Monthly Archives: January 2009

Arpeggios Tricks And Explanations

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Arpeggios are a broken chord. You can still play the chord with your left hand, but with the pick hand only play “one note at a time“. The same goes for all instruments. On piano, or glockenspiel, or even flute – simply play the chord one note at a time.

Try and write some songs today using Arpeggios!

New Work City Changes Workplace And Maybe Indie Music Landscape

What if I told you the new studio isn’t going to be a studio – it’s going to be a complete building filled with Independent musicians.

But also along side of those producers, etc are going to be graphic designers, PR agents, web developers, journalists, and more.

Let’s face it – “Working alone sucks”. Well, yes – and so does writing music alone. No one wants to feel lonely, and everybody works better when around others.

So now imagine an entire building of musicians working together, helping each other, recording each other, and more.

Enter New Work City, Indy Hall, and many more! For a complete list if places simply go here

What is Coworking?

More and more people are becoming self employed – including musicians. Coworking is the idea of getting all these people together in one place. Think of it as a normal office, but of the people, by the people, and for the people.

It may be a while until this all happens. But could we see a place in the future where Music Publishers, Lawyers, Designers, Musicians, Band Reps, Producers, and more work in ONE building?! It would make an interesting and competitive atmosphere – but only time will tell… Closes Its Doors

Breaking News: is closing its doors. With the increasing growth in internet activity, a website for musicians was a great asset to the music community. But, as is were, there is increasing competition from Myspace, Reverbnation, IndiePendence Music, Facebook, Jamendo, Pure Volume, and many more.

What was was a place similar to Nimbit or CD Baby – where artists could sell their music, but it also had features similar to Myspace, where fans created profiles, and found new music through its’ website and blogs.

In an email sent out to the Fuzz Community, users are referred to Nimbit and for their musical needs. Perhaps this is a result of the 2009 Recession or maybe just poor execution. Either way, I’ve seen alot of startups close doors these past few months due to the economic situation.

Expect to see alot of more activity from Fuzz’s competitors, and even a few more startups to ‘Start Up’.

Why, you ask? Because recessions create innovations. one of which I feel will be Muxtape

RIAA Abandons Lawsuits While 95% Of Music Is Illegally Downloaded

Hmmm…. coincidence?

Gizmodo published an article claiming that 95% of downloaded music is pirated which comes at an interesting time considering that the RIAA just announced last week that they are uplifting lawsuits.

Well, now as we enter the New Media age, things are changing… quickly.

Today’s music is from independent artists. The internet is also a HUGE venue for these artists. The indiependent movement understands the internet, and the people that make it up. They understand how the new business model works, how Twitter works, Creative Commons, Jamendo, Ustream, magnatune, and more. I’m all for people protecting their artwork, but the RIAA is going about it wrong.

The RIAA has to face this movement head on. The hill is too steep, and their time and money can be better spent on other things rather than squash a handful of people. Truth is, even if they did carry out the lawsuits people wouldn’t stop anyway, and the likely-hood that they win the cases is looking slimmer, as users are usually anonymous, and claim to have privacy rights.

Independent musicians use the internet and Creative Commons to grow their brand and fanbase

It’s no surprise then that 95% of music is stolen – because its a different mindset than it was years ago. Its seen as free publicity in hopes to build an audience to tour. Also, not only is music being given away, but its also Podsafe a majority of the times, too, allowing broadcasters, podcasters, and more to play your music without having to pay royalties. It was a movement partially started by former MTV VJ Adam Curry who has since renamed his Podsafe Music Network to Mevio.

Of course, there will always be Major Label music, but there’s a new era that is quickly growing. Today’s music is also usually licensed Creative Commons, which essentially allows you to remix, and broadcast music, video, and more for your own pleasure. The internet is changing things, and this is a great thing for YOU – the independent musician.

Use iPhone’s iTick App For A Portable Metronome!

A metronome is any device that produces a regulated aural, visual or tactile pulse to establish a steady tempo in the performance of music. It is a useful practice tool for musicians that dates back to the early 19th century.

Metronomes are THE most important learning utensil in one’s toolkit. It keeps the beat for you. Obviously you can’t carry a drummer with you. Since the launch of Apple’s iTunes App Store, there have been a ton of cool apps – many of which are free.

