Monthly Archives: April 2017

Which One Needs Higher Preference – A Microphone or a Voice Amplifier?

Understanding and communication play a very important role in a person’s well-being. Everyone has feelings, expressions, and needs that they wish to convey others and share with all others around them. It is a terrible feeling to not be able to express oneself or let others know how they feel in an effective manner. It can easily infest one’s mind with sadness, anger, depression, and frustration. There are many people who feel fatigued and low because they have to speak with others all day. Their voice gets weakened and sometimes it is so bad that they are hardly able to whisper. People like these may find difficulty in communicating with their friends and family members over phone calls as well and might be compelled to use speakerphones in place of normal receivers. These are the people who are in dire need of voice amplifiers. Such equipment can really help in amplification of your voice even when you are speaking in a very low tone.

Another scenario where these equipment prove their ultimate usage is in teaching. The instructors often face problems regarding conveying instructions especially in larger areas like skating rinks or pools. It is especially a problem with respect to pools because the echoing effect of water and noise from all pool users and music that might be or might not be part of different programs that are going on. Though instructions can also be provided with visual cues, but there will always come a time when a participant would need clear instructions. Similar problems are faced by people in other kinds of speaking jobs.

A voice amplification system can always provide a simple solution to this problem. There are several types of voice amplification systems that are available in markets these days, the best ones are the portable voice amplifiers. Most of these also help enhance speech level of people who are suffering from permanent voice impairment or disability. Patients or subjects also have the option of body worn voice amplifiers that can be adorned by the person easily. These can really help disabled and weak people reach out to others and let them know what they wish to convey.

Body worn amplifiers mainly boost the voice level and help to keep vocal cords from stress and strain. It can really improve the quality of life for the person carrying this equipment. If it a pool or a group activity, it will definitely take the enjoyment level up and would help in making events or training sessions much more successful for participants. Life will get more pleasant and frustrations will be much less for the instructor whose life becomes a hell of the struggle to be heard by others. Misunderstandings are reduced and problems will be reduced to half both for the speakers and the receivers.

Voice amplifiers have been gearing a core space in several scenarios where people need to speak all day round and end up hurting their vocal cords. It is also a pain for those who are disabled due to any reason and are unable to communicate with others in a clear manner. The new equipment like voice amplifier that can also be worn on the waist or on the body can easily help easing out problems for all and making a huge difference to lifestyle and everyday problems.

 

The Best Songs With Only Four Letters In The Title

The local classic rock station kicks off the noon lunch hour each weekday by playing songs that are connected in some way, such as sharing a word in their titles or featuring a common theme. A recent show grouped a set of songs that all had just four letters in their titles, even though the disc jockey quickly discounted the smash hit by the Village People because its title was an acronym.

Lola by the Kinks immediately came to mind, but the station played three others before it got to that one. “Tush” by ZZ Top, David Bowie’s “Fame” and “Help” by The Beatles comprised the trio of hits that preceded the aforementioned tune by the Kinks, even though “Rain” and “Girl” by the Fab Four also fit the category.

I spent the next half hour brainstorming other songs with four letter titles that the station could have played, even though several of them would not be classified as classic rock. Here are ten of the best songs with four letter titles.

Isis by Bob Dylan

The highlight from the Desire album is a narrative of a search for a treasure that had been at home all the time.

Gone by Ben Folds

Attacking the piano is his way of dealing with the heartbreak he suffered when his girl left, according to this track from Rockin’ the Suburbs.

Time by Pink Floyd

Dark Side of the Moon continues to be one of the most popular records, mainly because of timeless hits like this one.

Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls

Commonly known as I Don’t Want the World To See Me, this nineties hit made Dizzy Up the Girl a best-selling album.

Sing by the Carpenters

Karen and her brother had a huge single with the simple command of making a joyful sound.

Lodi by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Several states have cities with this name, but John Fogerty was most likely referring to the town in California.

Ohio by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

Neil Young penned this short rock tune shortly after hearing about the four victims of the National Guard at Kent State University.

Jody by Del Shannon

Justifiably the B-side of “Runaway,” this tune still serves as evidence of Shannon’s distinctive vocal style.

Amie by Pure Prairie League

The Cincinnati band’s first major hit has been often misspelled in search engines, disappointing those fans who recall the title as Amy.

Hair by the Cowsills

Not only was this catchy song a huge hit for the family band, but it also earned awards as a rock opera.

These Great Apology Songs Have Nothing To Be Sorry About

For some reason missed an episode of one of my favorite music programs, Sound Opinions from National Public Radio. Fortunately, I was able to revisit the show via the Internet but, after listening to it, I can say that I am literally sorry for not hearing it live.

