May 5

Smigly

Saxophone Mouthpieces and the Quest for the Perfect Reed

 

A year or so in a moment of barely concealed lunacy I decided I would start to learn the Soprano Saxophone. "So What" you might say. Well I do play the Valve Trombone. But I must also add that I have always been attracted to the saxophone, but in the long ago days of my youth, saxophones were a rarity. It was a Brass World that I lived in. Brass bands were common. The North of England produced a very high percentage of brass playing musicians who had gone on to achieve national and international recognitions playing in the brass sections of great orchestras.



So I brought a reasonably good soprano saxophone on eBay. It was only then I became aware of the mysterious question of reeds and mouthpieces.



Brass players do change their mouthpieces from time to time. Some do not. I have used the same mouthpiece for more then thirty years. So it came as something of a surprise to realize that, in the world of...

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May 5

Mozear and Salieri

All it Needs is 10.000 Hours

 

There has been quite a lot of comment recently concerning the notion that 10,000 of practice is the formula to a virtuosity that will transcend mere talent. Do you believe this?  I do not.



You cannot doubt that such a 10.000 hour regimen will lead to a high level of competence in any field. But as a proven threshold to genius and universal acclaim - no way. This is an adjunct to the comforting notion that natural talent does not exist. Anyone who mixes with creative individuals will know that the concept that talent is an illusion will be more than aware that this is complete tosh. I am convinced to that role of talent applies elsewhere to anything from athletics to clog dancing.



You will recall in Amadeus the play written by Peter Shaffer, Antonio Salieri cannot understand why he a man of God-fearing sobriety and high musical skills, is unable to produce the totally memorable music that is composed by Amadeus Mozart. The answer...

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May 5

Google Can Seriously Damage Your Website

 

Jazz Clubs Worldwide http://jazz-clubs-worldwide was created in 1997 and in time became the key resource for jazz musicians, jazz lovers, agents, groups, bands et al.

 

evilEventually it was ranked within the top million websites on the Internet. Hits and pages views showing an exceptionally high volume. Then in March two thousand and eleven there was a dramatic change in the Google rankings of the website. Up until that date Jazz Clubs Worldwide had occupied Page One, Number One, for virtually every page on the site. Google down graded the rankings, slashing the viability to a point where the only result could be a dramatic decline in page views and visits.

 

Then what do we see? Google started to do its one jazz clubs listings, Page One, Top of the page. I might add a cherry-picked listing displaying only twenty jazz clubs. Some pages on Jazz Clubs Worldwide displayed more than one hundred.

 

I made attempts, what became...

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Singers by Peter Maguire
The Golden Sixties For Some.
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