian handicraft fortune wealthier and inspite of many environment prevention issues the prospect of the hand crafted furniture sector in India seems positive.India presents a favorable outlook to sell this kind of furniture and one expects this sector to grow further in the coming years.
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About the Author: Karishma Roy works at Netlink Solutions (India)Limited as a Web Content Writerhandicraftsemail us

How To Be A Good Singer

There many methods to be a good singer. Most singing teachers actually invent their own singing system and methodology to teach their singing students. Each method and singing technique will usually include vocal exercises, singing techniques, skills and concepts. To add clutter to the confusion, there are many books and information and sometimes misinformation you can find in the libraries, music shops and on the internet. The most frustrating thing is that many of these products and books come with contradictory information.With this abundance of information, you could be learning singing techniques that conflict with each other and this could be very detrimental to your singing support system and sometimes the damage done may be irreversible. Many exciting singing careers were destroyed because of learning wrong singing techniques. Take a look at babies. They are breathing naturally with their diaphragm and they can throw their powerful voices across the room when they cry to get your notice. How can they project their voice so naturally? This is because nature has provided us with the natural vocal mechanism to sing well and powerfully. It is when we adopt bad vocal habits as we grew older that the natural ability to be a good singer is lost and needs to be rekindled by good and correct vocal exercises and singing concepts. One challenge to good singing is to combine a simple yet powerful singing technique with strong emotions. Powerful emotions can break down a voice that is not trained with solid singing skills and techniques as a foundation. Good singing technique is the foundation to build the emotional aspect of singing. For instance, if you pour out all your emotions in a song, you will know that something does not sound right in the singing sound you produced. Pay attention to your inner feelings and you will know what sounds right or wrong.Successful singing requires not only the will and ability to express your emotions in a song, but also the correct singing technique and skills. Since emotions are channeled through your singing support system, your system must be fully developed for the emotion to come through powerfully and convincingly.So to be a good singer, you must build your voice and the support system that produce that voice. With a good mastery of your voice mechanism, your own singing style and interpretation of songs will be much more enhanced. You do not have to be concerned about sounding like a copy of other good singers when you perform. Yes, there are born voices, but there are no born artists. Each and every singer must develop his/her own individual skills to be an outstanding artist. It is not just how good a singing voice you have. It is what you can do with your individual vocal resources that is the crux of a good singer. So getting introduced to a good singing teacher to help you to hone your singing skills to perfection is necessary if you want to be a good singer.
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About the Author: Chris Chew is a jazz pianist. Read more articles at his websitesSinging Contests and Learn how to play piano

Fun Free Games

Having a party? Or a get together with some friends? Trying to think of things to do for a childrens party? Then get the party going and people interacting by introducing some fun free games.Everyone likes to play games from children to adults and you do n have to hurt your wallet organising a fun day or evening of entertainment. Some of the most enjoyable activities are simple free games like charades and Limbo.Other free games for children's parties are: Simon Says A simple game where one player plays 'Simon' and gives the other players various instructions to do simple tasks prefixed by the phrase ' Simon Says' He then tries to catch the players out by giving them an instruction without saying Simon says beforehand. If a player follows that particular instruction then he is out. The winner is the last person to be left.Musical Chairs The players sit on chairs in a ring facing outwards. There should be at least one less chair than there are players. When the music starts the players should start to walk around the circle. When the music stops the players rush to find a free chair to sit on. The person left standing is out and one chair is then removed and the game continues until only one chair is left. Whoever gets to sit on this chair when the music stops is the winner.Statues Statues is another simple game. The children have to dance when the music is played and then when it stops they must become as still as statues. Whoever moves until the music starts again is out. The winner is the last player left standing.Spoon Relay Some free games are best played in the garden because of the mess the game will make and will also require a good deal of space. When playing spoon relay divide the children into two equal teams. Set up a chair with a bowl of water and a spoon on it for each team. Then a few feet or more away set up two more chairs both with a glass on each. When the whistle blows both sets of teams race to fill the empty glass's up using the spoons. Players take it in turns until one team wins.Fun Free Games for AdultsThe Mating Game This is a fun and good icebreaker for teens and adults. The game is best played with a good spread of both sexes. Divide the group up into two even groups and hand out slips of paper with animal names written on them. There should be two pieces of paper with the same animal name written on both and one piece should be given to a member of each group. The animals can be whatever you choose snakes, horses, flies, kangaroo, salmon etc. When the game begins people start to act out their animal by flapping, jumping etc and starts searching for their respective animal partner form the other group. Talking is strictly forbidden! The object of the game is to find your animal mate. Once you think you have identified your mate go to the referee who inspects yours pieces of paper. If its not correct, off you go back into the wild to find your real partner.Spin the Bottle A classic and very simple game for the more adventurous parties. A good mix of males and females are required A group of players sit around in a circle and the game starts by one person spinning the bottle. Wherever the top of the bottle ends up facing indicates the person who gets kissed. Whoever spun the bottle is the kisser. If the bottle ends up facing someone of the same sex the player can spin the bottle again.There are thousands of fun free games to suit all parties and it is important to remember we play games for fun
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About the Author: Vicki Churchill is the owner of, a site that specializes in funny things and information on how really funny things are good for your health.