Sorry was indeed the theme of the episode where the hosts, Chicago music journalists Greg Kot of the Tribune and Jim DeRogatis of the Sun Times, discussed the best apology songs in rock history. Among the most notable they mentioned were “All Apologies” by Nirvana, “I’m Sorry” by Brenda Lee, “So. Central Rain” by REM and “I Apologize” by Husker Du.

Here are some others that could have been added to the already impressive list.

Feel Like a Bullet (In the Gun of Robert Ford) by Elton John

Plenty of the Rocket Man’s tunes can fit this category, especially one like “Sorry Seems To Be the Hardest Word” from the Blue Moves album. This ballad from Rock of the Westies, however, offers one of the most heartfelt apologies in the history of modern music. The name in the subtitle, which I had to research when I first heard the song, was the traitorous friend who fatally shot Jesse James.

Jealous Guy by John Lennon

Just over a year removed from The Beatles, Lennon recorded this apologetic ballad for the Imagine album. “I didn’t mean to hurt you,” he repeats. “I’m sorry that I made you cry.” Just in case that ao

logy would not suffice, Lennon ended the album with the love song “Oh Yoko.”

Big Mouth Strikes Again by the Smiths

Morrissey in this track from The Queen Is Dead admits to saying some pretty mean stuff to his love interest, such as suggesting that she should be bludgeoned in her bed and desiring to smash every tooth in her head. Afterwards he compares himself to Joan of Arc being burned, saying he does not deserve to live among mankind.

Mr. Guilty by Loudon Wainwright

The folk singer-songwriter says he is sorry in every verse on this live tune from Unrequited, even though his legion of fans know that his apology is simply his characteristic sarcasm.

Baby Come Back by Player

Listeners can never be certain exactly what he did to drive the girl away, but the poor guy sounds sincerely rueful about the breakup. In the very catchy chorus he admits that he was wrong, as he repeatedly begs her to return.

 

The Ten Best Albums From 1989, The Last Year Of Vinyl Recordings Before Recent Revival

An earthquake postponed the World Series between the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants. The primary access to the Internet came through something called dial-up, and the main phone contacts were made via land line.

That year, which was 1989, also marked the last time a popular record company made its last vinyl edition. Now, nearly thirty years later, it once again has begun pressing albums on vinyl.

As fans look forward to once again enjoying music made to be played on turntables, we can look back at the best albums released during the year that marked the end of the eighties and of the vinyl record.

Spike by Elvis Costello

After more than ten years of recording excellent albums, Costello finally hit number one on the charts with “Veronica” from this LP.

Oranges and Lemons by XTC

“Mayor of Simpleton” is the most well known hit from this disc, but several other tracks such as “King For a Day” have become fan favorites.

The Miracle by Queen

Freddie Mercury would sadly pass away two years later, but his vocals are as powerful here as they were on The Game at the beginning of the decade.

The End of the Innocence by Don Henley

Drumming for the Eagles had ceased almost a decade earlier, but Henley again struck gold with hits like “The Heart of the Matter” and the title track.

Oh Mercy by Bob Dylan

Several preceding records had been considered disappointments, but with hits like “Everything’s Broken”, “Political World” and “Ring Them Bells” this album served as yet another comeback for the legendary artist.

Freedom by Neil Young

He was not only rocking in the free world on this record, but Young was also making tunes such as “Wrecking Ball” and “No More.”

Storm Front by Billy Joel

Two huge hits, “We Didn’t Start the Fire” and “I Go To Extremes”, resulted in this record hitting number one on the album chart.

Therapy by Loudon Wainwright

The folk singer’s characteristic sense of irony was in full view on this album, as evidenced by his making a video for the track called “This Song Don’t Have a Video.”

This One’s For the Ladies by Young Fresh Fellows

Even though one of the original members had left the group, Scott McCaughey and gang soldiered on to see “Carrothead” become their most successful hit.

Frank by Squeeze

Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook still demonstrated their catchy, clever songwriting on this disc, highlighted by “She Doesn’t Have To Shave.”

 

10 Ways to Generate More Buzz for Your Music

Recently, I’ve had some questions around how to generate buzz for one’s music.

There are probably thousands of ways to do this, but that probably seems overwhelming.

So, here I’ve put together a list of 10 things you can do to get people talking about and sharing your music.

1. Get your fans to talk about it

You can make as much noise as you want. At the end of the day, it won’t be as much noise as the collective yell of your tribe.

Get your fans involved in spreading the word about your music in any capacity.

