Is This the Most Relaxing Song EVER?

This track  has been supposedly 100% ‘scientifically proven’ to be the most relaxing song in the world...!

Named Weightless, the music piece can apparently slow the heart rate, reduce blood pressure and decrease levels of cortisol – a steroid hormone released in response to stress. The track has been labelled as ‘the most relaxing song in the world’, beating other contenders including Adele and Coldplay.

The eight-minute long track was made by Manchester-based Marconi Union in collaboration with the British Academy of Sound Therapy. It was claimed to be the most relaxing song ever after a scientific study by the Mindlab Institution in 2011.

In 2011 scientists played the song to 40 women and found it to be more effective at helping them relax than songs by Enya, Mozart and Coldplay. The women were connected to sensors and given challenging puzzles to complete against the clock in order to induce a level of stress. They were then played different songs as their heart rate, blood pressure, breathing and brain activity were recorded.

Studies found that the song, "Weightless," was 11 per cent more relaxing than any other song, and even made many of the women 'drowsy' in the lab.

It induced a 65 per cent reduction in overall anxiety and brought them to a level 35 per cent lower than their usual resting rates. The ambient song features guitar, piano and electronic samples of natural sound-scapes.

Lyz Cooper, founder of the British Academy of Sound Therapy, said Marconi Union had used scientific theory to make the 'perfect relaxing song.' The new album from Marconi Union is called Weightless (Ambient Transmissions Vol 2).

Listen to the song below and you can judge for yourself... Is it the MOST relaxing song EVER?

Five Signs You Might Be a Douchebag Guitarist...

Courtesey of David Von Bader | OC Weekly

It would seem that everyone not bent on being a DJ these days is buying a guitar. In recent years, there have been unprecedented national advertisements for large chain music stores like Guitar Center all over radio and television, and the fact that a company like the aforementioned grew so successful that Bain Capital consumed them should say plenty about just how badly everyone wants to be a rock star.

However, most of us are not rock stars. And when it comes to the guitar, the saturation of players and the hero worship have made originality an even harder commodity to come by than ever. But simply playing the guitar should be enough to get you in the club, right? Wrong.... Here are five signs that you might be missing the point - and are in fact a Douchebag guitarist...

Douchebag Guitarist - 1st Sign: The Automaton 
Do you love a specific guitarist so much that you want to actually be them? Have you acquired said player's signature guitar, amp, pedal, hat, sneakers, stupid tattoos, etc? Have you learned this person's entire library of licks? Here's the issue: You're never going to be that player -- you're just going to be the weird dude that appropriated another person's bit. More importantly, you're going to be chastised in perpetuity by people that have taken the time to develop their own thing, because it doesn't matter how hard you practice -- you're still you. Worse yet, there are already so many people doing the "nu-Hendrix/Page/Van Halen/Stevie Ray" guy already, so stop it. Having influences is important, of course, but maybe just cover your tracks a little when you're forging an identity?

Douchebag Guitarist - 2nd Sign: Blues Doctors
Are you a doctor, lawyer, or other such individual that parks a luxury automobile in a personalized parking space when you head into work? Do you obsess over the canon of Mike Bloomfield, Stevie Ray Vaughan, or Eric Clapton? Perhaps you have a vibrato that sounds like a goat trying to mount Diane Rehm as she conjures the ghost of Katherine Hepburn with a ouija board? Do you drag $10,000 Custom Shop Les Pauls or a bling-blang-blingin' Paul Reed Smith to your local waterin' hole for blues jams and then proceed to voice very serious opinions about the state of music and how you just don't "get" what the "kids" are doing these days on forums like Ultimate Guitar? You're a weekend warrior and while that's fine and good, your sense of entitlement is giving working musicians and artists that spend their time eating Micro-quik Chinese noodles, in broken down vans, for their art, a serious case of the douche-chills. And for someone that listens to that much blues, you really should know better, (and sound better - take lessons - its not like you can't afford them).

Douchebag Guitarist - 3rd Sign: The Showman
The '80s were a time when extreme athleticism was the standard on the guitar. Every Douchebag with a pair of spandex pants and a Floyd Rose-equipped axe could outrun the next while naming the 7 modes backwards and doing blow off of the hood of a Z28. The '90s saw the grunge movement hit the proverbial reset button, but there will always be the overly athletic player that walks all over a song destroying it with waaaay too many notes. Athleticism can be fantastic in context -- (did you GET that - IN CONTEXT) just look at someone like Wilco's Nels Cline or Tony MacAlpine -- but seriously, no one but you wants to hear your screaming licks and fleeting scales fight for sonic territory with the rest of your band for an entire set. Play like you have something to say, not something to prove. In fact there's an old saying, "Play for the song."