Digital or Film Camara, Whitch is Best?

For many, digital photography is a breath of fresh air, but be wary, believing our landscape images will be superior could be a serious blunder.Having lost count of the number of people who have asked me: have you gone digital? I am always left wondering why it's such a much-asked question. The camera is only a tool in which a photographer creates an image. His personal ability to create a unique image remains the same.For many forms of photography, digital has long held obvious advantages, but for landscapes the resolution necessary to make larger prints just wasn't available. But things have changed and digital cameras are fast becoming the tools that most pros use.Modern digital cameras are perfectly capably of matching the 35 mm film - the format which most landscape photographers begin with. But can they really match the large format film cameras? This is probably the greatest question that all photographers face.Instant LCD feedback is digitals greatest gift and this enables the photographer to check exposure and composition of their image in the blink of an eye. While this is a big advantage, the hours spent in front of the computer processing the raw images have to be a hindrance. A landscape photographers time is best spent behind a camera not in front of a computer.The pros and cons of digital photography will remain an issue for some time. At the end of the day a digital camera won't make a photographers images better. The same values we apply in our photography should remain regardless of which camera we use.Good photography remains as elusive and as enticing as it ever was; going digital doesn't change this or make getting good images any easier. It brings technical advantages, and plenty of them, but the majority of photographic techniques never change. Good landscape images come from the photographer's personal ability, not the ability of a camera. The camera helps, but the creative eye remains the same.As a landscape photographer I am still hesitant to embrace digital photography and all the qualities that digital has brought to other professionals in different photography fields.There are a few simple reasons that I still use a film camera:The authenticity of my images could be questioned if I used a digital camera. It is often assumed that great digital images have been manipulated.Too much time is spent in front of a computer.Slide film produce stronger colours than a digital camera.There are many advantages for changing to digital but I'm going to stick with film: for the time-being that is. With time film cameras will be a thing of the past and all our images will be exchanged for the pixels. But, be wary believing our work will be superior would be falling into a great trap. For me size matters, the larger I can print an image the better.
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About the Author: Art Digital Fine is an informative website that looks into all aspects of Photography from Digital camara's throught to Film Camera's. To find out more visit Marcial Arts

