Selasa, 20 Desember 2011

The Mistake That Immortalized Cannibal and the Headhunters

In a career that included signature songs like "In the Midnight Hour" (which he wrote) and "Mustang Sally," it's surprising that Wilson Pickett's greatest success was 1966's "Land of 1000 Dances," a cover of Cannibal & the Headhunters' hit from the previous year.
Pickett recorded "Land of 1000 Dances" with producer Jerry Wexler at Rick Hall's FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Pickett's cover was a faster, grittier, rhythm and blues cover of the Headhunters' song.
Cannibal & the Headhunters were East Los Angeles garage band rockers who used music to escape their tough neighborhood. Lead singer Frankie Garcia got his distinctive name because his brother was nicknamed "Big Cannibal." Frankie, naturally, became "Little Cannibal."
The band's raucous sound was achieved by packing the recording studio with people, including the many girls who followed the group. Recording engineer Bruce Morgan put microphones in front of the girls, who chanted the "naa na na na naa" background vocals. Cannibal recorded his vocals from a separate sound booth.
But the Headhunters' "Land of 1000 Dances" was itself a cover; the original was written and first recorded in 1962 by Chris Kenner, a hard-living longshoreman and R&B shouter who had previously hit with "I Like It Like That."
Kenner, who had been a member of a gospel group, said the inspiration for "Land of 1000 Dances" came from the spiritual "Children Go Where I Send You." Kenner, hoping to take part in the dance song craze, incorporated 16 dances into his original, including the Pony, the Mashed Potato, the Chicken, the Alligator, the Twist, the Watusi, the Fly, the Jerk, the Tango, the Yo-Yo, the Sweet Pea, the Hand Jive, the Bop, the Slop, the Fish and the Popeye. But for all the dances mentioned, the title of the track is never heard in the lyrics.
The famous "naa na na na naa" chant so identified with the song was not heard in Kenner's original. The song's most memorable phrase began because Kenner's litany of dances was so difficult for Cannibal to remember. It was at a performance that Cannibal, who'd lost track of the many dances, instead substituted "naa na na na naa." It sounded so good that the phrase stuck.
The song became a staple of garage bands as it was so easy to sing and play. Dozens of artists have covered the song, including Tina Turner, Patti Smith and Tom Jones. Cannibal's "mistake" was included in the Pickett hit and became the song's trademark.
On his Rockaeology website, Lee Jensen unearths the secrets behind the writing, production and recording of the great hits of rock, soul, doo-wop, the British Invasion and Rhythm & Blues. Get the stories behind the songs at

  Article Source: here

Minggu, 30 Oktober 2011

How To Sightread Music Effectively

The key to sightreading music is being able to recognize notes quickly. This skill can help when you play piano.
The goal of sightreading is not to play the song at the correct speed. Instead, the goal is to play the song correctly. Playing notes the first time correctly makes it easier than trying to fixed a wrong note you've been playing incorrectly.
When you begin sightreading, you should start with simple songs. Easy ways to do that is to try out songs from a beginners book or print some sheet music online. Once you have music in front of you, read the first few notes before playing. You want to be able to read ahead and let your fingers follow your brain.
Keep in mind that speed is not the goal! Reading music correctly and playing every note correctly is the goal. Sight reading helps with learning how to read music because it allows you to practice seeing new notes in front of you without having read the music before.
It really takes practice to play the notes impressively like you may see on YouTube. There's no magic product that will miraculously teach you how to read fast and play piano perfectly. Look at it as if you were learning to drive a care. Begin slow and read the notes carefully and put thought into every key on the piano you press. In a few months, you would have built more confidence in your note reading that the time between reading the notes and pressing a key will decrease.
With patient practice of hitting the right notes, you will be less likely to make mistakes later!
You should always aim to practice playing piano and trying out new songs for at least an hour a day. My method of practice is to always go back and play old songs just to keep a repertoire. It will maintain your skill level and not waste all the work into mastering a song.
You will also become more impressive when you need to play in front of other people (which brings up - for songs you really like, you may want to memorize it so that you can play it on the spot)!