Douchebag Guitarist - 4th Sign: The Judge 
Have you been playing guitar for so long that you find yourself compelled to critique the playing of others? Do you consider anyone with a lack of (in your opinion) guitar technique entirely invalid? Maybe you went to Berklee, or to the Musicians Institute for a summer session and now see noise music, punk rock, or sonic experimentation of any sort as being made by people that couldn't learn how to "do it right?" Well, Guess What... You're totally out of line pal, and you're more than likely a very boring player. Some of the most intriguing and artistically relevant music ever made was a product of poor technique, and overly developed technique can frequently provide the biggest barrier between true expression and sterility. At the very least, don't be a Douchebag about how another person says what they have to say on the guitar, because it's all valid. Guitar is supposed to be fun and about having a good time.

Douchebag Guitarist - 5th Sign: The Life of the Party
Are you that Douche who pulls an acoustic guitar out at parties and sings songs? PLEASE... Go f^#k yourself. No one wants to hear you stumble over a Dave Matthews or a John Mayer song while you eye-f^#k girls (ewwww). Leave the iPod on and grab another beer, you Douchebag. Also, you're probably not playing the song right: Every song on the planet was not constructed solely out of three open chords and one badly done barre chord!

Earn One of the Lowest Wages... Become a Musician!

The Hamilton Project has just compiled a list of the College Majors With The Highest and Lowest Lifetime Earnings...

Unfortunately, it would seem that being an artist or a musician ranks as one of the worst possible careers when it comes to overall lifetime earnings. However, musicians did beat out other low wage categories such as; Social work, Early childhood education, and just being a high-school graduate!

The report — titled "Major Decisions: What Graduates Earn Over Their Lifetimes" — tracks data from the Census Bureau to determine which college majors yield the largest financial rewards over a graduate's lifetime.

Unsurprisingly, engineering degrees topped the list, while education, music, and arts majors were found closer to the bottom.

However, as The Washington Post notes, "these rankings exclude people with graduate degrees, which leaves out doctors, lawyers, and professors," which explains the potentially low ranking of majors that traditionally go on to law school or medical school.

Overall though, the report reaffirms the importance and value of a college degree — according to the findings, a typical bachelor's degree graduate will earn $1.19 million over their lifetime, around twice what the typical high school graduate earns.

Here's The Hamilton Project's chart of median lifetime earnings by college major, in millions of dollars (click to enlarge):

VIDEO: "Sham Time" Medeski, Scofield, Martin & Wood

He’s played with jazz legends from the past and jam heroes of today; he’s burrowed into the roots of bebop and blazed new territory in the world of funk; he’s a fearless soloist as well as a cool cat to have on your team.

His name is John Scofield — and for all he’s accomplished in his career, he’s simply a nice guy to talk music with.

Scofield’s latest project is a reunion with buddies John Medeski, Billy Martin and Chris Wood, the avant-garde jazzbos he first worked with on 1998’s A Go Go.

Their 10-track studio release, Juice, is a mix of originals and covers, infused with the unique global funk jams the MSMW collaborative have come to be known for.

Check out their song "Sham Time" below, and then follow this link to read some thoughts from Scofield's recent Guitar World interview on his gear, going out and — most importantly — how to get back...

NEW COURSE: Music Reading - Phase One

Music Reading Course - Phase One

33 Page eBook (plus nineteen MP3 audio examples) 

Reading Music - Phase One Course Overview:
Music Reading Phase One is a Comprehensive set of project lessons covering the entire 5th reading position on the guitar. Note location charts and drills work to help students memorize the positions of all notes including important sharp and flat tones. Several original and classic pieces of music help students to gain a solid understanding of this neck region.

Developing Rhythmic Duration Skill:
The course introduces students to the rhythmic feel of both sixteenth-note and triple-meter durations. Music reading assignments help the student to better develop these important meters while reading notation.

Pre-Recorded MP3 Audio Track Examples:
Every primary music reading piece in the ebook has been pre-recorded in studio and is included with the course download. 19 recordings will help students to better understand each notation study. The rhythmic assignments are also included as studio recorded audio tracks for better at home practice.

You Want Musicians? Then Pay Musicians!

Imagine calling one of the best local restaurants in your City /Town and asking them the following question... 

"I have an exciting proposal: There will be a large group of people over at my house this Saturday night, and I'd like to have your chef, and a few kitchen staff, come over to my house for this event as well...

Your kitchen staff could bring all of their own equipment, set-up in my kitchen and whip up some dinner for us, it'll be fantastic! 

Now, unfortunately our budget for food is a little tight, so the chef and staff would be doing this free of charge... But, I can guarantee that your restaurant, Chef and staff will receive valuable exposure in the process!"

Next, modify the above paragraphs for application to use for: plumbers, electricians and furnace repair guys. Perhaps add in..."You can even put a sign in my driveway if you like."

Maybe try creating one of these for the car Mechanic or for your local auto-body shop as well. "Your shop will sure benefit from this in the long run."

Now, if you're a working musician, stop and consider this for a moment... Funny how musicians don't get the same courtesy.

