Thursday, June 28, 2007

How To Play Well Known Piano Solos - 'Troika, Op. 37, No. 11 (November)' by Tchaikovsky

Source: 'Well Known Piano Solos – How to Play Them, Charles W. Wilkinson, Theo. Presser Co. 1915'

Being one of the piano pieces written for each month of the year, this is the Russian November with a sleigh scene. We have seen pictures of the Troika with its three black horses, gaily caparisoned with a hoop of sleigh-bells over their necks, and the occupants covered with costly furs. Here is the musical presentment, and it is really remarkable how even the varied motions of the horses can be depicted. The curious rhythm is the first thing which attracts attention; the half-note in the middle of each measure with two eighths on either side, is very original; and the staccato and legato treatment adds zest to the figure.

There is a feeling of the open air about it. Be sure you draw out the third eighth-note of the slur, according to the established rule of emphasis for the highest note of a phrase; and keep strictly to the pedal marking, which emphasizes and sustains the half-note. At the outset you should study the left-hand part alone, with pedal. It is very uncomfortable, and the eye is better on the keyboard than on the page. Measures 8, 12 and 17 deserve especial attention. Let the after-beat chords of the accompaniment be sharp and crisp, but light.

The galloping passage, at 18, is difficult because of the free chords in the right hand. Again, at the double bar, we have another gait; it is as though the horses were checked here into a walk, and, at 30, they tossed their heads. Perhaps there is a hill to climb and the fair occupants take this opportunity for more leisured conversation.

At 28-29 some young players do not make sure of the chords, two of G major and two of C major. The triplets, appearing first in 11, should not be "cornered," but made really three even notes; if you count them aloud, you may escape that awkward stop on the third one. As they come in so frequently, you should be able properly to adjust either the threes or twos.

We might even surmise that the sleigh has reached the level, at measure 48, and that the horses are impatient to resume their career, the sleigh-bells tinkling continuously in the frosty air and the snow flashing like diamonds. This pretty effect is brought about by the use of finger staccato, when the hand is held somewhat firm and the fingers, drawn in quickly and nervously, amplify the touch. At 41 I prefer the previous fingering; there is no need to change it. Measure 50 is hard to read because of the strange sharps and double sharps; but, like "an egg full of meat," you must digest it slowly. Study each hand separately, each quarter of the measure, and make a nice ad lib. at the end of this phrase, then it will come out all right. At 58 take care that the melody is not lost in the rushing figure of the accompaniment which must not be too prominent. The beautiful diminuendo at the end intimates the disappearance of the sleighing party. Let the music suggest as much.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Hell's Kitchen Season 3 Episode 4 Recap

Starting with a taste test, Bonnie shows her skills by correctly picking the foods Chef Ramsay offers her, and Vinnie ends up wrecking it for the Men by incorrectly picking Seared Tuna as Pan Cheddar.

The challenge ended, the Men get to not only prep both kitchens for he evening service, but to test their palates on rather unsavory but highly flavored foods like Tongue, Beef Liver, and Tripe. As they sit down to the meal, Vinnie seems to try and goad Rock into throwing it back up, but Rock manages to keep the food down as do all the Men.

The Ladies get to go out to a unique meal with Chef Ramsay, eating a lunch in pitch blackness. They are led into a fully darkened seating area, and Ramsay starts a bun tossing fight with the girls before they settle down to enjoy their meal. Bonnie flirts with the Scotsman by telling him he has a very nice voice.

Back at the kitchen, just before the beginning of service, Chef Ramsay informs the two teams that tonight the diners will be filling out comment cards. Those comment cards will be used to decide which team is the winner, and which team loses.

The Blue kitchen leaps into action and fairly quickly, Josh delivers the first batch of appetizers to the hotplate. Much to Ramsay's dismay, the Risotto is undercooked and crunchy. Blue team is off to a poor start.

The Red kitchen meanwhile, begins it's evening with a delay from Melissa's station, to the point where Chef Ramsay accuses her of not working with the team and calls her a F%#& bimbo.

Back at the Blue kitchen, Ramsay catches Josh just standing around, no food at his station, just standing there. He demands that Rock take over and direct the other chef, which Rock does, and Josh moves under that direction. Meanwhile, Vinnie is unable to deliver the Beef Wellingtons as he has undercooked them.

The Red Kitchen's Beef Wellingtons are undercooked, Pasta is still raw. Chef Confronts Bonnie, accusing her of lying as she always answers 'Yes Chef' but never seems to do as he asks.

By the 9pm mark, the Red Kitchen is well ahead with 14 appetizers served and they are well on the way through their entrees as well.

A female patron comes up to ask about her meal. Ramsay does his usual tact and sends her back with Jean-Phillipe.

Back at blue, Chef asks about the Beef Wellingtons and is informed that they need much more time. Asking Vinnie directly, he finds out that 6 Wellingtons have been spoiled. His only comment and the Ramsay Rant for this Episode ... "F#$% me senseless"

Throughout the evening, the Blue Kitchen serves over salted fish and undercooked spaghetti, while the Red kitchen under Bonnie's station is unable to send out a properly cooked chicken.

