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Six Acoustic Guitar Tips
Here are a few free acoustic guitar tips every beginner will probably learn sooner or later. Some are harder to learn than others; forewarned is forearmed.
The Virgins and ASCAP: Did A Performance Rights Organization Do Anything For Us?
In 1995 I moved back to my hometown of Milwaukee with a group of college friends to start a band. We called ourselves The Virgins. Over the next five years this name would prove to be somewhat prescient. We played hundreds of shows throughout the Midwest, recorded one six-song cassette and two CDs, and made a lot of naive assumptions.
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Cool Gizmo Alert: Genz-Benz G-Flex 2x12
We're proud to launch a new product review series sponsored by YourGuitarist. is a web site offering Internet based development of custom guitar tracks for artists worldwide. allows musicians to avoid the high studio fees usually associated with producing guitar tracks for their songs.
Stage Left

Intellectual Property and Antitrust: Music Performing Rights in Broadcasting
Part V: The ASCAP Rate Court
By Michael Einhorn,

MusicDish Network Sponsor
The matter of rate determination for program licenses moved in 1990-91 to the ASCAP Rate Court, which conducted an administrative hearing in which 963 independent and 20 network-owned stations sought final determination of blanket and program fees for historic periods in which interim license fees had prevailed. These local stations were attempting to negotiate with ASCAP an all-industry fee aggregate that could be subsequently assigned to individual stations based on respective audience size, day part ratings, and program clearance. Hearing Magistrate Michael Dolinger issued a decision in 1993.

Consolidating testimony from two opposing testifying economists, the Magistrate found that there is no applicable economic theory for determining blanket rates for performance licenses. Previous fee levels -- tempered by the recognition of changing circumstances -- were the only reasonable starting points for subsequently administered fee-setting. The Magistrate then applied ­ with adjustments for annual inflation and station growth ­ fee levels from a prior blanket license in 1972. This produced a serious reduction from ASCAPšs requested amount for the blanket percentage.

ASCAP had urged the Court to set the percentage-of-revenue for program licenses at a fourfold multiple of any blanket fee amount, together with an unspecified increment to cover additional expenses that it would have incurred in administering and monitoring the program. The Magistrate held that this proposal was designed to render the program arrangement "technically available but practically illusory for all stations". It "would trivialize what was plainly not intended to be a trivial set of provisions" in the Consent Decree.

To resolve the problem, Magistrate Dolinger designed the program fee in a manner where the typical local television station would pay to ASCAP equal amounts under the blanket and program alternatives, exclusive of additional administation costs. To do this, the Magistrate estimated that the typical local station used the ASCAP program license in roughly 75 percent of its programming. Magistrate Dolinger set the percentage-of-revenue in the program license at a 1.33 multiple of the blanket rate. This roughly ensured "revenue equivalence" between program and blanket revenues for the typical station (i.e., 1.33 x .75 = 1).

A 7 percent increment was then added to compensate ASCAP for the additional inefficiencies and administrative costs that inhere in program licensing. Facing the retroactive application of his formula to eleven historical years, the Magistratešs stated intent for the implemented program licensing system was to limit switching from blanket to program licensing.

ASCAP and its licensees subsequently agreed to an additional 10 percent increment on the program license amount to provide a separate "mini-blanket" to cover all commercial music used during the day. This modification enabled stations to clear individual programs simply by attending to music within the actual content of the show, rather than the more difficult process of clearing both content and commercial music. However, this second rider added yet another cost to the program license compared with the blanket alternative, which automatically covers commercial uses at no additional cost.

ASCAPšs present fees for program licenses for radio stations, which were established outside of Rate Court and designed with no reference to revenue equivalence relationship, now offer even less of a "genuine choice". Commercial radio stations pay fees that are based on a percentage of adjusted station revenue; the percent fees can be negotiated individually or by an all-industry licensing committee. ASCAPšs blanket license for major radio stations is 1.615 percent of adjusted gross revenue..

For program users, percentage fees per licensed program are set at 4.22 percent of the first 10 percent of weighted program hours where feature music is used. Fees for all additional hours with feature music are set at 2.135 percent. ASCAP then adds an additional 0.24 percent for a "mini-blanket" to cover all music used on radio commercials. Depending on the number of weighted hours, the markup of the program percentage above the blanket rate may range from 60 to 177 percent. The matter took a turn in 1995 when a group of radio stations unsuccessfully sought to apply Magistrate Dolingeršs equivalence formula to obtain a better program license for their particular situation. Not yet under a Consent Decree, ASCAPšs licenses for webcasters incorporate similar discounts for blanket licensees.


Grand Stand

MusicDish Network Promotes 60's Love Child Astrella-Celeste

MusicDish, an Internet music magazine publisher and artist marketing/development firm, is proud to announce the addition of Pop/Jazz singer Astrella Celeste to the MusicDish Network roster. Combining a variety of online viral marketing strategies, the MusicDish Network will be coordinating a broad campaign in support of her debut album "Blue Star" (the Spanish translation of Astrella Celeste).


MusicDish At MIDEM: J-Music Distribution, France

J-Music Distribution describes itself as "the very first European distributor of Japanese music whose activities link Japanese artists and their management, Japanese record companies, and European distributors together to provide a stable framework of distribution from artists to music retail store."

Formed in December 2005, J-Music Distribution representatives brought their business vision to "MIDEM, The World Music Market's 40th Edition" conference in Cannes, France.


Toshi Reagon to Present Fanny with ROCKRGRL Women of Valor Award On April 20
Toshi Reagon has been named to present pioneering all-female rock group Fanny with the ROCKRGRL Women of Valor Award, Friday, April 20, at the Berklee Performance Center, located at 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston. Read more...
Musicians Turn to Short Run DVD Production
Today's independent musicians have started using new technologies including On Demand Short Run CD/DVD Production, enabling them to order smaller batches of CDs and DVDs in real time online 24/7 and ship to customers, one at a time.
Press Release
Synesthesia Announces Mandala 2.0 High-Def Drum And Synthesizer