It happens to all of us, eventually. You're 'invited' to play a bar or club for the exposure. Maybe for a free beer. The owner will make it sound like he's doing them a favour. Just think, you'll "maybe even" sell a few CDs or get booked for another gig there, it's all good... Or, is it....

Actually, the message is appalling: Your talent isn't worth any money. Just load up, drive over here, set-up and start providing a service for US... just shut up and play. In fact, in some venues be thankful you're not paying the place for the privilege of playing.

Now, consider this... the Super Bowl is trying to do just this very thing!

For the big game on February 1, 2015, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, the NFL is chasing three acts to play the halftime show: Rihanna, Coldplay and Katy Perry. But unlike past years, in 2015 it wants these artists to pay for that coveted slot, either through future tour income, or other financial arrangements.

It's a plum gig, no doubt. Every act that plays the Super Bowl enjoys an immediate surge in popularity, including Bruno Mars this year. After his dynamic 12-minute set at Super Bowl XLVIII, he became one of the hottest concert tickets of 2014. According to Forbes he has made $60 million so far this year, compared to $38 million last year. About 112 million people watched Mars play halftime. Exposure doesn't get much bigger.

And the NFL wants to cash in. The league has never paid for its halftime entertainment, but it covers the massive production costs. All part of putting on a show for which a 30-second commercial costs $4 million. So if Coldplay wants a piece of that, Coldplay can pay for it.

So far, Coldplay aren't biting. And neither should Katy Perry or Rihanna. It's astounding to think performers of that stature will pay to play, for a league which makes $10 billion in annual revenue. Even more galling, the NFL itself makes the halftime show part of the Super Bowl hype, and it's often more memorable than the game. Charging Katy Perry to play the Super Bowl is like paying an entrance fee to get into McDonald's.

Arcade Fire hasn't been asked yet, but their agent David T. Viecelli sums up the music industry's reaction: "I hope that everybody tells them to go get stuffed."

"I think it is precedent setting," says longtime Niagara Falls musician Steve Kostyk. "When you see the world's best being lured into those kinds of arrangements, it certainly creates the idea with smaller venue owners to perhaps try the same thing."

Kostyk is on the executive board of the Niagara Region Musicians' Association, an arm of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada. The group discourages local artists from playing for exposure because it sends the wrong message to bar and club owners.

"We're trying to build a sense of community," he says. "We're responsible towards each other as musicians."

Younger artists are most vulnerable, he says, since club owners know they're desperate for playing time.

"You tell them that they're far more valuable than they think they are," he says.

Niagara singer Beth Moore says she does the occasional show as a favour, but "it never feels good to feel taken advantage of or taken for granted." Jay Forhan of The Black Flies says free gigs for charity are one thing, but finds it distasteful for bars. "My response would be something like, 'Okay, thanks, I'll check my schedule and let you know,' and then not call back."

Anthony Botting of A Book For Wanderers says there are limits to playing for exposure: "I am usually open to playing my original material anywhere that might allow me to reach a larger audience, but I wouldn't be so quick to take on a full night's worth of playing for exposure alone."

There's a bit of 'free' involved with any artistic endeavor, but when it financially benefits someone else, it becomes unpaid labor. It sends an ugly message to artists – your talent is worthless, your services aren't important. The more they consent to playing for free, the deeper this attitude is entrenched.

Plenty of others will try to diminish what you do. Don't do it to yourself.

MUST SEE: Metallica's 'One' - Stunning Rendition on Traditional Chinese Guzheng...

Michelle Kwan, the young musician from Vancouver known for her covers of rock and metal tracks on the traditional Chinese instrument - the guzheng, recently delivered another rendition, this time around taking on the classic Metallica track, "One."

It's very apparent that playing guzheng is a complex instrument that requires advanced skills and musicianship, making the fact that Michelle included solos in her arrangement all the more impressive.

"I've seen Metallica live in concert twice," she noted. "My childhood dream is to perform on the big stage like them. If they ever did a collaboration with a guzheng, this is how I would imagine it to sound like."

Apart from the guzheng, Kwan uses several other pieces of music equipment, specifically Orange Tiny Terror, MXR Micro Amp, Akai Analog Chorus, and Boss Mega Distortion MD-2.

Check out the video below!

Thom Yorke: 'Major labels have given up on selling music'

Thom Yorke is no stranger to making waves in the digital music world, from the pay-what-you-like release of Radiohead’s - "In Rainbows," in 2007, to his fierce criticism of Spotify in 2013, and now the release of his new solo album Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes through a partnership with of all outlets... BitTorrent.

Matt Mason is the chief content officer at BitTorrent, and the driving force behind the company’s “Bundles” initiative, which gets musicians, filmmakers, authors and other creators to release their work packaged up as torrent files, with fans unlocking the full contents usually by entering their email address.