One of those Apps is The iTick. To learn more about the iTick, go here. Now you can carry your metronome with you with your guitar on your back. Leave the hardware metronome at home.

Here’s my video on Metronomes and Beats Per Minute (BPM):

If you don’t have an iPhone, then consider using Metronome Online’s Cell Phone Metronome. If portability isn’t an issue then there’s also the option of using a website for a metronome like Seventh Strings or like ‘The Weird Metronome‘. So use those if you have a laptop with you. In addition, there’s always the option of using Garageband or a sequencer like that, too.

In conclusion, you have alot of options available to you, so there’s no excuse not to use a metronome. Besides, it’ll make you a better musician – and that’s the end goal, right?!

Creating Scales On The Guitar

Creating Scales On The Guitar

To create scales, we will be using which ever key we decide to use. In this case lets make an A Major scale using our A major key: A B C# D E F# G#

If we take these notes we found in our key (A B C# D E F# G#) and mark them on our guitar like so. we make up a A Major scale!

We have now successfully created our A Major scale by adding our notation to the fretboard diagrams.

Creating Major And Minor Chords

This Post written by James Dellay. To learn more about him follow him on Twitter!

Creating Major Chords

Creating Major Chords using the R/3/5 idea.Root/3rd/5th is the algorithm to create Major chords,The Root is the key you are playing in, in our case A Major, the 3rd is the 3rd alphabetic character in your key, and the 5th is 5th alphabetic character in our key.

In this case we have A B C# D E F# G#

R 3 5

So if we gather our R/3/5 which is (A C# E) we now make up our A Major Chord.

Lets take a look at a diagram showing you how this is done.

Creating Minor Chords

Creating Minor Chords using the R/b3/5 idea.

Root/b3/5 – is the algorithm to create Major chords, in our case A Major, the flat 3rd is the 3rd alphabetic character in your key flat by a half step (i.e. Ab = G# or Gb = F#), and the 5th is 5th alphabetic character in our key.

In this case we have A B C# D E F# G#

R b3 5

So if we gather our R/b3/5 which is (A C E) we now make up our A Minor Chord.

Lets take a look at a diagram showing you how this is done.

I hope that my diagrams and lessons have helped YOU, that striving musician, to learn the great tools available in theory to help you understand music a little better.

In closing words, keep your head up, never give up, aspire to be great, and do BIG things.


-James Dellay

Mobile Devices Receive Broadcasts In 2009!

Welcome to mobile entertainment. This is big news from a musician’s standpoint. 22 U.S. cities including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston, Washington and Atlanta will start broadcasting to mobile devices this year! As the world makes a shift to go completely mobile, this is a huge move. With sites like Hulu, Qik, and more, we can expect to be ‘on the go’ for our entertainment. Coffee shops now have WiFi, Airports now have Internet, and Laptops are more powerful than Desktops were only a few short years ago.

So now expect to receive Music Tours, Shows, and more to take full advantage of this landscape. And if you’re a touring musician or in the music industry, then pay attention.

The Consumer Electronics Show (Also known as CES) was home to several big announcements from these companies, which included LG. LG has been known to use new media before in their Youtube Contests.

According to The Washington Post, the obstacle for this to happen is in the Phone Companies. Verizon, who has tried hard with their VCast to get this going, it has seen a decline in its service. I feel like the reason for this is simply because VCast didn’t support all formats and phones, which is usually the death for other technology too.

The largest, AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless, sell phones that are compatible with a rival mobile broadcasting system run by Qualcomm Inc. It provides 10 channels for $15 per month. As always, cars are a large mobile market, so expect to hear more about their status in the coming months!

The End Of Microsoft’s Zune?

The Zune, Microsoft’s portable music player, is rumored to be laying to rest. It couldn’t cut into Apple’s iTunes and iPod sales, and has even received few support amongst mp3 buyers. (Thanks to HaveBoard for extra help on this blog)

As a musician, we’re seeing a big change in landscape from media, to digital. The Napster era launched a new format, and now we’re seeing the effects of it in the entire music marketplace. Which is why the end of the Zune is a big story.