2. Feature someone known on a single

It doesn’t have to be Justin Bieber or Selena Gomez. Just find someone established in your genre that’s willing to sing or play on a single.

3. Get radio airplay

Sign up with Radio Airplay and get some free spins immediately.

4. Take a stance on an issue

Don’t do anything that would be off-brand or off-character.

But if there’s something you can get behind, be more vocal about it. You’ll begin to attract those who resonate with you.

5. Guest blog

Find relevant industry blogs you could submit articles to. Create great content others want to read and link back to your website.

6. Cross promote

Connect with local creatives – photographers, painters, authors, designers, and the like.

Find a way to collaborate on a project together. The marketing muscle of two is always greater than one.

7. Get interviewed on podcasts

Podcasts continue to grow in popularity as audio consumption on smart devices goes up.

Find relevant podcasts on iTunes and then reach out to them and see if they’d be willing to interview you on their show.

8. Get your fans to use your music in their YouTube videos

If your music distributor collects YouTube royalties on your behalf, people using your music in their videos is a good thing.

Not only will this create buzz, it might give you the opportunity to make some money too.

9. Uncover niche opportunities

One of the most successful singles I’ve released in the last year or so is “City Lights”. This is because it fits into the “synthwave” genre.

80s instrumental music has been coming back in the form of synthwave or retrowave for a while now, so being a part of the movement (and positioning myself as relevant) has had its benefits.

10. Get reviewed

Hype Machine is an aggregator for blogs that review music. Find some relevant blogs, review their submission guidelines, and then send your music to them to be reviewed.

Generally, I’ve found your music shouldn’t be any older than three months if you want influential bloggers to cover it.

Can’t seem to find reliable information on music entrepreneurship? Don’t know where to go to stay updated with the latest news and developments? David Andrew Wiebe is the founder of The Music Entrepreneur HQ, a site that features great original content that will get you results.

 

Best Fifteen Bands Who Have Y In Their Names

A fellow music enthusiast just borrowed a CD that I encouraged him to hear, figuring he would appreciate the style mixing several genres. I was disappointed when he returned the album, What For by Toro Y Moi, admitting that he found it too inaccessible.

What bewildered me more, though, was his second remark. He said that he kind of knew before hand it would not appeal to him, for he seldom liked a band with the letter Y in its name.

On my way home I began to consider that, if his remark had been sincere, all of the great bands he was missing because of his inexplicable dislike of the 25th letter of the alphabet. After all, two of the bands that highlighted the Woodstock festival fit that category, Iron Butterfly and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

Here are fifteen of the other best bands who have a Y in their names.

Fountains of Wayne

Mostly known for the hit “Stacy’s Mom”, the band has recorded six outstanding albums since its inception in the mid-nineties.

The Byrds

Linguistically there is no Y in their name, but that letter distinguishes the group almost as much as its eclectic blend of rock, country and folk.

The Cyrcle

Several covers of Simon and Garfunkel tunes became minor hits, but their biggest single was “Red Rubber Ball.”

Bad Company

One of rock’s first supergroups, formed from members of Free and Mott the Hoople, had a dozen hits like “Feel Like Makin’ Love” and “Can’t Get Enough” reach the charts.

My Morning Jacket

Jim James and his Louisville gang have been making indie rock for two decades, highlighted by records like Evil Urges and Water Fall.

The Yardbirds

Both Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page had stints with this early rock ensemble, whose most memorable hit was “For Your Love.”

The Jayhawks

These guys keep getting better and better after twenty years of alternate country, thanks in part to the lyrics of Gary Louris.

Green Day

Billie Jo Armstrong fronts the most well-known current trio in rock, whose “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” has become a staple at graduation parties, wedding receptions, and TV shows like Seinfeld.

Journey

Most of their hits came during the eighties, but the band has soldiered on in spite of losing singer Steve Perry.

Styx

Like Journey, these eighties hit makers have continued performing in spite of the departure of their co-founder and singer, Dennis DeYoung.

Pink Floyd

Dark Side of the Moon has often been labeled as the greatest album since Sergeant Pepper by The Beatles, but the quartet also made iconic records like The Wall and Wish You Were Here.

Young Fresh Fellows

Now that Scott McCaughey is now in his sixties the first adjective does not really apply, but the music from these indie rock fellows still sounds fresh.

The Moody Blues

Justin Hayward and John Lodge co-founded the band, who has for the most part remained in tact from the sixties to make hits such as “Nights In White Satin” and “The Story In Your Eyes.”

Vanity Fair

Sharing a name with a famous novel by Victorian author William Makepeace Thackeray, these guys had hits with “Hitchin’ a Ride” and “Early in the Morning” in the beginning of the Seventies.