Kaskade, DJ Shadow, Moby, De La Soul, Pixies and Public Enemy are among the artists who have tried it, but Yorke is the first to use a new “pay-gate” feature. Instead of exchanging an email address for his album, fans pay $6 (£3.68). Mason talked to The Guardian about how the partnership came about.

“We started talking to Thom and Nigel [Godrich - Yorke’s collaborator and producer] about a year ago. I met Nigel on Christmas Eve just gone in London. We didn’t think they were doing anything: they’d just had a year off,” said Mason.

“We met up and talked about BitTorrent: where the internet should be going for artists, where they saw the opportunities and problems today, and one of those conversations got onto the idea of pay-gates in BitTorrent bundles. And Thom wanted to be the first.”

Mason says that he can’t think of a better musician to work with, given Yorke’s history with In Rainbows – a giveaway he says artists have struggled to repeat at a similar scale, at least until U2’s recent iTunes giveway (more on that later).

“This is now what we hope is the world’s first direct-to-fan publishing system that truly has a global audience,” he said, referring to the 170m active users of BitTorrent’s file-sharing software. “It’s the size of Spotify, Hulu and Netflix combined and doubled.”

Initially, Yorke and Godrich thought they had enough new material for a new EP, but when Mason met their managers Brian Message and Chris Hufford at the SXSW conference in March, they sprang a surprise: there’d be a full album

“This album was born out of these conversations we had on how the internet should work for artists: the vision we both share, which is that at present we don’t have a sustainable business model for artists on the internet,” said Mason.

“Major labels have really given up on selling music, it seems. Pushing Spotify to an IPO is what most of the senior executives at the major labels are concerned with, which might be something to do with the fact that they own a piece of Spotify, and will participate in that IPO. But it doesn’t bear any relation to an artist trying to make a living from their work on the internet.”

BitTorrent may be associated – especially by many people in the music industry – with online piracy, through the numerous filesharing services that use the company’s technology. But right now, the company is defining itself in opposition to Spotify and other streaming music services. An intriguing development.

“We’re not interested in streaming for the sake of lining the pockets of a few people at major labels. We’re interested in helping artists make money from their work in the long term. We’re designed to be used by artists without a label, or for labels to use with their entire catalogues,” said Mason.

“We’re a technology company, we’re really good at moving files. We’re not so great at being a label, a film studio or a book publisher. So we’re trying to make something that works for individuals, labels and aggregate publishers. I’m not trying to bash the people at the labels, but it does seem like the senior executives at the majors have said ‘we give up, let’s just make some money on the Spotify IPO, then go home and let the next generation sort it out.”

Since Yorke’s album was unleashed earlier today, I’ve seen two key criticisms voiced in my Twitter feed from people within the music industry. The first is why didn’t Yorke and Godrich work with another service – Bandcamp is the one mentioned most often – which can help them in their aim of “bypassing the self elected gate-keepers”?

“We love Bandcamp. If you want the main difference between us, it’s that we have over 170m users we can put bundles in front of. Over 40m people who use BitTorrent every day will see this. It’s a massive, massive user base,” said Mason.

The second criticism, which has been voiced regularly ever since BitTorrent started work on its bundles initiative, is that when a famous artist releases one, they’re teaching their fans to pirate music, because getting a bundle involves downloading BitTorrent’s software client.

Mason gives the question short shrift. “Should we blame Apple for selling you a laptop? Why not attack the guy who invented streaming or HTTP? People misunderstand BitTorrent and think it’s something just for piracy,” he said.

“If you look at BitTorrent, the stuff you’ll be offered in BitTorrent and uTorrent, our clients... If you’re just using our websites and products, there’s literally no way to get any illegal material. That’s not what they’re designed for.

“They point you to – aggressively I might add – licensed, legal pieces of content. We’ve got over 2m licensed pieces of legal content – music, films, photography, books – in the BitTorrent system. And pay-gates is about helping publishers put more stuff on BitTorrent legally.”

Inevitably, Yorke’s new album is already available on other torrent services as regular MP3 files, without a pay-gate in sight. Mason brought this up before I could, pointing out that the legitimate bundle “has a much larger swarm than any of the illegal versions – that’s huge for the industry”.

But about U2. The band opted to strike a deal with Apple to distribute their new album to every iTunes user, including – via the automatic downloads feature that a number of iOS users have turned on – pushing it to their iPhones and iPads.

Could or should they have talked to BitTorrent? By this point in the interview, Mason is on something of a roll.

“It’s interesting, the whole U2 thing. I’m an iPhone user, and I’m so pissed off that thing’s on my phone. I haven’t had time to delete it yet, but Apple’s removal website is probably the best thing that a technology company released in terms of a music product this year,” he said. “It’s been a pretty miserable time for innovation.”

He continued: “If that’s our best thinking – get the biggest band in the world to push something onto phones that everyone hates... The U2 thing is a way to encourage piracy more than anything we’re doing. Pissing off half a billion people is a really bad idea,” he continued.

