Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Running a Record Label -Tracking Sales, etc.

In previous posts we've looked at some of the steps needed to set up your own label. While the idea of having your own label might seem romantic, the truth is that it's a business and like all business you need to keep track of your product, sales, promos, purchase orders, invoices and business contacts.

The best way of doing this is to have a database. Now I realize that databases aren't sexy or hip or have the allure of a new piece of gear for your studio, but in the long run could have an equal, if not greater, impact on the success of your label.

There are a lot of databases to choose from. I've used a few and the one I've found the easiest and fastest to use is a less known one called Panorama by a company called Provue. Turns out Provue's been creating software for a very long time. In fact the only other company that has been designing software to run on Apple computers longer than Provue is Microsoft! You read that right, Microsoft.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Understanding Pentatonic Scales

What are pentatonic scales? How are they constructed? What makes them different than major and minor scales? Why are they the most common scale used in the world?

In this article we're going to take a closer look at these very popular scales and explain them in an easy to understand nonacademic way.

Scales are one of the most important building blocks of music. Notes from scales, combined with rhythm, form the basis of melodies. A haunting, solo melody can be a rich and rewarding musical expression. Therefore a basic knowledge of scales is beneficial to anyone that wishes to make music, especially if they are creating their own tunes or just improvising ("playing from the heart").

In the two previous articles we looked at diatonic major and minor scales and then the diatonic modes respectively. A good understanding of these principles will help you with the subject of this post exploring pentatonic scales. You might want to review them before diving into this article.

For anyone that plays the Native American flute the term pentatonic scale becomes a constant refrain in almost all conversations about this instrument. Yet very few people know very much beyond the fact that Pent is Greek for five. Even though this is the limit of most people's knowledge, somehow a lot
of misinformation and incorrect terminology gets passed from player to player, maker to player, maker to maker and player to maker. This misinformation is completely invalid outside of the Native American flute world and for that matter is barely valid for the NAF. As if the Native American Flute world is it's own little bubble, which it's not.

If you want to be taken seriously by other musicians, and have the Native American flute taken seriously as well, it's essential to be able to discuss music at a basic level using the correct terms that are recognized by the larger musical world. Likewise it's also good to avoid using terms that are not recognized by musicians, composers and music theorists.

Let's start by looking at the most common pentatonic scales, the names they are known by and how they are constructed. Then we'll talk about some of the incorrect terms and names given to them so you can avoid falling into the trap so many NAF players have fallen into.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Mojave Flute

During last July's INAFA convention Michael Graham Allen played what he called a Mojave Flute. It had a sound very similar to an Anasazi flute but the scale was quite different. Michael didn't have any to sell at that time but I put in an order and got my flute a few months later.

Surprisingly I didn't mention to very many people that I had one but lately the largest number of emails I've gotten with flute questions have been about this flute. So instead of responding to each one, one at a time I thought I'd post a short article about them here.

These flutes are shorter than Anasazi flute being 24-3/4" long with a proximal (the playing end) bore width of 7/8". They also only have four holes instead of six.


The "notch" on the mouthpiece is smaller, or less pronounced, than on a Anasazi flute. However given the shorter length they are a little easier to play than their bigger cousins.

Read the full post here

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Encore showing of Ancient Light on PBS

Don't miss an encore airing of Ancient Light by Scott August on PBS Arizona, KAET Chanel 8, Saturday, December 6th at 11:00 am as part of the their winter pedge drive.

This special broadcast will be co-hosted by Scott August and Scott will be talking about Ancient Light, his love of the southwest and playing some Native and Anasazi flutes live in the studio.

Please tune in and support this broadcast. If you can, make a pledge. Only with your support will KAET continue to air this program.

Be sure and tell your friends too!!!

Even if you can't make a pledge, please let KAET know you are excited that they are showing Ancient Light by contacting them.

Phone: (480) 965-2308