Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits By The Numbers

You'd think that with a legendary career like Bob Dylan's that he would have an extremely long "greatest hits" list. Ironically he hit Billboard's American Top 40 a grand total of only twelve times. For anybody new to Dylan here's a rundown of the few songs that actually charted, in reverse order from lowest to highest:

Subterranean Homesick Blues, #39 in 1965: His first hit, it contained the classic line, "You don't need a weather man to know which way the wind blows."

George Jackson, #33 in 1971: This was a tribute to the Black Panther leader, George Jackson. Jackson had been shot and killed by guards at San Quentin Prison on August 21, 1971. The famous Attica Prison riot was partially attributed to the shooting.

Hurricane, Part 1, #33 in 1976: This was the first portion of Dylan's eight minute leadoff song from "Desire" about how Rubin "Hurricane" Carter was allegedly framed for a 1966 triple murder in Patterson, New Jersey.

Just Like A Woman, #33 in 1966: Rumored to be about Edie Sedgwick this was a song whose lyrics Dylan, according to historian Sean Wilentz, improvised in the studio by singing "disconnected lines and semi-gibberish". Don't you wish you could improvise like this?

Tangled Up In Blue, #31 in 1975: With his marriage to Sara Lowndes falling to pieces Dylan penned this epic allegory of their relationship, how they came together, fell apart, came back together and fell apart again.

Gotta Serve Somebody, #24 in 1979: Dylan became a born-again Christian in the late 1970s, recorded two albums of gospel music, and lost a few fans (again). This was Dylan's way of reminding everybody (perhaps himself included) that no one is ever totally their own master.

I Want You, #20 in 1966: Rolling Stone declared "Blonde on Blonde" to be the ninth greatest album of all time. It yielded this hit.

Knockin' On Heaven's Door, #11 in 1973: Isn't it nice when you can star in a movie and get a hit song out of it? That's exactly what happened when Dylan starred in Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.

Positively 4th Street, #7, charted for 7 weeks in 1965: Laden with imagery of retribution this was supposedly Dylan's response to so-called "friends" from the folk community who, from the sound of it, stabbed Dylan in the back (figuratively, of course).

Lay Lady Lay, #7, charted for 11 weeks in 1969: Suddenly Dylan lurched country, recording with Nashville musicians and doing a duet with Johnny Cash.

Rainy Day Women #12 & 35: #2 for one week in 1966: He practically laughed all the way through this gleeful litany of a double entendre. Everybody's got to get stoned, like the adulterous woman in the Gospels nearly was, only to find that he's probably talking about getting high the whole time.

Like A Rolling Stone, #2 for two weeks in 1965: There's not much you have to say about this song. Rolling Stone proclaimed it the single greatest song of all time. In an era when hit songs weren't supposed to run for more than about three minutes or so Dylan's accusatory anthem ran on for over six unprecedented minutes.

And these are just the ones that charted! All this goes to show is that innumerable terrific songs don't necessarily sell, make it to the Top 40 charts or get the radio airplay they genuinely deserve. The rest of Bob Dylan's "Greatest Hits", if you judge by the quality of the songs themselves, would doubtless make a list that would run several pages.

The Legend That Is The Audio Note Phono Cartridge

Even among audiophiles who are generally hardened to such things, Audio Note (or Audionote to some) is a company that is held in inordinately high esteem, to the point of what appears almost reverence. The company's (actually, companies', but we'll come to that) products often achieve legendary status among enthusiasts, a status that appears bizarre to most 'outsiders' not familiar with the hallowed environment of the audio enthusiast.

The status of Audionote stems from one man. The Japanese Hiroyasu Kondo was an electronics engineer with a passion for audio reproduction and music, and a fastidious way of working. One of the first designers ever to use silver wiring in audio circuits, he has often been referred to as 'the audio silversmith'. Kondo San used highly unusual techniques to design and produce what are still considered some of the finest audio amplifiers ever made, and the earlier examples of which fetch dazzling prices today. Simple, but inordinately time consuming, amplifiers were designed and built, then an enormous amount of time was spent changing even the most minor components and listening extensively to discover the combinations that gave the best results.