“I don’t understand why you’d do that, if you don’t care about the result and the effect it has on other bands and musicians. With Thom and Nigel, every step of the way they kept asking ‘is this feature you’re putting up for us something everybody can use?’ They held our feet to the flames in building a better product for everyone.”

At the time of writing, Yorke’s BitTorrent bundle has been downloaded just over 54,000 times, according to the figure shown on its widget that can be embedded on websites. Over the coming days and weeks, as it’s downloaded and shared on, that will likely climb – Moby’s BitTorrent bundle was downloaded 8.9m times in 2013, as a comparison.

Mason said BitTorrent is already planning its next partnerships with artists. “There’s a group of people in the music industry really thinking about the collective future of the business, and how we can all work together,” he said.

“It shouldn’t be about ‘how can I make the most money right now?’ and screw the fans. That’s what I didn’t like about the U2 thing: it felt like that, which isn’t productive. Thom and Nigel took the time to understand who we were, and once they did, they made sure we worked our arses off to build a brilliant product.”

Lionel Richie: Nobody will Remember, 'Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber Hits!

We've made amateur music mainstream... Lionel Richie is convinced nobody will remember songs by Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber in years to come.

The Hello hitmaker is adamant that any pop stars who favour popularity and notoriety over quality of music will not stand the test of time, unlike tracks by Michael Jackson and Madonna.

He tells the London Evening Standard, "The beautiful part of where we were - we had shock value. But what came with shock value was hit after hit after hit. Madonna was outrageous - but she had a catalogue of music that was unbelievable."

"At the end of all the theatrics with Michael (Jackson), he had nothing but the most fabulous catalogue. Now, we've got a lot of theatrics... but where's the song that is going to stick around forever?... Twenty years from now, let's take anybody - where's the body of work? I'm going to judge you not by your popularity but by your longevity, your staying records. I'm thinking about Miley, Justin Bieber."

"We've made amateur music mainstream. There's a difference between a stylist and a singer. Everybody can sing! Go to karaoke, there are some guys seriously singing their asses off! But do they have a unique voice, or distinct voice?"

Video Review: Zoom G1Xon Guitar Multi-Effects Processor...

By Guitar World's "Chris Gill"

...I've spent piles of cash and countless hours chasing down various stomp boxes over the years.

So when I got my hands on Zoom’s G1Xon Guitar Multi-Effects Processor, I was tempted to moan, “Oh, I’ve wasted my life,” like the Comic Book Guy in a certain “Treehouse of Horror” episode of The Simpsons. 

For probably less than what I paid on batteries to power one vintage fuzz box, the Zoom G1Xon provides a lifetime’s worth of effects and amp models (105, to be exact) plus built-in rhythm patterns, a looper and a tuner.

All this power is packaged in a compact foot controller that’s about the same width and length as an iPad and features an expression pedal.

Check out the Chris Gill Guitar World Video Review below...

‘That Guitar Show’ Kickstarter Campaign...

That Guitar Show. A show for guitar players by guitar players. The guitars. The people. The stories. You can help make it happen!

Although the trailer has no content so to speak I like the idea of a guitar show that travels coast to coast meeting guitar players, builders, collectors etc. The goal is to raise $50,000 so that they can produce 5-10 broadcast quality webisodes, with a long term goal of airing on a network, on cable or online (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc.). Money raised will fund camera rentals, travel, editing, post-production, lighting, direction, art direction and other production-related expenses.

“That Guitar Show and its producers have a background in the guitar world that allows for unprecedented access to the characters that inhabit the guitar universe.”

As with all Kickstarter campaigns there are plenty of rewards for donations, everything from guitar picks to a 50th Anniversary 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard – #149 of only 500 made, although that particular guitar comes at the price of a $10,000 donation!

I think I speak for all guitarists when I say the world needs more quality guitar TV shows so if everyone donates anything from $5 we can help get this show on the road! Use the widget below to click through to the Kickstarter campaign or visit

Ace Frehley at Guitar Center Hollywood — Video

Former Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley recently dropped by the very-fun-to-visit Vintage Room at Guitar Center Hollywood.

While he was there, he chatted (on camera) about what it feels like to play music, his musical beginnings and his relationship with Gibson, the Les Paul and a whole lot more.

Below, you can check out the video that chronicles his visit.

Frehley's new solo album, Space Invader, was released last month.

What Will the Music Business Look Like in 5 Years?

Courtesy Steve Gordon |

From the dawn of the digital era in 1999, with the introduction of Napster, the U.S. recording industry has seen a cataclysmic decline in income, from $14.5 billion at its peak to less than $7 billion in 2013 (accounting for inflation, a decline of over 65%).

In the last three years, however, income has not decreased as much as in previous years. Music streaming services have started to catch on with consumers, particularly Spotify, which pays approximately 60% of its gross income for recorded music (and another 10.5% for songs). Pandora, the leading internet radio company in the U.S., now has over 70 million active users and pays over half of its gross income for recorded music.