Senin, 10 Oktober 2011

Why Musicians Need A Music PR Firm

In the music industry, you have heard about PR firms and wonder if they might be able to help you. It's time for you to take that next step since you are feeling confident about your ability to be a success. Having a PR firm may seem like a huge deal, but once you learn more, you will find that it's practical and very helpful. Once you take the time to learn more about how PR agencies work and what they can do for you, you won't be so hesitant to give them a try.
It helps to know how a PR agency can help make you more successful. No matter how great your music is, it's hardly worth your time and effort if no one knows about it. You need a vehicle to spread the word about your music so that more people can hear and appreciate your talent. This is one of the things that a PR agency can do for you.
It is the job of a PR agency to let the public know who you are and what you are doing. There is no magic formula, but PR agencies have techniques and methods that have been proven over and over again. They know how to reach the public. They have writers and editors and marketing specialists who know how to spread news in the fastest and safest ways possible. It's fast because they go right for the public heart and it's safe because they protect you at all costs.
Public approval is important in some professions. Sports players and music artists are a couple of examples of people who need public approval. Just like sports figures who need people to follow their careers, musicians need people who listen to their music and follow their careers.
A good PR agency will do whatever is necessary to get your name exposed to as many people as possible. While many musicians try to do this on their own, they often fail. It is not their expertise and the job is too overwhelming. It takes a professional to know how to deal with such matters. While it may seem to be expensive to hire someone, you have to consider that you are paying them because they are professionals and they know how to get the job done right.
When working with your PR agency, make sure that they understand exactly what type of musician you are and what you hope to accomplish through their company. When dealing with the public, they need to be able to give the most accurate picture of your personality and what you represent to the music industry. You will find that the better they know you, the more helpful they can be to your music career. Their expertise and experience is just what you need to get you on the right path to your success as a musician.

How to Move a Piano (Part One)

Any good tradesman knows that he will indeed end up blaming his tools if he does not have the correct equipment. This is the place to start, but also the place to end for many people, since the cost of obtaining the right tools will outweigh the cost of hiring a professional mover for 'one off' moves.

1) A piano trolley with good sized wheels. Often professionals use pneumatic wheels which cope with uneven surfaces better. Furniture skates designed for indoor use can be useless, even disastrous for outside use, since their small wheels catch on and exaggerate any deformity on the ground. For example, they might sink into a gravel drive, hit a raised pavement slab, and most likely, make a mountain out of the smallest step.

2) Piano transit cover: Its main use is for storing a piano on a van to prevent other items damaging it. When actually manoeuvring a piano, heavy quilting can be a hindrance, since grip and vision may be impaired. However, a cover is important if you are moving a piano through a narrow passage between outside brick walls. This is because a small deformity in the path can result in significant movement at the top of the piano (which is further exaggerated by small unsuitable wheels on your trolley).

3) Boards, ramps, blocks and chocks for steps. These are items acquired over time, by begging and borrowing and raiding builder's skips, until you have a wide choice to suit any obstacle. If you are moving a piano between houses, it will be a rare occasion when there are no steps at either end, and strong boards can make light work of these.
The use of boards is a subject on its own; but briefly, chocks (smaller pieces of wood)
Should be placed underneath the middle of your board to prevent excessive bending, and used to prevent your board lying on vulnerable doorway structures. Modern sliding doors often have aluminium or plastic base grooves. These can be damaged by the weight of a piano; chocks or blocks together with boards should therefore be placed to avoid contact if you are not confident you can tilt the wheels over them.

4) Blankets, cardboard and plastic sheet: These are used for wrapping panels, protecting floors and manoeuvring pianos. There are three pieces of the piano you should remove and wrap in blankets: The desk (the panel where the music sits), the key cover, and the bottom panel. Although this may not always be necessary, there is a good reason to do it. If your piano is old you cannot necessarily trust the dowels and fixings to be either present or in good order. The desk and bottom panel may fall off at the slightest movement. if nothing else, you will in the process of removing them, inspect their fixings. In more testing moving operations which involve turning the piano on its side, these three pieces must be removed.
Smooth, heavy duty, clear plastic sheet can be folded to double or quadruple its thickness. It is slippery and protective, and can facilitate controlled movement.
Old cardboard can be used for protecting floors, and especially for protecting overhanging piano lids when the piano needs to be turned and dragged through and round a doorway.

5) Mover's Ties and heavy duty ratchet straps: Take care to exert only minimum pressure with the ratchet. It is the thickness and strength of the strap which is important so you can hold it well and trust it. Ratchet straps are important for the inexpert mover because you can trust their tension. The danger is that a heavy hand could damage the piano case. The advice is to ratchet up with one finger, and like the belt on your pants, you have enough tension when you can still slip a finger or two between the strap and the piano. NEVER use a strap on a piano without a blanket between it and the piano.
Conversely, insufficient tension will allow movement which could become exaggerated. The piano could ultimately work loose of its securings.

6) Screw drivers, pliers, and a soft faced mallet. Very often no tools at all will be needed for moving upright pianos. Grand pianos will always require some tools, to remove the legs, lyre, lid and lid hinges (in the USA they tend to use a flat skid board which does not require the lid to be removed. In Europe a shoe is used which does).
There are many situations in which manoeuvring an upright piano around corners requires the removal of the casters. Actually casters are another big subject: They are often seized, and should only be used for rolling a piano the last half inch back against a wall, should be placed on caster cups to avoid damage to the floor, and should never be used in the relocation of a piano.

7) Piano shoes and skids. These tools are a serious financial commitment. Their purpose is to provide a sacrificial surface against which to manoeuvre the piano; either onto a trolley, or up steps or along a board. As with all tools, cheap versions are available and should be avoided, since a tool which will betray you is a liability of immeasurable cost.
You can find more information about piano moving (including grand piano moving) on the piano moving tips pages. The author's website offers a directory of services and moving advice for students and all small movers.

  Article Source: here

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