Kondo, or Audio Note Japan became a serious manufacturer of very low volume, exclusive products. A few distributors were set up around the world and, highly unusually, the English distributor eventually branched out into their own manufacturing under the name Audio Note UK. Today, the two companies produce totally different product lines, though all with the same commitment to providing the ultimate musical experience. There is one exception however, which is the Audio Note Io phono cartridge.

Many years ago, Mr Kondo had decided that existing designs of cartridges were mostly not up to the standards of music reproduction he aspired to and achieved, and accordingly set out to design his own. The engineering skills required to produce a high-end cartridge are not to be taken lightly. The ultra-miniature construction demands exceptional abilities, but this was no problem to the Japanese master. Not only did Audio Note manage to produce a cartridge of exceptionally high standards, they also incorporated man novel design features and the result was widely acclaimed.

Subsequently, the licence to produce the Audionote Io cartridge was given to Audio Note UK, and the models have been in production ever since. Almost uniquely, every cartridge is made entirely by hand, and by the same technician. As a result, production is incredibly low volume and prices are accordingly anything but low! The units themselves are, however, truly outstanding. Construction is based around an extremely powerful magnet, and a moving coil with a comparatively small number of windings. The result is a very low output, which needs special transformers to be usable, but a very fast transient response and an uncanny ability to reproduce music.

The Audio Note UL range also includes one totally unique cartridge, the Io Ltd. In this cartridge, an electro-magnet is used, with its own windings, instead of a fixed magnet. Incredibly complex, the Io Ltd required additional wires in a record deck tone arm, and also needs a sophisticated, extremely accurate and incredibly low-noise external power supply. Needless to say, the cost puts it way beyond the pocket of all but the most dedicated audio enthusiasts, but the results are suitable spectacular.

Lenny Breau Guitarist in His Youth Was Like a Sponge

Lenny Breau Guitarist in his youth was like a sponge. He would go to Bob and ask him a question and Bob would do his best to answer it through the eyes of an experienced piano player. Bob was shocked how fast Lenny would catch on to things. More often than not Lenny literally came back the next day and was playing what Bob explained to him.

They played one specific room together very often called the Stage Door. There were no charts; Bob would just call a tune and off they went. When they rehearsed Bob explained to Lenny that in any key you have the 1, 4, 3, 6, 2, 5, 1 progression. In a major key the 1 chord is major, the 4 chord is major, the 3 chord is minor, the 6 chord is minor, the 2 chord is minor, and the 5 chord is major.

He explained this to Lenny.

So on the bandstand Bob would say to Lenny this next song is like a 1, 4, 3, b3, 2, 5, 1. Lenny had no problem with this type of communication.

Bob would call out to Lenny for the next song and say

1, 4, 3, 6 Major, 2 Major, V, 1.

If the 3 chord, or the 2 chord or the 6 chord had a b5 in its minor chord variation Lenny would pick it up very fast. Or if the 6 chord was a major chord instead of the minor sound Lenny would pick it up fast. Lenny really took to the 'Down The Line' thinking.

For example if Bob called out the standard 'Autumn Leaves' he would tell Lenny, "It's in the key of E minor. I will start off with a E minor vamp for 8 bars then play a 2, 5, 1 in the relative major, and then play a 2, 5, 1 back to E minor". Lenny heard that the two chords resolving to the E minor had a b5 in them. He did not need to be told these things; his ear told him.

The Stage Door gig lasted for a year and a half. Lenny had just turned 19 and wanted to go to Toronto with his wife and little boy Chet. Bob felt he was in a crucial learning stage and that he should wait six months or even a year. He tried to convince Lenny to not go. Bob also felt Lenny was not mature or mentally stable enough to take a family out to Toronto.

Rick has been playing guitar, doing studio work, and teaching for 36 years now, and is an active recording artist. He has experienced, as many artists do, low times in the business and also,numerous high times in his career.