Enjoy Playing Music With Jam Bands

Have you ever play or sing with a jam band? A jam band is a makeshift band and the musicians probably played together for the first time unrehearsed either in an impromptu performance or in a Jam music bar. Jam bands usually play jazz or blues both these genre of music have fixed music chord progressions and free form personal interpretation can be weaved into the chord sequence. Since most jam bands play to a small audience, there is usually no sound technician to balance the sound produced by the bands and thus the musicians have to be 'sound sensitive' and able to detect unbalanced sounds and adjust their volumes and timbre themselves. So how to play good and balanced music when you play with a jam band? Here are some pointers. a) Listen to the lead singer If you cannot hear the singer's voice and the lyrics, then the musicians should turn down the volume of their instruments immediately so that the singer can be heard clearly by the audience. If a fellow musician is unaware, do not be afraid to remind him to play softer. Even if the singer is too soft and shy, it is always the duty of all musicians to play softer so that the singer can be heard. b) Be attentive to the song Certain parts of a song are sung softly and sweetly perhaps the introduction, or the first verse, or at the emotional part. The singer will usually take the lead. If these parts of the song are supposed to be quieter, then play softly. If the chorus is more energetic, then play louder during the chorus. But once the next verse arrives, we tone down for the softer verse. Whenever we have such alternating dynamics of loud and soft, the listener will be captivated, moved and thus sing with more emotions and feelings. There will thus be 'expression' in the music, as opposed to having just one full volume all the way. If you listen and pay attention to the whole performance, you will automatically know when to go softer and when to let down your hair and rock away. c) Bass player should listen to the volume of the kick drum There is always a tendency for bassist to play too loud. The volume of the bass guitar should be at the same volume as the kick drum. If you cannot hear the kick drum, then bring down the volume of the bass. d) Pianist must take the lead role in controlling musical dynamics The pianist should listen attentively to the singer and know what kind of style and emotion the singer wants to portray in the songs. When the pianist softens, then the drummer, guitarist and bassist should follow suit. When the pianist starts to crescendo, then the rest of the band can rock and roll along. e) Singer should feel free to guide the band and tell them to play softer, louder, faster or slower. The musicians must remember that your main job is to back the singer, to help make the singer sound good. So please oblige the singer while on stage and let him have it his way. Do not oppose the singer no matter how bad he or she is. If a musician wants to take the limelight and be a star, then wait for your turn to do your solo. f) Listen to the soloist If a soloist is playing, all other instruments should not be louder such that the soloist is drowned. When the soloist is soloing, do not compete with him by playing all sorts of fancy stuff on your instrument that is totally unrelated to his solo. Just play some back up chords will do. g) Give everyone a chance to solo One of the reasons why many musicians do not play dynamically in a jam band is because they are eager to show off and be heard. We as musicians all want to be heard and noticed, so there is a tendency for us to make sure that we are loud so that the whole world can hear us. I believe one reason is because the musicians are not given ample opportunity to solo and be a star of the moment. Perhaps this is the reason why jazz musicians seldom have problems with dynamics. Jazz musicians always seem to know when to play soft, when to play simple, when to play harder etc. This is because they have already been given ample opportunity showcase their talents during their solos so there is no more need to fight to be heard and noticed. Keep these pointers in mind when you play or sing with a jam band the next time and have a rollicking good time.
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About the Author: Chris Chew plays with impromptu jam bands regularly.Read his blogs at Singapore Jam Bar and Free singing lessons