The Financial Times recently learned from CEO Steve Ballmer of the Zune’s state. Perhaps there’ll put their resources towards SongSmith, or incorporate it into a do-all system that they create.

In a world of WiFi, WiMax, EVDO, and more – an mp3 player seemed to be doomed that entered late into the market. The iPod came out on October 23, 2001, whereas the Zune entered on November 14, 2006. But Apple, had something that all these other mp3 players don’t – the software:

It’s a common tactic – loss leaders. Lose money on the iPod, but then gain it on the mp3 sales.

5 years is alot of jump time, and that alone could have spelled the doom for Microsoft. In addition, Apple had better user feedback and a better marketing campaign than Microsoft Zune, too. In fact, even Rhapsody was planning on coming out with an mp3 player, too.

All of this at a time where only a few short months ago Microsoft announced plans for a Zune with more WiFi options and bigger hard drives.

Is Twitter The New Business Card?

OK, I use Twitter all the time. I’ve met amazing people this year through it. Having attended numerous meetups and conventions for my Music Lesson Show, I noticed something interesting:

Instead of handing out business cards, more people are asking me “What’s your Twitter?”

So I’d answer follow me on Twitter @WaltRibeiro!

I used to email people to stay connected. Now I follow them on Twitter. I Twitter DM in leu of Email, and I @ them instead of text message or call them. The thing is, if we’re following each other on Twitter then we’re constantly in touch. So I don’t have to email them every 4 weeks to keep in touch – I’m already talking with them every day.

If I’m at a meetup I’ll simply twitter ‘Who’s going tonight’ or ‘If anyone is here then we’re in the back room.” In addition, when I Twitter “Yo @milewis and @meghanasha I had a great time!” The reason why I find this useful is because its public, and therefor people who may follow me, or Mike, or Meghan will follow each other – think of it like a “Linked-In meets IM.” – a kind of social networking site that you see who’s in your circle.

‘Is Twitter the new business card?’

I can’t remember the last time I asked someone “What’s your Skype” at a meetup. Granted, I’m involved in the Tech scene, so my crossings with Twitter are going to be higher than if I worked in the Auto industry. But I feel it won’t be long until everybody starts using Web 2.0 services.

There are also other services, like DropCard. This is a neat idea, but I feel like it will take a few years to pick up. Basically, you can text message your business card. This is great because it saves paper, and since everyone is starting to live in the cloud anyway, this is a useful tool. But I don’t see my grandfather using this service, so when Generation Y grows up then they’ll start using these ‘Hip’ business cards services.

Truth is, I don’t think I’ll ever stop using business cards – in the same way I don’t think I’ll ever stop using paper or sending greeting cards. But I can’t deny that I’ll certainly use these services more and more as time goes on.

So what do you think? Will business cards be replaced by services like Twitter and Drop Card?

American Music Awards Versus Youtube Live

A few weeks ago was the American Music Awards on ABC. Normally this wouldn’t make a huge difference in my life, but this comes at a time where I had just finished watching Youtube Live.

We live in a User-Generated age, where we shoot our own video, take our own pictures, and even sell then independently. Not that award shows are old hat – but their approach is. This is also interesting too, because my friends and I don’t watch TV much any more… its just too ‘different’. Being online has allowed me to be more connected and involved with others lives. I love the interaction that the internet allows us to have with each other.

The thing is that these award shows don’t allow users to choose camera angles – nor do they don’t utilize Twitter, Ustream, Flickr, or Facebook. In fact, I didn’t even hear about the AMA’s until THAT NIGHT when someone Twittered about it :)

Video of Joe Satriani killing it at Youtube Live with a Youtube Star!

The old award shows weren’t about the users, they were about the content creators. Not that there’s a huge flaw in that thinking, but content creators are half of the pie – the other half is the audience. Its about the viewer who wants to watch it, tell their friends, and vote. Its about the people reading this Blog Post. Its about everybody. Youtube Live was about everyone. It featured interesting content from interesting people, it allowed us to choose camera angles, and even watch it over and over again.

So I wonder, can this approach be taken up by major studios (i.e. ABC, NBC, ESPN, MTV, CBS, etc.) as the tides turn and Web 2.0 makes its’ Staple?