Tips For Transcribing Music

Before You Begin

Practice Ear Training

Before you even attempt to play a note from the recording, warm your ears up. Sing and play through a few scales and intervals in different keys. Many solos will alternate between runs up and down scales and arpeggiated chords. Practice these patterns. It will help you hear these sections as they come up and also to be able to play them without having to think about it.

Listen, Listen, Listen.

Listen through the passage you are transcribing several times. You must be able to hear any melody before you can play it. I sing through passages to ensure that I know them completely. Singing in perfect pitch or on key isn't necessary, just make sure you have the rhythm and basic melody ups and downs.

Get The Basics Down

Familiarize yourself with the tune. Find the key, meter, and tempo. Then analyze the form of the song. Look for phrase lengths, check out which instruments play melody or harmony, and number of soloists. Knowing these things will save you time as you play through various sections of the song, and will come in handy when it comes time to perform.

Are you transcribing a solo? Transcribe the melody first. Many players will quote melody passages and embellish them. Plus, what's the point of learning a solo if you can't play the song?

During Transcription

Look for Patterns

Your favorite musicians aren't as good as you think they are. What? That's right, there are tools and tricks to soloing that every player employs. Once you find them, finding the exact notes is easy. For instance, large interval leaps are most likely going to be on chord tones or important notes in the key. Musicians' don't choose notes at random in most cases. If you're having trouble hearing a jump, think first: "What would make sense?" before getting frustrated trying too many things.

Scale patterns are equally easy to recognize. Jazz musicians love eighth note runs up and down the key scales. If it doesn't sound quite right, try chromatic scales or sections beginning and ending on chord tones.

Take Breaks

We all take breaks while we practice to keep our embouchure fresh. Your ears get tired too. If you find that things are getting more difficult, take a silent break for a few minutes and try again.

Don't Cheat

If you can't get a section, whatever you do, don't look it up. Yes, many transcriptions and songbooks are out there that could tell you how to play it. But learning a song will keep it in your memory far longer than playing it from paper, and will often not include any of the articulations or stylistic notations you gain by learning from the record.

I equate this point to watching a movie before you read the book. If you do that, you no longer have the means to imagine the characters and scenes as they originally were, you can now only see how the movie depicts them.

Tools to Use

Using a keyboard can be a great tool during hard sections. If a section is difficult to play, it can be almost impossible to replicate it over and over while trying to figure the notes out. A keyboard or piano will give you a break from playing so you can just listen. Keyboards are also a good device for learning the harmonies of multiple players at once.

There are many computer programs that can help in transcription. A great one I use is The Amazing Slow Downer. It lets you slow the tempo while keeping the key the same, or change the key while keeping the tempo the same. You can also break up small sections to be repeated.

After You Finish

Once you have all the notes down, don't think you are done with the transcription. The most important thing about learning a piece is not the notes that were played, but the style they were played in. Listen for dynamics and articulations, as well as other brass techniques like scooping notes or glissandos.

How to Make a Digital Recording Studio

Type of digital recording studio

In this case, of course, some of you already know that a digital recording studio is generally divided into two types, namely a digital home recording studio and professional digital recording studio.

Electing to build a studio of one of the types mentioned above must be done in accordance with the needs/functions, and of course, adjusted to the funds you have.

The purpose of the function is based on whether the studio will be used to record only, for recording and mixing, or for recording, mixing, and mastering.

Equipment necessary to make a studio recording

Here's some additional information, for those of you who are beginners, about what types of devices are usually used during recording, which may give consideration to those of you who want to start making a music studio, whether at home or in your place of business.

1. Microphone

A microphone is used during the recording of vocal sound, or to record musical instruments, such as drums, acoustic guitar, and electric guitars, and various other musical instruments.

The technique of microphone placement position and direction, towards the sound source from the amplifier or directly from a music instrument, is to be noted, as this should be in accordance with the type of microphone conditioning and the type of music instrument you would record.

A microphone is frequently used to record the type of condenser microphone because this type of microphone has a high sensitivity to sounds in the environment around the microphone located in the coverage area.