Things You Need to Know Before Buying Your First Digital Camera

Choosing the right digital camera for you isn't as easy as it sounds as these days they come in a range of sizes, colors, brands, zooms, resolutions, playbacks, etc. In fact digital cameras have become so complicated in the features and functions that manufacturers are adding to them, that buyers, especially first timers, can easily become overwhelmed. This is bewildering enough, but added to this the buyer also has to wade through the various advertisements and different ratings that are used to promote these products.So what are the sort of things that you should look for when buying a digital camera? There are some questions that you need to ask yourself before you can decide. You need to decide what YOU need and want from your camera. To do this, you can ask yourself the following questions:- What do you want to use your new camera for? Before you buy your new digital camera, it is important to determine what kind of pictures you want to take with it. If you only want it for family snaps, a cheaper model with few features and a low resolution will do. But if you are a digital photography enthusiast, any camera will just not do. You will have to look for features that can support the zooming you need, the resolution, etc.- How much can you afford to spend on your new digital camera? This is a very important question any person who intends to buy a camera should ask. Because no matter what your needs and wants are, your financial resource will play a huge part in dictating the type of digital camera you will buy. You may be able to stretch your budget further buy shopping around. The Internet can be a good source of information, and should help you to track down the best one that you can afford.- What are you resources? When you buy digital camera, sometimes the spending does not end there. You also have to consider the capacity and the power of the computer and the printer you will be using for your editing and printing needs. Editing software is usually included but remember other devices aren't. Aside from a printer, ink and paper for printing, you might also need additional memory cards for your camera and a more powerful computer to support image editing and image storage and retrieval.After answering these 3 questions, the second set of information you need to know before you buy digital camera are the features that you need in the device. These are:- Resolution. Before you buy, check first its capacity to produce high quality pictures. The number of pixels indicated determines resolution. The higher the number of pixels, the higher the resolution. High-resolution photos can be enlarged without losing image quality. So if you want to produce larger than normal photos you will need to invest in a high-resolution camera.- Built-in memory. Digital cameras need memory cards for picture storage. When you buy, make sure that the gadget that you buy does not only have a "built-in" memory but should also have a card slot for external and additional memory. This allows you to change full memory cards conveniently while shooting your pictures.- Look and feel. It is essential for you to feel comfortable holding your digital camera while shooting. So, before you buy, it is a good idea to test and check if you are comfortable holding it and using it. Consider where the buttons are located and how they are spaced out and see also if you feel comfortable using the viewfinder.- Battery life. Digital cameras use up batteries fast and batteries are expensive. Before you buy one, consider if the camera's batteries are rechargeable. This way you can recharge them. Take also into consideration an AC adapter when you buy your new camera. You can attach this to the camera when you are viewing your pictures or uploading them thus saving on battery usage.- LCD. The LCD is a special consideration you have to look into when you buy a digital camera. This is a small screen located at the back of the camera that enables you to preview the pictures you have taken. This has to be considered when you buy a camera because it uses up a lot of battery power. Most digital cameras allow you to take photos through the viewfinder as well as through the LCD screen. This also helps to cut down on battery usage.- Special features. Special features that will suit your needs should be thought about too before you buy. If you want your camera to have good zooming capacity, you can opt for one with optical zoom lenses. A diopter adjustment on the digital camera's viewfinder will also be beneficial to those who regularly wear glasses. Other features such as remote control, tripods, etc. can also be considered.Once you have gathered together this information, you will be in a much better position to decide what you really need and want before you buy a digital camera. If you want to see ratings and rankings of these devices based on price, resolution or other features, check out the various websites that have these on the Internet. With this knowledge you should be able to choose a digital camera that is just right for you.
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About the Author: Paul Winter is the editor of For more Photography related articles visit

Josh Groban: The New Boy Wonder Of Voice

Hailed as the "New Boy Wonder of Voice" by the New York Times, the American classical and pop singer Josh Groban"s (full name Joshua Winslow Groban) rise to stardom has been nothing short of spectacular. Born on February 27, 1981 in Los Angeles, Josh Groban had his first brush with stardom at age 17 when he sang the song "All I Ask of You" for the Grammy-winning producer/arranger David Foster in an inauguration event organized by him for the Governor of California, Grey Davis. Shortly after this, during the 1999 Grammy rehearsals, he was asked by Foster to stand in for Andrea Bocelli to sing the song "The Prayer" with none other than Celine Dion herself.

With his mature and versatile lyrical baritone voice, the young and dashing singing sensation became an instant heartthrob of millions of Americans when his multi-platinum debut album Josh Groban, produced by David Foster, was released in 2001, followed by Closer in 2003 and Awake in 2006. Apart from Foster, Josh has worked in close collaboration with famous musicians like Walter Afanasieff, Italian composer Ennio Morricone, Charlotte Church, The Corrs and Eric Mouquet of Deep Forest. Josh has also composed some of his own songs, like the ballad "Remember When It Rained", while working in close association with Eric Mouquet.

Though Josh had been busy with his singing at various events, he wanted to complete his graduation. But within just one year after joining the Carnegie Mellon University, he had to leave when he was offered a recording contract at Warner Bros. Records through Foster"s own 143Records.

Although trained in classical music and musical theater, his music reflects diverse influences, not fitting into a particular mold. When asked what style suits him the most, Groban"s answer was: "People might want to classify me as operatic I suppose, but I won't even be touching Arias for a long time. I want my voice to mature. I hope to look back on my career five or ten years from now and see that I continued to grow as a singer. I would never want to be pigeonholed." In addition to English, he has sung in Italian, French and Spanish, as well. With inspirational and soul-stirring songs like "To Where You Are" (2001) and "You Raise Me Up", Josh established himself in the classical crossover genre. He has also sung the song "For Always" for the soundtrack of "A.I.: Artificial Intelligence" with Lara Fabian and the song "Remember" for the soundtrack of "Troy" with Tanja Tzarovska.