The question is: Will streaming help the record business recover its past financial glory? I think not.

Regrettably, even if digital streaming services continue to gain subscribers and/or ad income, the Internet and digital apps (including those that enable ripping music and video streams, and others that link directly to pirate sites) make it so easy to acquire free unauthorized music -- especially for young people who are adept at using technology and who are not in the habit of paying for music -- that the recording business will probably never return to its former financial success.

Over the same time frame as this massive industry contraction, income from music publishing (income from songs including public performance, mechanical royalties and synch fees) has been stagnant. Although performance revenue has increased, mechanical income from record sales has dramatically declined.

Paradoxically, the only part of the music business that is more successful now than in the pre-digital era is live performance. Tours by leading artists, such as U2, Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Jay Z, easily gross over $100 million, and celebrity DJs can earn well over six figures for appearing at an EDM festival. Digital, even when it’s free, can never replace the live experience, even if it costs over $100 for a nosebleed seat, or a spot on a field surrounded by thousands of fellow fans.

I predict that income generated by the recording and music publishing industries will either stay flat or may modestly increase in the next several years. On the other hand, tours and concerts by famous performers will generate even more money for them, the promoters, venues and ticket sellers. Unfortunately, the big money will still flow almost exclusively to the best-known acts. Indeed, the disparity between the haves and have-nots among creators will only increase, with rich artists getting even richer, from concerts and branding (e.g, endorsements and more subtle forms of partnerships between big companies and celebrity artists). Even with respect to monies generated from streaming services, it has reported that only the most powerful artists with the most leverage have been able to negotiate a meaningful pay-out from the labels.

For new and unsigned artists, digital technology has had, and will continue to have, very mixed results. Anyone can now produce a record on a laptop and get their music before the ears of the masses via CD Baby, TuneCore, or other digital middlemen. But the aggregators are the ones making most of the money. It turns out that these new “bosses” (such as the aggregators), social networks such as Facebook and web stores like iTunes, which all allow an artist to reach a worldwide audience, are even worse for artists than the old guard (the big record companies).

Tech companies give an artist the opportunity to reach a worldwide audience, but they don’t provide any of the positive things that major record labels used to (and still do, but for far fewer artists). For instance, none of these companies pay for recording costs, including hiring talented producers. They also don’t help an artist make great looking videos, get their music on commercial radio, book them on TV shows, and most importantly, give them up-front advances so they can quit their day gig.

Unsigned artists should also continue to be wary about using any of the thousands of digital "tools" offered by various online services that will take their money while offering no guarantees of getting them to "the next level." At least the bad old record companies would give artists money up-front -- not the other way around.

The digital era, on the other hand, has created real opportunities -- but those opportunities have turned out to be more significant for entrepreneurs than for musicians. For instance, when Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine launched Beats Music at the beginning of 2014, they seemed almost foolish; streaming services have hardly made a profit, pretty much across the board. But a few short months later, they sold the service, (and its profitable namesake headphone business) to Apple for $3 billion, making a great deal of money for themselves and their partners (including Universal Music).

One of the things I enjoy most about my current practice is working with digital music entrepreneurs. Just a few weeks ago I finalized a deal for use of music in a new app that is going to compete with text messaging services such as WhatsApp, which sold to Facebook for $19 billion dollars in cash and stock. My client’s app, unlike Whatsapp, will allow people to use music in the context of free texting. Just a few short years ago, there were no such things as apps!

The technology is constantly evolving and the opportunities are emerging as fast as the technology changes. Except most of those opportunities are in favor of entrepreneurs and celebrity artists, not unsigned musicians.

Steve Gordon is a New York-based entertainment attorney with over 20 years of experience.

VIDEO: The Scale That Will Change Your Life!

A number of years ago, I was teaching at a guitar workshop in Pittsburgh.

I had taught at this annual workshop a number of times and always looked forward to my week there, not only because I was able to teach a class of students who really wanted to learn guitar, but also for more selfish reasons. I liked meeting and learning from some of the other instructors and clinicians.

So during this week, jazz guitarist Henry Johnson and I were jamming on each other's guitars, and I took the opportunity to ask him, "Hey, how can I, as a rock guitarist, get that 'outside' jazzy/Alan Holdsworth-y sound?"

His answer was so simple and astonishing. I will share it with you here.

He said, "Simply flatten the root of the minor pentatonic scale. Use this whenever you would use the normal minor pentatonic scale."

The concept was simple but profound. I spent a few days getting the new shape under my fingers, and before I knew it, I was slipping this into every solo I could!

The example below shows the new altered A-minor pentatonic scale. In this A-minor example, this "flattened root scale" sounds outside over Am or an A7 chord, but inside over the dominant V chord (E7).

In 2014 Music Success is All About the Merch...