Chef Ramsay shuts them both down at past 10 and then collects the comment cards.

He informs both teams that their performance would have closed any other restaurant as 65% of the diners chose not to return. Bonnie is very depressed and wants to go home. Ramsay decides that both teams lost, and nominates rock as he was a solid performer and Jen because she didn't do too badly. Those two get to pick their weakest team mates for elimination.

They go back to the dorms to deliberate and come back with their choices. Rock nominates Josh because he feels Josh is at his maximum and has nowhere else to go, while Jen nominates Melissa because she feels Melissa lacks leadership potential.

Ramsay overrules both of them and is disappointed because neither picked their weakest link. he nominates both bonnie and Vinnie. He asks the two why they should remain, Vinnie spouts off about how he is the best Chef in the kitchen and needs more time to show his potential. Bonnie admits her faults but explains that she always learns from her mistakes.

Chef Ramsay picks Vinnie to leave the kitchen because in his words "Vinnie can talk the talk, but not Walk the walk. He's A crap Chef"

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Why Blogs are so Popular?

What is a blog? This is the most common question frequently asked. A blog is a kind of journal, published on the Internet. It usually allows the author or owner to share his views, ideas, thoughts, and insight with the world. A blog can also be used to show off writing skills, to share a passion and knowledge for a particular subject.

Blogs have now become an indispensable part of the Internet technology craze. With each passing day they are becoming exceedingly popular. They offer content writers freedom of speech with an audience. It gives people a fair chance to use the world as a sounding board for their emotions, ideas, thoughts, and areas of expertise.

It is wise to start your own personal blog. It gives people a chance to gain confidence in themselves as content writers. When a content writer gains a readership, it makes the writer feel that his work is presentable and appreciated too. Doing content writing regularly and receiving regular, positive feedback can help to increase a content writer's confidence and self esteem. A significant increase in self esteem help a writer to become better at the writing itself.

If you want to express yourself, a blog can is the best way. You can do blogging without true fear of rejection. Plenty of people or bloggers are interested in writing but have never made the leap into the world of writing. This is because they are afraid of being turned down or rejected by the public. This is when a blog helps them. A blog allows them to write somewhat anonymously and not feel overly pressured or limited in that endeavor.

In blogging no one really knows who they are, so any negative comments or feedbacks do not necessarily affect them as personally. They have freedom to express themselves, their thoughts, and their ideas without consequence.

Blogs can be also used as an amazing avenue for free advertising. Those who have budget constraint can use blogs to promote products and services. It actually does not cost a singly penny to write or create a blog. Readers can also instantly read blog postings, simultaneously making profit from the postings. In short, blogging is a great marketing tool.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Blog Marketing Tips - Get Paid To Write Reviews For Products

Its common knowledge that blogs can generate traffic for free and can be used to sell products which you have created or are promoting as an affiliate but you may not be aware that you can actually get paid to write content on your blog in the form of product reviews.

If your blog already receives a substantial amount of traffic you can easily increase your income by using a service called Review Me which connects website owners who are looking for more exposure for their product with bloggers who want to earn extra revenue by writing reviews.

It allows website owners to search for blogs that are related to the topic of their product and then offer to pay the blogger to write a detailed review. All you have to do is create a free account and list your blog in a relevant category so that website owners can easily find it.

When an offer is made you are under no obligation to review the product but if you decide to do so you will be paid a fee up front which is usually around $20 to $60 if its your first time. The website owner can then judge how good your review is and give you a rating out of five.

This is very important because website owners will look at your past reviews and rating before they decide to hire you to write a review for their product. So if you have a good rating you will not only attract more offers but you will also command a higher fee because you have shown that you provide a good service (some high traffic blogs charge thousands of dollars for a single review).

When you are reviewing a product its important that you provide a fair and unbiased opinion about it because if you just talk about the good points and create a sales pitch you may lose credibility with readers of your blog. The opposite is also true because if you just criticise a product you will get a bad rating from the website owner (which is why you need to choose which products you review very carefully).

The only problem you may have is that some website owners are only looking at how much traffic a blog receives and what page rank it has in the search engines. This can make it hard to get reviews if you have a new blog and you are not generating much traffic yet. If you are in this situation you may want to write a few reviews for free in order to improve your rating and attract more offers when you start charging.

If you are already using a blog on your website and you are generating traffic on a daily basis you can easily earn some extra cash by writing reviews for various products. As you improve your rating you will attract more offers and earn more cash for each review that you provide.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Beating Scraper Sites

I've gotten a few emails recently asking me about scraper sites and how to beat them. I'm not sure anything is 100% effective, but you can probably use them to your advantage (somewhat). If you're unsure about what scraper sites are:

A scraper site is a website that pulls all of its information from other websites using web scraping. In essence, no part of a scraper site is original. A search engine is not an example of a scraper site. Sites such as Yahoo and Google gather content from other websites and index it so you can search the index for keywords. Search engines then display snippets of the original site content which they have scraped in response to your search.

