Monday, 31 December 2012

Music News - The Magazines That Shaped the Music Industry

Music news as we know it today developed out of the early magazines that caught onto the growth of the popular music industry early on in the 20th Century. Melody Maker was one of the first, introducing itself in 1926 (around the same time that the first electric guitars and amplifiers began to emerge) and targeting musicians. However, as music became more and more popular the music magazines of the day began to target the general public and the introduction of new, rival magazines hit the shelves.

The 1950s is when the real battle started with Melody Maker going head to head with the new kids in town, the NME, an amalgamation of previous titles Musical Express and Accordion Weekly by new owner and music promoter Maurice Kinn. Previously more interested in jazz, Melody Maker was a late convert to the advent of rock and roll, but as the sixties swung in favour of bands like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, the ground was set for big readership figures for both publications.

The 1960s also saw the coming of more politicised voices to the publication of music news with the launch of the Berkley Barb in 1965 and Rolling Stone in 1967. Criticism of the Vietnamese war, the publication of Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and the counterculture revolution of the 1960s sat next to The Beatles, Jimmy Hendrix and Jim Morrison cover stories.

This political edge to music publication didn't reach the British music news until the late 1970s with the dawning of the age of punk. However, the early 70s saw the introduction of a new rival, Sounds, which quickly became one of the three music weekly magazines to generate good levels of readership. It's edge came from its ability to see the credibility of new musical movements like Punk early on.

The 1980s would see a mixed bag of journalism in the music industry, with the hip-hop wars affecting the NME and a more populist standpoint reigning at Melody Maker until its intellectual renaissance in 1986. However, it would be the 90s that would see the story of modern British music journalism come to a head. The rise of Britpop and the introduction & success of monthly magazines Q (1986) and Mojo (1993) left Melody Maker without a clear audience or direction, and so in 2000 is ceased publication, merging with its long time rival NME, while Sounds bit the dust nearly a decade earlier in 1991.

The 2000s were left to NME and despite its ropey start to the decade, it would eventually find its footing again with bands like White Stripes, The Strokes and The Libertines. However, with readership dropping fast to just over a tenth of its hey-day 300,000 circulation, publications like NME have pumped significant investment into their online music news to compensate.

With the arrival of a new decade, it's hard to say that any of the remaining music magazines are doing anything particularly trailblazing, but then neither is the music industry as a whole. With the nation locked into the X-Factor culture, genuinely credible new music often finds it difficult to break out of the underground world that it too often resides. The death of Top of the Pops in 2006 meant that the only music to be played on terrestrial television in the UK during prime time viewing was based around one talent contest or another. With circulation figures so low, maybe it's time for the icons of music news to take back what they have spent decades helping to create.

Tuppence Magazine delivers music news, film, books, computer games, food & drink, politics, theatre, comedy, art and fashion news & reviews. The entertainment news UK website is dedicated to writing about the best entertainment news online.

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Saturday, 29 December 2012

Step by Step Guide on How to Play Music Instruments

Learning and knowing how to play music instruments is an enjoyable thing for someone who loves music. There are lots of instruments you can choose to play. The key is that you need to find the one thing that interest you the most and / or the one you really love so it won't give you a hard time studying and learning how to play it.

In case you want to know how to play music instruments, this article gives you a step by step guide to start learning to play the instrument that you love. They are :-

  • Decide. You must first decide whether you'll start learning to play an instrument. Deciding can be as simple as picking your favorite instrument somewhere, probably in a friend's house, etc.
  •  Instrument. You can buy, rent, or just borrow one from someone close to you. You have to choose one that's attractive and something you can really afford. Also consider the price. Avoid using ones that are too cheap or too expensive.
  •  Look for a room where you can store your instrument. Place it where you spend your leisure time or  in a place where you can see it very often. The place should be accessible so you can pick it up anytime you want to play it. That will eventually let you play every minute you have when you are not busy doing anything.
  • Listen to sounds that you like. You can always experiment on new sounds and focus on a few rhythms that interest you. Do something you like over and over again and try to remember it next time.
  • Study some basic things about music. Having some knowledge about chords and scales can widen your musical imagination. You can ask your friend to show you some simple chords or you can also search for it online.
  • Take some music lessons. You can learn to play instruments professionally by taking some lessons. You will learn more techniques and learn fast if you seek the help of a music teacher.
  • Play with someone. It is always enjoyable if you get to play with a family, friend, or special someone. This will also help you stay in time and can introduce you to new ways of playing an instrument.
  • Passionately play your music. No matter what your song is all about, you must always play it passionately. Make sure you give your heart and soul when playing so listen and you will feel exactly what you feel in the song. If ever you find it hard to do that, just imagine that you are telling a story through your music.
  • Practice makes it perfect. You can start by aiming to play for 30 minutes a day and as you get better, increase your time gradually. You will successfully learn how to play music instruments if you practice very often because practice really does make everything perfect.
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