Josh has also appeared in the 2001 season finale of the hit television program Ally McBeal, performing the soulful song "You"re Still You" (from his debut album) at his character's high school prom. The response to this episode was so great that Josh was asked to return to the show and was featured on the holiday episode of Ally McBeal in which he sang "To Where You Are", another track from his new record. Josh also sang "The Prayer" with Charlotte Church at the Closing Ceremony of the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Apart from these, Josh Groban has performed in numerous charity events along with the likes of Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Robin Williams and Don Henley. His appearance in various television chat shows like the Rosie O"Donnell Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Jay Leno, Larry King Live, 20/20 and The Today Show, among others, further added to his soaring popularity and fan clubs, so much so that his fans have coined a special term "Grobanites" to identify themselves. Long live Josh Groban and long live Grobanites!

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About the Author: Learn more about Josh at our Josh Fan Site with Josh Groban Wallpapers and more!

Native Immersion, Or How To Learn Spanish The Easy Way

When it comes to studying other languages, learning Spanish is at the top of the list in the US. Estimates indicate that by the year 2015 the United States of America will be the largest Spanish speaking country in the world. As national debate continues on whether or not Spanish should become our second national language, common sense tells us that it is certainly worthwhile to become at least somewhat fluent in the second most popular language on the American continent. On the other hand, being proficient in more than one language is quite an accomplishment. If you are interested in learning something new, but are not quite sure which language to take up, you might want to consider Spanish. If you want to learn Spanish, there are several approaches you can consider. One of the classical ones is to take a course. Most language courses revolve around grammar and vocabulary drills which result in nothing but frustration and the feeling that 'you are not cut out to learn Spanish'. Surely not, but maybe you are reading this article because you want to learn another language and do not really want to spend long doing it. You will need to learn grammar, and vocabulary, of course, but speaking a language is the best way to learn it. Clearly, it is not possible to learn a language in two days but there are methods you can use to speed up the process.Learning to speak Spanish can be rewarding and fun. You can really begin learning to speak Spanish within minutes. Though not everyone learns in the same way, by adapting your learning method, you can learn Spanish more easily. Immerse yourself in the beauty of Spanish culture, literature and history within the surroundings of cathedrals, plazas, convents, palaces, and churches, while learning the language from accredited institutes. Many sources on the Internet are available which allow for an in-depth learning of Spanish. Even better, take an immersion course and live in the country where the language is spoken natively. For example, a cultural immersion language course in cosmopolitan Barcelona may be a killer idea. One of the most baffling things about learning Spanish, and any other language, is that, somewhere along the line, students realize that the Spanish they hear spoken by native speakers may or may not be the same Spanish that they had been taught at their university or high school. Here you have why it is so important the contact with the Spanish speaking people and their culture.As most language teachers recommend once the basics are familiar, nothing beats immersion in order to gain command and fluency in the language. We are talking here about a total and absolute immersion, but even in this heaven for the person eager to acquire a second language it may take at least four years for a learner to master this language, and especially in adults, native-like pronunciation is very difficult to acquire.Book a holiday in a Spanish speaking country. If you feel that you are losing your desire to learn to speak Spanish online, try planning a trip to a Spanish speaking country. Hispanic nations are showing strong economic growth so the potential for work opportunities in Spanish speaking countries for those learning Spanish, is increasing everyday. Which such a huge and diverse Spanish speaking world community, it's without a doubt one of the most useful languages to learn a Spanish language course could open up many opportunities in terms of work and travel throughout the Spanish speaking world.
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About the Author: Find out a great selection of resources about Learning Spanish and Spanish Courses in Rocket Spanish The Easy Way

Digital or Film Camera?

