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Showing posts from August, 2008

Percussion 101: Percussion Families

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Percussion 101: Percussion Families

When most people ask what I play, I say "Percussion".

They usually look at me with a questioning look, and a "Oh, that's nice".

Then I say, "I play the drums."

The lightbulb hits. "Oh, you are a DRUMMER!"

Percussion is more than Animal banging on a set of toms. It is more than "More COWBELL!" and it is definitely more than that little monkey that plays the cymbals.

There are several different groups of percussion instruments. Since percussion instruments essentially include anything you hit or shake to make noise (including noisemakers like bird whistles, car brake drums, radios, and the kitchen sink), being able to include every instrument seems like a daunting task. 
Generally musicians group percussion into pitched and non-pitched percussion.
Here are some basic pitched Percussion Instruments: Pitched Metals: Bells, Crotales, Vibraphone, ChimesPitched Wood: Marimba, XylophonePitched Drums: Timpani, Ro…

20 Mistakes Amateurs Make when Creating Musicc

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Let's say you are aspiring to be the most memorable singer/songwriter/performer of all time, but it's the first time in that you have been in the studio and you are creating your first masterpiece. 

Whether you are slamming together some sweet dance beats, crooning out a ballade, trippin' on rock n roll, composing your first string quartet, or trying to be the next Jordin Sparks, there are some things that will guarantee that your latest CD will end up at the bottom of the discard pile.


So here you go, in no particular order:
20 Tips on How to Create Crappy Music 1) Make sure that your demo tape sounds like you recorded it at a construction site. The extra racket from the bulldozers and jackhammers will add a little bit of finesse to your delicate lyrics.

2) Make sure every lyric rhymes with the word "blue".  

3) If you can't afford a real musician to play the sick guitar solo, practice Guitar Hero until you are blue in the face and then record your new soloing ski…

10 Tips for Adding Music to Film, Video, and You Tube

With the advent of You Tube, almost anyone with a computer and a webcam can become a director. Here is something to think about:
70% of a viewer's movie enjoyment lies in the quality of the sound
Not 5%, or 25%, or an even 50-50%. In other words, most viewers prefer watching a cruddy movie with an AMAZING soundtrack than watching an inspiring and well-written story that has a junky soundtrack and the noise of jets from the nearby airport wrecking ever-so-inspiring dialogue. 
Another over-done mistake by You Tube and amateur directors is including the latest Top 40 hit as their soundtrack. Unless you have worked out copyright and license arrangements with the artist, while your video may have Oscar-worthy performances and a compelling script, it is no more than really good fan-art. Popular soundtracks have their own popularity and their own cultural connotations, which means use of these tracks already taints your work with the image of the artist. Besides, without the rights, you can…