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HOW IT IS
by- Pat Powell
As a seasoned musician, I have traveled to various places around the world playing jazz in the traditional style. The audience for this style of music is probably the oldest audience in the world, with the prospect of no new members joining it.
I have become computer literate in the last two years, mainly because it is a tool that enabled me to do art work and editing for old tapes of various bands that I have worked with over the years and wanted to bring out on CD. I think it just as well that I did learn the computer as it seems that the Internet has taken over the music world. This in its self posses a few problems. On the Internet today there are plenty of music sites that download music for free, the music is uploaded from people like me who write and record their own material, at their own expense in the hope that somebody might like it and buy a CD. Usually we hope that they would buy it from our web site.
We use these music web sites to promote our music and they use us in the hope of bringing more people to their site. They make money from advertisers and membership packages also from encouraging contributors to pay into promotional packages. They donít lose, but if the person uploading the music allows them to download it for free he has no hope of making any money. I donít think the people downloading on to ipods etc, would care about the poor quality of the sound as they generally would not know the difference. Once the music is downloaded hundreds of copies are easily made.
I note that over 60% of music today is computer generated having minimal human input, I might add that it sounds like it too, being absolutely soulless, it being like the DJ thing, the nerds have inherited the earth.
I find that the music web sites want to attract as much of a following as they can and will upload anything that is submitted, so most of the so called music is computer generated being mind numbing crap or Rap. I know that this is a fashion thing that will eventually pass as all things do.
Buried on these sites are some really good bands, if only people could find them through all the hype, all music is categorized so you have to try to pick the right box, this in itself is a mine field. I think it would be better to add a label that should say real humans or not and if some one is chanting to electronics it doesnít count as real human.
This might help the listeners to sort the mess out. As a musician I only use real people including strings, my style is adult contemporary, but on most web sites I put it under country music as they donít cater for adults. I note that most sites cater from teenagers to early twenties, seeming to miss the point that the biggest market is from the thirty plus and the one with the most spending power. Unfortunately I havenít found a site catering to a more mature audience.
I would like to hear from any musician that has made good CD sales from a music site that he/she has submitted too.
On a lot of sites they proudly state that the record shops will soon be a thing of the past, I find this sad as another outlet for musicians to get income from is disappearing.
What hope has a musician got these days, no venues and no outlets, other than the web to promote and sell music? All the commercial radio stations are playing music from the 60ís, 70ís & 80ís over and over with minimal new material and no chance for outsiders being heard, it doesnít matter how good your music is, if you can not get heard .
I feel sorry for young musicians today, not having the outlets to play in and mastering their craft, it is really the only way to learn.
Musicians these days have to be cashed up and devote half of their day to self promotion in every way, this counts out people like myself who donít have money. Musicians have to write their own material, arrange it and organize their band to record it, produce it, do the art work and then promote it, all at their own expense and after all this they probably wonít get their money back.
There is no end of A&R people out there who just want your money, I would say there are more fake ones than real ones, so be prepared to do your dough.
In this new world you have to write your own original tunes to get air play, this could be a problem for young kids as most have never lived lifeís experiences first hand.
I think that the only way to make money from music at present is to hope that a publisher
will take one of your tunes for a sound track, advert or some situation where you will get royalties from air play. You will not get royalties from a music web site because you sign that away when you submit your tunes, so we are caught in a no win situation, we are giving them our music so it can be heard, in the hope that some one in the world may like it and hopefully buys a CD, that is not commercially available.
In the future companies like CD Baby will be the main suppliers (if not already) and commercial radio will be surpassed by the internet, but I still think that record stores will still exist but be aligned to music web sites.
My advice to all musicians is to make sure that you put ISC codes on all your tunes and register them with the copyright organization in your country.
Best wishes to you all, Paul finnerty.
Pat Powell singer and lyricist with Paul Finnerty guitarist, arranger, and composer team up to create a unique adult contemporary / country sound. Both are experienced jazz musicians playing traditional and mainstream styles. All the musicians they associate with are professional and of the highest caliber.
Their latest CD is called How Can I Begin and features 16 tunes written by Paul & Pat. You can contact Paul at: - firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site:- http://www.riffraffjazz.net