For many, digital photography is a breath of fresh air, but be wary - believing our landscape images will be superior could be a serious blunder.Having lost count of the number of people who have asked me: have you gone digital? I am always left wondering why it's such a much-asked question. The camera is only a tool in which a photographer creates an image. His personal ability to create a unique image remains the same.For many forms of photography, digital has long held obvious advantages, but for landscapes the resolution necessary to make larger prints just wasn't available. But things have changed and digital cameras are fast becoming the tools that most pros use.Modern digital cameras are perfectly capably of matching the 35 mm film - the format which most landscape photographers begin with. But can they really match the large format film cameras? This is probably the greatest question that all photographers face.Instant LCD feedback is digitals greatest gift and this enables the photographer to check exposure and composition of their image in the blink of an eye. While this is a big advantage, the hours spent in front of the computer processing the raw images have to be a hindrance. A landscape photographers time is best spent behind a camera not in front of a computer.The pros and cons of digital photography will remain an issue for some time. At the end of the day a digital camera won't make a photographers images better. The same values we apply in our photography should remain regardless of which camera we use.Good photography remains as elusive and as enticing as it ever was; going digital doesn't change this or make getting good images any easier. It brings technical advantages, and plenty of them, but the majority of photographic techniques never change. Good landscape images come from the photographer's personal ability, not the ability of a camera. The camera helps, but the creative eye remains the same.As a landscape photographer I am still hesitant to embrace digital photography and all the qualities that digital has brought to other professionals in different photography fields.There are a few simple reasons that I still use a film camera:The authenticity of my images could be questioned if I used a digital camera. It is often assumed that great digital images have been manipulated.Too much time is spent in front of a computer.Slide film produce stronger colours than a digital camera.There are many advantages for changing to digital but I'm going to stick with film; for the time-being that is. With time film cameras will be a thing of the past and all our images will be exchanged for the pixels. But, be wary - believing our work will be superior would be falling into a great trap. For me size matters, the larger I can print an image the better.
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About the Author: Advice cam runs an informative Camera site that looks into all aspects of Photography from digital cameras programs to film camera. To find out more visit Camera Advice

Discover The Secrets To Making Model Ships That Look Like The Real Thing!

If you are looking for a new hobby or are a nautical enthusiast, you may consider making model sailboats. But how do you get started on such an endeavor? Following are things to keep in mind while you research this past time. Unlike most hobbies, ship model making requires few expensive tools. Almost every household, no matter how small, harbors the beginnings of a fine model maker`s tool kit. The rest can be made, improvised and bought as the work progresses. Most important of all tools to the maker of ship models is his knife. It may be anything from an inexpensive pocketknife to a high grade wood carver`s tool. Price and handle style are unimportant as long as its blade is sharp and strong and comfortable in your hand. Now that you have the tools, you are ready to get started. When you have obtained the plans for your ship model, your first job will be to construct the hull.If your model is to be a replica of the original, its hull, above all things, must be carefully shaped according to the accurate hull lines given in the drawings. To do this in the quickest and easiest way, you must follow some standard method of procedure. Simplest of all standard methods of model hull construction is the "bread and butter method of lifts. This particular method gets its name from the fact that lifts of wood, cut approximately to the various horizontal sections of the hull, are placed one on top of the other and glued together. When first assembled, the side of a glued up "bread and butter hull resembles a series of narrow steps.Once the "bread and butter lifts of your hull have been assembled, you are ready for the roughing and final shaping. However, do not pass over the cutting of your lifts lightly. The more accurate you are in cutting them to the exact lines of your plans, the easier it will be to get the finished effect that is necessary if your model hull is to look real.Of course, it all depends on how much time you want to spend making your model sailboats as to how much detail you add. You can get down to the smallest detail if you have the patience to do so. You can leave your model as a non working piece of art or go all the way and make it a fully functioning model sailboat, complete with rigging and pulleys. It is your model sailboat and you should enjoy making it. After you have finished construction on the model sailboat, you will want to decorate and finish it. In applying the decorations and finishing touches to a model, the craftsman should be guided by the type, nationality and period of the ship. If your plans do not give the exact coloring, look up a historical description of the vessel. To obtain a weathered effect on the sails, they can be dipped in coffee or tea or they can be painted or sprayed with a thin stain or lacquer. On models of very old ships, some model makers feel that it gives the rigging a touch of realism to slit the mainsail and neatly "repair the damage with a needle and thread. Such forms of decoration must be subtle, however, or they will ruin the entire effect of the model.
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About the Author: Discover The Secrets To Making Model Ships That Look Like The Real Thing! You`ll Swear That Someone Has Shrunk The Actual Ship - FREE For A Limited Time -