In the last few years, and due to the advent of the Google Adsense web advertising program, scraper sites have proliferated at an amazing rate for spamming search engines. Open content, Wikipedia, are a common source of material for scraper sites.

from the main article at

Now it should be noted, that having a vast array of scraper sites that host your content may lower your rankings in Google, as you are sometimes perceived as spam. So I recommend doing everything you can to prevent that from happening. You won't be able to stop every one, but you'll be able to benefit from the ones you don't.

Things you can do:

Include links to other posts on your site in your posts.

Include your blog name and a link to your blog on your site.

Manually whitelist the good spiders (google,msn,yahoo etc).

Manually blacklist the bad ones (scrapers).

Automatically blog all at once page requests.

Automatically block visitors that disobey robots.txt.

Use a spider trap: you have to be able to block access to your site by an IP address…this is done through .htaccess (I do hope you're using a linux server..) Create a new page, that will log the ip address of anyone who visits it. (don't setup banning yet, if you see where this is going..). Then setup your robots.txt with a "nofollow" to that link. Next you much place the link in one of your pages, but hidden, where a normal user will not click it. Use a table set to display:none or something. Now, wait a few days, as the good spiders (google etc.) have a cache of your old robots.txt and could accidentally ban themselves. Wait until they have the new one to do the autobanning. Track this progress on the page that collects IP addresses. When you feel good, (and have added all the major search spiders to your whitelist for extra protection), change that page to log, and autoban each ip that views it, and redirect them to a dead end page. That should take care of quite a few of them.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Who Else Wants To Play New Age Piano?

Ok. I know what you're thinking. New Age piano? You've got to be kidding me. Actually, I'm not. You see, I know many of you really love this style of music but are secretly ashamed to admit it.

I also know that somewhere in your CD collection, you have at least one New Age music disc floating around.

There's no need to be ashamed anymore. In fact, you can even learn how to play this style of music on the piano. And it won't take years, months, or even weeks to learn.

The truth is, you can begin learning how to play New Age piano music almost immediately. Here's how.

First, take a look at my free lesson "Winter Scene." Here's a lesson that uses just 2 chords in the left hand. The chords are easy enough for most any beginner to master. Once the chords are down in the left hand, the right comes in to improvise an original melody from the D dorian scale.

This scale's notes are all located on the white keys to make it even easier for you. You simply get the pattern going with your left hand while your right happily improvises.

Now most people can't believe it can be this easy to begin creating their own music. But it is! The problem is many of you think it takes years of study to be "good" at the piano.

Fortunately, the New Age style of piano playing does not require you to be good. The only requirement is that you enjoy yourself at the piano. Something many adults would simply love to do!

Friday, June 1, 2007

The Cheapest Way Of Watching High Quality Media - Online DVD Rental

The online DVD rental companies are bringing movies, music and other stuff to your home recorded on a high quality disc called DVD. Online DVD rental is the cheapest way for any customer to watch high quality images or hear high quality sounds at his or her home. If you have some qualitative devices, then this is the best way for you to enjoy high quality stuff at home.

You will interfere with online DVD rental companies only on their websites, because you shall just send them a list with the DVDs you want and the online DVD rental will ship the DVDs by postal. The performance of the postal system allows you to receive DVDs in about one to three days. This period can be longer if there are some delivering problems with the postal taxes, DVD region coding system or the studio distribution rights within regions. The pricing levels are different from a region to another; they depend upon the local DVD prices. The area is an important factor, which influences the delivering process. A large area with not densely population will inflict bigger timers for delivering than a small area with densely population.

The dominant company in the USA with about 6 million customers is Netflix. Netflix has it's headquarter in California, Los Angeles, and it has over 43 million discs and ships about 1.5 million discs a day. Blockbuster video company has about 1 million customers but the number of customers shall grow until they reach 2 million next year. The Canadian online DVD rental companies are not as big as the companies in the USA. The major company in Canada is far larger than any rival and it is called There are different market movements made by Netflix and Blockbuster. Netflix wants to get in the Canadian market, but Blockbuster has no intention of doing that.

In the United Kingdom a single delivering facility can serve the entire country. This is possible because the geographical area is small and the density of the population is high. There are many separated versions of the major company called Lovefilm, because Lovefilm is providing the websites for them. The different brands may have different prices and different quality but the online DVD rental service is from the same source. Lovefilm merged with another big company called Video Island. The most important competitors are Blockbuster and and there are some online DVD rental providers with a medium size.

The Australian providers are BigPondMovies and Quickflix and they have a subscriber base of about fourteenthousand. In New Zeeland, the three important online DVD rental companies offer flat-rate packages. These companies are DVD Unlimited, Movieshack and Fatso. Movieshack and Fatso are offering shipping to the customers all over the country. In India the online DVD rental companies are using their own system of delivering the discs. Some of the major companies are MovieMart and Clixflix.