2. Audio Mixer

An audio mixer is used as a tool to mix the various audio signals, such as guitar, bass, keyboard, vocal, and drum set. The audio mixer allows us to be able to do the musical recording of instruments simultaneously (live), or do one at a time (tracking).

Audio mixers can be relatively expensive. You can still use the audio mixer in your home studio, using a digital audio mixer, or simply use the software that you can instantly install in your computer.

Although in the form of software, you can still use the features and results as well as analog audio mixer types, which determine the good and the bad aspects of a recording, depending on the skills you have to do the audio mixing.

3. Equalizer

The equalizer is basically used as a tool that serves to raise or eliminate certain frequencies from the musical instrument that will be recorded. Because each instrument has a different characteristic frequency of music, no overlap can be set by using the equalizer, so any sound of music instrument can sound good and are not mutually dominant over each other.

4. Audio Reverb

Audio reverb serves to give the impression or the nuances of sound that are issued by any music instrument that will be recorded.

Audio reverb also serves to strengthen the weak bandwidth and high bandwidth characteristics as well as upon the high tones and low tones.

So the sound coming from any instrument to record music will sound more uniform or fused, so the sound will be recorded from any music instrument as a single product, besides that this tool also serves as an instrument to generate any sound of music or vocals that are buried.

5. Audio Compressor

Audio compressors serve as instruments for stabilizing voice in the recording process where during recording, an audio compressor is used before the signal enters a tape or disk.

An audio compressor can also be regarded as an instrument that serves to keep out each incoming signal, in order to avoid digital clipping.

6. Computer equipment for the digital home recording studio

Computers are very important in the process of recording because, all the existing audio signals will go into and be store in the computer hard drive, which will then do the mixing process, premastering, and mastering.

To perform a recording you can select the type of desktop computer/PC/Mac by using a type of Notebook/Macbook.

But it is more advisable to buy a PC-type computer, in which case it will be easier when making additions or upgrades to several types of hardware, if one day it is required. This is because the computer technology in development can be very fast.

The recommended minimum computer specifications for digital recording

Processor: adjusted to the type of operating system to be used on your computer.

RAM: 2GB (it would be better if you choose a motherboard that has two to four slots of memory or more, so that you can do more than two GB memory upgrade, if one day it is needed).

Hard drive: 8GB of free hard disk space (in this case you can buy 200GB hard drivers with capacities up to 500GB or above, according to the funds you have or how much data you will save).

DVD-ROM: dual layer drive (can be used for both reading and writing the data to a CD or DVD).

Display Monitor: Advisable to use a monitor with a resolution of 1280 x 800 or more. Select the type of LCD or flat, reasons that the monitor tube is seldom sold now, but its monitors take up much space so that the tube could be said to be less efficient.

Sound Card: Sound cards generally consist of several types, namely onboard (included with the main board time of purchase), PCI (internal sound card), and the type of USB and Firewire which can be regarded as an external sound card.

All types can match you with the funds you have, for internal or external sound card type are almost as good, whereas you should consider when choosing a resolution or sample rate owned by the sound card, which is 16bit, 24bit, 32bit, and even 64bit, to note that the greater the resolution you select, the better the quality you will get.

7. Supporting software to perform a variety of digital recording processes

Supporting software that is used to perform digital recording can be quite a lot and have a variety of different functions according to the needs of users.

Some functions can be used to make the process of mixing, pre-mastering, and mastering. Several of the applications typically have the ability to add additional features in the form of plugins. The features in this case can be digital equalizer, digital reverb, digital warmer, digital limiter-processor, and much more.

Some of the software are used to make recordings of them, namely Cubase, Sonar, Pro-tools, Logic-audio, Cakewalk, WaveLab, and much more.

8. Monitor speaker and headphones

When doing the recording process and the editing process both when mixing, pre-mastering, and mastering, you will definitely need a tool that could serve well to hear from any audio that was recorded.

This tool consists of two types. Monitor speakers or headphones can also be used. The selection of these two types of functions you can use as needed.

When doing the recording process so that you get better results, you are advised to use speakers or headphones that are specifically designed as a tool when making recordings.