Digital MP3 and Portable Media Players-SCiBody

SCIBody introduces fantastic mp3 players,mp4 players and portable media players you'll hardly have the luck of finding elsewhere. Stock up on the swank, new and must-have slick gizmos at unbeatable prices and uncompromised functionality. Take your music places with our state of the art mp3 players, mp4 players,portable media players - mp3 players, mp4 players (yes, them video ones) and portable media players (they only sound complicated, but they're cartloads of fun to use). Lined up on this website are our Scibody mp3 players,mp4 players and portable media players which have created a sound of their own in the digital market.As accessories for your mp3 players,mp4 players and portable media players, we also have some cool FM Transmitters. What are these? These are gizmos that can transmit files in the audio format from your mp3 players,mp4 players and portable media players to any radio device wirelessly! So now play your own favourite mp3 music on a set frequency of your choice on your FM receiver.If you're looking for innovative ways to play your music, you simply need to know whom to buy stuff from, and we're the ones who define the superlative best.. We're talking about a futuristic approach to mp3 players,mp4 players and portable media players - our very own mp3 players mp3 watch! Now, a watch is some sort of an item you'd generally strut about in and show off, right? We've gone the designer way this time, to get you a blend of hot and sleek.. And who better than Versace to do the deed? Now play your music on the most invincible wrist apparel and make your own signature statement with this designer mp3 watch.Hot designs, great features and reasonable prices are our trademarks as an accomplished retailer.
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About the Author: waleed khamis is a Specialized in the Digital players products sale. read more about SCIBody at

Is Cultural Incompetence Putting up Walls Where You Work?

On Cultural Incompetence, Dr. Amaal V.E. Tokars states: "When you look around your place of employment, would you be surprised to see a wide variety of nationalities represented? Many would not. Today, most companies try to preserve some degree of cultural competence, accepting and understanding the value of cultural diversity in the work environment. Employers boasting policies of "equal opportunity" pervade our society. However, there is some evidence showing these companies only support cultural diversity to a certain degree --just enough to reduce their being liable for discrimination. Such employers are tolerant to a wide array of cultures and let them co-exist with the cultural majority, but only to the bare minimum. There is a subtle fear underlying this aversion to anything cultural, a fear of offending or being offended, a fear of what is different, a fear of disruption of the norm. So, despite the employees of various cultures being hired into companies claiming "equal opportunity," in general, it seems to be desired that the semblance of mainstream homogeneity is preserved.Why should we feel afraid of slipping out of the mainstream? Doesn't our melting-pot society require it? There are several factors contributing to this form of cultural oppression in the workplace. The first is personal prejudice -- the type of individual prejudice the cultural "other" experience in their daily lives. Every day people of different cultures and backgrounds are stereotyped for how they look, speak, and dress. The workplace is just one more arena for the culturally different to be categorized. This type of prejudice is common enough, though, to be targeted as a problem in the work environment. Frequent seminars are given to educate on ways to eliminate this type of prejudice. Let's get to the root of the problem, shall we? There exist certain systemic factors in our society that perpetuate something called structural racism. (Think of 'white privilege' for a moment.) This unintentional form of racism helps inequality seem the norm. Unrecognized, this problem continues on unchecked. Sadly, the discourse on diversity in workplace seminars rarely touches upon this type of prejudice and its connection to individual racism. Who is to blame for this exclusion? Fault could partly be placed on the presenters, who may not be well-versed in this type of prejudice. It could also be that the culture of the particular workplace does not see this issue as important enough to discuss as a factor contributing to individual prejudice. Whatever the reason, our adult education is lacking for it. If employers want to teach their employees to be critically conscious of the world around them, aspects of cultural competence must be introduced into these seminars. In fact, it must be introduced into the climate of the workplace as a whole that we should value our diversity, not suppress it.Breaking Down BarriersHow do we begin on the road toward a culturally competent workplace? The steps taken could be small --as simple as inviting employees to bring in dishes that reflect their cultural heritage, encouraging them to describe the cultural significance of the dish. The key is to create space for meaningful discourse, which will in turn create a more culturally open work environment. 1. Let your guard down: We must think of diversity as an asset, not a liability. Being culturally competent means understanding that every employee has an equally precious cultural heritage, and that one or two groups do not guide the reigns of diversity.2. Take Action: Encourage employees to express themselves in a way that will familiarize others with their unique cultural and spiritual backgrounds. In this way, they will learn the value of different cultures and how they enrich the work environment, and the country as a whole.3. Know you purpose: In educating for cultural competence, we need to understand its importance as part of continuing our adult education. Remember that we live in a country where diversity is ever present, and we cannot truly understand ourselves as Americans without understanding the value of the country's diverse population. The workplace is a great place to start."
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About the Author: Judi Lynn Lake resides in South Carolina, with her husband and 7 year old daughter. She successfully runs her own Advertising/PR Firm. Contact Judi at To learn more about Dr. Amaal V.E. Tokars' mission at