CANADA... Kitchener, Ontario's Mercedes Arn-Horn, (20-year-old lead singer and guitarist of the Juno-nominated punk pop band Courage My Love), took to the main stage of the Kitchener Ontario Independent Music Festival on Sunday afternoon Sept. 21, 2014.

Her advice for young bands... "Soak in every experience you have, every bit of advice you have." Then, use that knowledge to thrive on tour and sell all the T-shirts you can.

That's what Arn-Horn and her band, which features her identical twin sister, Phoenix, on drums and vocals, have done on their tours across Canada, the United States and even Japan.

Merchandise is where the money is. Worship not at the altar of albums. No one makes money selling records any more. You won't either. The Church of Merch is the music industry's new collection plate.

So march around with all the merch you can muster. Then put the peddle to your heavy metal in the merch tent. Hallelujah.

"You're not going to sell 60,000 records in 2014," Canadian punk music author Sam Sutherland, wearing a Blue Jays cap and Buddy Holly glasses, told about 60 people at a music business forum in the Kitchener Public Library theatre on Saturday.

"But people will pay money to come to your shows. They'll buy your T-shirts."

So, don't make it difficult for freeloaders to poach your music product online, Sutherland advised an overlap event of the 100-band KOI! and the author-loaded Word on the Street literacy festival in downtown Kitchener.

Don't lock up your tunes. Give them away.

"Because they're going to steal your music anyway," he added. "So you might as well just make it super easy, your fans will actually appreciate it."

Get it out there. Build your fan base. Tour to sell tickets and T-shirts. That's the new business model in the music biz. Tours don't worship the god of album sales any more. That rock dinosaur-era deity has died a digital death. Albums are now the anchor weights of a career constructed on money-making tours. They weigh traveling bands down. And, contrary to one of Courage My Love's trademark songs, anchors don't make good shoes.

"What we have now is the new world order," said Emmanuel Patterson, a promoter from Waterloo who has known Courage My Love trio, which includes Kitchener bassist Brandon Lockwood, since it began six years ago.

"Give the music away to people will come to your shows."

Get them hooked. Then, you become their dealer — their merch dealer. Tees and tank tops and four-song compact discs. Bundle them all together and make a bundle.

"You're going to make your money selling merchandise the rest of your lives as a rock band," Patterson said. "You make your money at the door and selling merch."

So there are simple merch rules. Get a really good T-shirt design and change it all the time. Never go to the same city with the same design. Never let your merch go stale.

It even works on grand scales. Patterson, who had Courage My Love on his massive 56-city Vans Warped tour of the United States this summer, says there are giant-stadium bands that sell $1 million a day in merchandise.

There are still benefits to being with a record company label. It can help foot the touring tabs for gasoline and bankroll your big merch order, which must be in Des Moines, or some other concert site, on time for the band to make any money.

Courage My Love only signs two-year deals... currently they're signed by Warner Canada and Warner Japan.

But Mercedes Arn-Horn likes those deals to be short two-year deals. She has learned from the folly of others that circumstances can sour with a label and you don't want to be locked into an artistic iron maiden. The born-on-Halloween sisters want to avoid any future horror shows so Courage My Love is renegotiating its deal right now.

"You never want to be stuck on the shelf," Arn-Horn said.

"Worst-case scenario, you're stuck on a deal you won't want to be in for a couple of years and you can't release music because of something you signed."

Sound familiar, Bruce Springsteen? And that was 40 years ago, the Boss was muzzled by a bad deal inked on the hood of a car. Some music biz lessons are constant.

So let's recap what we've learned about the modern music biz from KOI! And Word on the Street this past weekend.

Be a sponge. Be careful what you sign. Push the merch.

And, one last thing, don't be a jerk to the people you work with on tour. Be nice, because personal connections, forged with every show, still pay off like a pile of fresh merch.

"We weren't the best band when we started," Phoenix Arn-Horn said. "The only reason we kept getting booked is we just made an effort to be super, over-the-top nice to people. Not that we wanted to be fake. We just wanted to make a good first impression."

Mercedes nodded in agreement with her sister.

"You'd be surprised how small the music world is," she added. "Word gets around."

And, in the age of the tweet, there's still no substitute for word on the street.

Andy Aledort: Mixolydian-Based Melodies & Chords...

These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the November 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the Guitar World Online Store.

In the last few columns, we looked at ways to build chord shapes, or “grips,” from the Dorian and Aeolian modes (Aeolian is also known as the natural minor scale), which are two of the most widely used minor modes for soloing in rock, blues, and jazz.

Last month, we turned our attention to the equally popular and useful Mixolydian mode, which is intervallically spelled 1(root), 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, b7.

This is the mode that includes the dominant-seven chord tones 1, 3, 5 and b7 and gives us chords like E7, A7 and D7, as well as chords that include “upper-structure tension tones,” or “tensions,” namely the ninth, 11th and 13th.