Steely Dan

Donald Fagen and Walter Becker have created a half dozen of the best records in rock history, classics like The Royal Scam, Aja, and Can’t Buy a Thrill.

 

Seven Ideas For Disguises Suggested By Morrissey And The Smiths

Fans of the Smiths are delighted that their record company is offering a new reissued vinyl edition of one of the band’s best songs, the title track from The Queen Is Dead album. However, the band’s lyricist and lead vocalist, who is known mainly by his last name of Morrissey, has expressed some disfavor about the new record.

Morrissey recently criticized the company’s decision to limit the new record to one per customer, according to a June 20, 2017 nme.com article by Luke Morgan Britton. The singer is encouraging fans to wear wigs and other disguises in order to purchase multiple copies of the disc.

True fans who want to take advantage of Morrissey’s suggestion of disguising themselves need look no further than his own discography for ideas of going incognito. Here are seven possible disguises that can be found in his songs with the Smiths or his subsequent solo work.

Vicar In a Tutu

This title from a song on The Queen Is Dead would require the Smiths fan to borrow attire from a clergyman and also do some shopping at a ballet store.

Charles dressed in his mother’s bridal veil

This image from the very song being reissued would not necessarily require obtaining marriage attire from the Royal family, since any old lace face covering would probably suffice.

Bow-Tied Teacher With The Name Tag of Mr. Shankly

The instructor in “Frankly Mr. Shankly” did not necessarily wear a bow tie, but that accessory seems to fit the man despised for writing such rotten poetry on The Queen Is Dead album.

Hairdresser On Fire

Obviously any fan attempting this disguise, based on a song from Morrissey’s first solo album, would want to use orange hair dye rather than taking a match to her coif.

Suedehead

You would have to get a pair of loafers and a checked pattern suit to disguise yourself as this title character suggested from Morrissey’s Viva Hate album.

The Boy With The Thorn In His Side

Fake thorns would be recommended for this costume, which serves as the title of another song from The Queen Is Dead.

Joan Of Arc With A Walkman

That old CD player you held on to will come in handy when you don a dress from the Middle Ages, as described in “Big Mouth Strikes Again” from The Queen Is Dead, to make your purchase of another copy of the new reissued single.

 

5 Things You Need to Learn Electric Guitar

So you want to learn electric guitar, huh? Is it because your favorite rock star looks so cool jamming on stage? Is it the prestige and confidence that comes with being able to say, “Yeah, I play guitar” to your friends? Or maybe you just want to challenge yourself by learning how to play music on an extremely versatile instrument.

Whatever the reason for starting, there are 5 things that are essential for anyone picking up the guitar for the first time.

1. An electric guitar!

OK, a bit obvious, but yes, in order to learn how to play this instrument you will actually need an electric guitar to practice on. No, a Guitar Hero guitar does not count!

You can get a decent electric guitar for a couple hundred bucks at any music store. The brand, quality and price will all depend on how serious of a player you want to be and the style of music you want to play.

2. Amplifier

Think of a guitar and amplifier as a married couple. The right pair will be able to enhance each other’s strengths while the wrong pair will amplify (pun intended) their weakness.

For example, if you’re a metal head and want to rock some Metallica-type sounds, then a Mesa Boogie amp paired with an ESP LTD guitar is a beautiful match. Playing a single-coil Fender Stratocaster through a Mesa Boogie amp hoping for the same? Not gonna happen.

3. Metronome

A metronome is device that helps you stay in time by making a “click” sound at various speeds. It is very obvious when you hear a guitar player who never practices with a metronome and using one truly separates the wannabes and the pros.

If you really want to learn electric guitar, a metronome is a MUST. Drummers are not the only ones who need to be able to keep a steady rhythm!

4. Guitar picks

A guitar pick is a small, triangular-shaped piece of plastic (although there are metal picks as well) that is held between the fingers of your strumming hand and used to hit the strings so they can make a sound.

There are different thicknesses for different styles of playing. You can try out different widths and brands until you find the kind you like.

5. Guitar teacher

Last but not least is finding a good guitar teacher. I was “self-taught” for 2 years before I started taking lessons and I learned more in two months with my teacher than I had in the 2 years on my own. Yes, there are some amazing musicians out there who are self-taught and learn by ear. But these people are the exception.

A good teacher is able to notice things that you may not be aware of in your own playing and they can help dramatically improve your learning curve. As the saying goes, “You can’t see the picture when you’re in the frame.”

As with any new skill, learning how to play electric guitar will take time and patience. Just know it is an incredibly rewarding journey and all you need to do is start!