How To Tell What Major Key A Song Is In Quickly & Easily

Key signatures are a type of musical notation that indicate which key the song is to be played in.But key signatures, despite the name, are not the same thing as key. Key signatures are simply notational devices; just as a note is the notational name for a pitch, key signatures are the notational names for keys. It is what it says it is: a signature, a simple piece of information that tips you off to the physical form (the key) to be played.What does it mean to be "in the key of F", or "in the key of Bb"?It means that the composer based the composition on the scale of F (which has 1 flat in it), or the scale of Bb (which has 2 flats in it).Key signatures appear right after the clef (before the time signature) and show a sharp or flat on the line or space corresponding to the note to be altered. Key signatures placed at the beginning of songs will carry through the entire song, unless other key signatures are noted after a double bar, canceling out the first. For instance, it's entirely possible to start a song in the key of F but end it in the key of E flat; it all depends on the key signatures and where they're placed throughout the song (a key signature can change at any point). Accidentals can also show up throughout a song and only once or twice flatten or sharpen a note that was not previously indicated; this cancels out the key signatures, as well, but only temporarily, for as long as the accidental lasts.Beginners just learning to read music often have a hard time with key signatures because the key itself is not expressly written, and it's sometimes difficult to remember what goes where. Key signatures with five flats or sharps have been known to terrorize new musicians -- how in the world, they think, are we supposed to remember all these note changes while we're playing the song? It's obviously possible, though, and there are some rules that can help beginners identify and remember the key as it relates to the key signatures, rules that go beyond rote memorization. If there is more than one flat, the key is the note on the second to last flat. If there are any sharps at all, the key is a half step up from the last one noted. F major, a key frequently found in beginning sheet music, only has one flat (B), and C major has no sharps or flats at all. Key signatures, when viewed in light of these rules, are much easier for beginners to digest, ensuring that a proper knowledge of key signatures is on its way through the door.One fact that most people don't realize is that sharps and flats always occur in the same order:The order of the flats is B, E, A, D, G, C, F.The order of the sharps is just the opposite -- F, C, G, D, A, E, B.So if there is one flat in the key signature, it is always B. If there are two flats in the key signature, they are always B and E. Three flats are always B, E, and A. Four flats in a key signature spell the word BEAD. And so on.It's the same in sharps, too, except backward. If there is one sharp in a key signature, it is always F. Two sharps in a key signature are always F and C. Three are F, C, and G. And so on. So once you have memorized the order of the flats, all you have to do is apply the rule mentioned earlier: the next to the last flat is the name of the key. For example, if you have four flats in a key signature, they are Bb, Eb, Ab, Db. The last flat is D, so the next to the last flat is A. So the key is Ab.With sharps, just mentally go up 1/2 step from the last sharp, and that is the key. For example, if a key has 4 sharps, they are F#, C#, G#, D#. One-half step above D# is E, so the key is E.So there you have it. Memorize the order of the flats and sharps and those two simple rules, and you'll be able to identify what major key any song is in quickly and easily.
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About the Author: A free lesson from Duane on key identification is available: "How To Tell What Key a Song Is In"