I encourage all guitarists to attain as complete an understanding of the Mixolydian mode as possible, as this will help in broadening one’s understanding of music theory and the fretboard, as well as reap countless options that can be applied to both soloing and rhythm guitar playing. 

Scientists Prove Pop Music Ruins the Brain!

Research proves what our parents have been saying all along: Modern pop music really is worse than older generations of pop music. Not only that, it has negative effects on your brain, too — if you're chiefly a pop music fan, you're likely to be less creative than any other kind of music lover!

But that says more about the industry than it does about you. Bad pop music is a harder habit to kick than you think. Kicking it, though, is way more important than you thought.

In 2008, Adrian North of Scotland's Heriot-Watt University published the largest study yet of musical taste, involving 36,000 people, 60 countries and three years of work. He asked each participant to rank their favorite genres of music. He discovered that the most common characteristic among all genre listeners was creativity. However, one group of listeners showed a genuine and significant lack of creativity: pop music lovers.

That doesn't necessarily mean that stupid people love pop — just that pop trains us to expect less from our artistic and creative lives. Music can nourish our minds like almost nothing else, so when a mega-industry is devoted to selling the least inspired music they can, they're short-changing all of us. A survey of other research on music reveals that pop music has gotten worse over the last 50 years. Not only that, it's been used to brainwash listeners through predatory marketing strategies across all media channels.

Pop music hasn't always been that way. Researchers measured the variety of words, chord variations and volume of songs across the decades sine the 1950s. Unsurprisingly, they found that modern pop is a watered-down version of what John, Paul, George and Ringo used to rock the charts with. Since the 1950s, vocal timbre — the character of the voice — has become less diverse and pitch content has become totally monochromatic (fewer chord and melodic variations), while everything has gotten much louder overall. Our popular music is literally being dumbed down.

This music isn't even music anymore; it's become a platform for inflammatory music videos that only detract from the musical experience or, in most cases, distract from the total absence of a genuine musical experience. People were talking about Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda" cover art way before the song dropped, and they only really discussed the song when the incendiary video followed. It's that culture that has music critics like Ted Gioia claiming that music criticism has devolved into lifestyle reporting. It's that culture that's rotting our minds.

Unfortunately, there's no end in sight. As these songs get watered down, they become cheap and easy fuel for the music business because they appeal to the lowest common denominator and thus reach a wide audience. That isn't a frivolous thing, though: Researchers have thoroughly documented that pop music is the "heavy equipment" of the adolescent years. It is far more influential than computers, television and movies in shaping how kids grow up.

That's why it matters when it's getting worse. Billboard charts fuel the mainstream market, identifying safe bets for movie soundtracks, commercials and background music, all of which ensure that a popular song is impossible to avoid. And despite common sense, songs aren't played because they are popular; they're played to make them popular.

If we care about our culture — and if we care about our minds — we'll vote with our ears. If the formulas stop paying off for the industry, we might get real music back into the mainstream.

Who Still Buys Music In 2014? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Even with the plethora of free and almost free music along with the zillion track libraries available to anyone willing to shell out just $5 - $10 a month, there still some people that pay for music, buying CD's & even LP's. 

A lot of people buy to support their favorite musicians, but who else? 

MusicWatch conducted online surveys of 5,000 music buyers (ages 13 and up) in 2004, and the again ten years later in 2014... Here are their findings:

Leftist Musician Building 5 Mansions for the Rich???

U2 guitarist The Edge has been granted permission by the California Coastal Commission to build five mansions on the Malibu coast...

Following a years-long dispute over the plans, the commission announced on its website that it is permitting the Irish musician, whose real name is David Evans, to move forward with developing the mansions and a private access road on Sweetwater Mesa in the secluded Santa Monica mountains. The Los Angeles Times first reported the news.

The agreement involves a compromise, as the area of development will be smaller than the guitarist initially wanted. The California Coastal Commission has stated that Mr. Evans will also have to make other concessions based on ecological preservation. The concessions were difficult to compromise on and will add significant costs to Evans five mansion project.

Evans had tried to obtain permits for the homes back in 2006, with the housing-development plans getting rejected in 2011. The commission initially expressed concerns that the construction of five mansions would disturb the environment and mar an undeveloped portion of the coastline. Evans spent a considerable amount of time, and money fighting the California Coastal Commission in court to get permission to build. It seems the fight was finally worth all of the effort.

U2 has been making headlines recently for having released its newest album Songs of Innocence for free on iTunes. It's safe to say that not everyone has appreciated the gift. Many iTunes users were angry with the U2 album being directly added to their iTunes play-list, with no way of removing the songs possible. Apple (after considerable negative feedback from its users) finally released a "special tool" for iTunes users to download and go about removing the unwanted U2 songs from off their iTunes systems.

Unfortunately, the new release from U2 has received poor reviews thus far from music industry critics.