Where the speaker of this type can be regarded as an honest speaker, which has a relatively flat character with equitable frequency response of between 60Hz until 30KHz, so do not be exaggerating specific sound frequencies to the issuance of a variety of sounds.

So you can know which part should be fixed and which part should be removed, you can get a good final result when you play your music using ordinary speakers.

Audio equipment as described above is largely sold at a price that is relatively expensive, but you do not have to have all of them and also do not have to buy new stuff, because although included in the category of the old stuff, audio equipment for recording quality is usually still a choice of functioning properly.

Another way you can do it is if you want to find the recording equipment primarily for guitar and bass you can use guitar recording interface, which usually is equipped with a USB connection that can be directly connected to your computer and is usually equipped with supporting software that can represent all audio hardware that has been described above.

The Rappers

Music is a piece of art which everybody loves to listen since years and decades. The songs or the art people hear depends upon their mood and their choice for listening. There have been a number of entertainers entertaining us and a number of viewers getting entertained by these singers. No doubt, these entertainers are the stars of everyone's lives since they achieve what interests us.

One of the most popular entertainers is Aubrey Drake Graham. Born in Canada on October 24, 1986, Aubrey uses his stage-name everywhere as Drake. He plays multiple roles in the entertaining industry like song writer, rapper, actor and an artist. He started his first mix-tape named as Room For Improvement. His genres of music are R & B and Hip-Hop. His songs are enthusiastic and heart touching. In one of the websites, Drake quotes "I'm not heartless. I've just learned to use heart less... ". He has not only sung mind blowing songs but even helped himself in playing roles as actors on television. His first highly and widely accepted was of 'Jimmy Brooks' which he played in 'Degrassi: The Next Generation' series on television. He has come up with many single hit albums; out of them was 'Thank Me Later' of the year 2010. It achieved the first and the top most position on the Billboard 200.

The other marvelous artist in hip-hop is the renowned singer, Lil Wayne. Lil Wayne is his stage name as his real name is Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. He is born in New Orleans of the United States of America on September 27, 1982. His career began in 1996 by joining the team of Hot Boys. He has also given multiple single as well as collaborated hits. The scream for him from the crowd when he appears on the stage speaks his popularity. He works as a rapper, CEO (Chief Executive Officer) and a producer. In one of the Lil Wayne quotes, he says "You can keep knocking but cannot knock me down". This shows the freedom-loving attitude of the artist. He should have such pride in him since at the age of 15 he became known to almost everyone in the field. His great fans' list speaks it all. Though he received mixed and negative response for his first album, Rebirth, it was made to certify gold. He has seen many downs also with success. He was sent to prison for 8 months on being caught for possessing a weapon in the year 2007, but this did not let him go down. He is still the favorite of all.

These two international singers have proved to rock the stage after coming together for albums. Drake, in collaboration with Lil Wayne, gave multiple hits like 'Miss Me', 'I'm Going In', 'She Will' and many more. Every song of their collaboration has earned huge positive response. It proved that Drake and Lil Wayne are this generation's top-most singers and will prove to be the best also in the future.

Top Ideas for Music School Trips

Sometimes, when looking to broaden your students' awareness of music, school trips might have an important part to play.

Cultural links

For example, there is a connection (even if the history is disputed) that links the music of parts of Scotland, to Ireland, Wales, Cornwall and Brittany in France. Sometimes called 'Celtic music', perhaps the best-known example is the bagpipes. This instrument and the accompanying music are found in Scotland, Northern England, Ireland, parts of western Normandy and Brittany. In the latter area of France, there are numerous Breton music festivals where the Celtic heritage across Western Europe is explored in music. It's also possible for students on music school trips to put those links into a much broader cultural context including links between art, architecture and linguistic traditions.

Music school trips and more recent links

Of course, musical legacies aren't just about times past. More recently, Liverpool was the centre of a phenomenal explosion of musical talent that was for a time known as the Merseybeat. A decade or so later, the centre of UK musical inspiration moved to London, then again to Manchester. Movement and trends in popular music such as Punk and New Romanticism can be explored in various venues and centres.

The central belt of Scotland has also produced its own superb modern music, often reflecting a blend of traditional and industrial Scottish culture. It's also worth considering trips to the Welsh Valleys, where a legendary choral tradition blends seamlessly with brass orchestral and a proud, if today rapidly receding, memory of a past based around tight communities, mining and heavy industry.

Combining history and music

Some towns, such as Warwick or York, evoke the medieval past through their architecture and ancient remains. Exploring medieval music in great local centres or via local music societies can sometimes make a little more sense if students are close to the buildings and art of the period. Sometimes it's easier to understand the sentiments and motivation behind some earlier music when you have something to provide a broader insight into the minds of those that originally composed and performed it.

London and the great orchestras

The effects of a sense of place upon musical interpretation can't be over-estimated.
The great orchestral works arguably demand epic acoustics and space. London has many venues par excellence where some of these great works can be heard at their very best - perhaps during world-famous events like The Proms.

Some forms of music also reflect the periods, values and aspirations of the times they were written in. For example, some might argue that some of Elgar's works can be best heard in the surroundings of a type that were originally built as part of the same cultural system.

Musicals and Musical Theater

Musical theater, or "a musical," as it's come to be called, is one of the best forms of entertainment ever devised, in my opinion. You can get it all in there - you can have comedy and/or drama, music, songs, and dance all rolled up into one production on stage, on a movie screen, or even on a television screen.

You are told a wonderful and compelling story (drama) or you are made to laugh until you roll in the aisles (comedy). But above all, the whole story is told with more than just words or pictures.

"The Black Crook" is recognized as the first musical, and it's what gave America the right to claim having created the musical entertainment genre. The play was based on the novel by Charles M. Barras. "The Black Crook" opened on September 12, 1866, and ran for a record-breaking 474 performances. It was performed at the at the 3,200-seat Niblo's Garden on Broadway, New York City. There have been countless "revivals" of "The Black Crook" over the years.

Musicals are presented as big-budget, high-end extravaganzas on Broadway stages and in smaller-budget off-Broadway theaters. They're presented in big-budget movies and in not-so-extravagant low-budget films. They're presented by professionals, by amateur community theater groups, and by high school drama departments. Even kindergarten classes stage musicals starring vegetables and animals.

Musicals are generally profitable, no matter what venue they are presented in. Leave it to corporate America to find a cash cow. Today, Broadway musicals are most often corporate-sponsored. Musicals are making a comeback on television today, as well.

There are even musicals that have been created for the Internet! The best example is "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog," about a low-rent super-villain played by Neil Patrick Harris.

Concerts as Entertainment

I doubt anybody would argue the point that concerts could be called anything other than part of the "entertainment industry."

The definition of "concert" is: a live performance, usually of music, before an audience. You'll notice that the definition doesn't specify what kind of music or the venue of the performance. That's because there are concerts that feature music from classical to rap, and every genre in between.

Concerts are held in wonderful old theaters and concert halls that were built especially for the performance of music and have positively amazing acoustics. Concerts are also held outdoors in open-air venues where there are no acoustics at all. And we've all attended a junior high school band concert that was held in the school auditorium, gym, or cafeteria, where the acoustics are absolutely atrocious with sound bouncing around everywhere.

Nevertheless, no matter what kind of music or what the venue of the performance, a concert is entertainment. Although I must point out that sometimes audiences are drawn to concerts and are willing to pay dearly for tickets to concerts not just to hear the music being performed. Sometimes the audience is drawn to a concert because of the venue (Woodstock), the performers (famous singers or musicians), or because it is their duty as a parent to attend no matter how bad the music might be.

Famous singers and musicians often go on concert tours. The same concert is performed, but each night the performance occurs in a different city. Particularly in the rock and roll, pop, or rap genres, concert tours are very popular avenues to allow fans the opportunity to see their favorite singers and musicians perform. Ticket sales for concert tour performances usually represent a large percentage of the profits made by record companies, managers, and producers.