StagefrightWritten by Tom ''Ketchfish'' Inglis
We all know feeling of terror when we take stage. That hyper-aware place where your thoughts become jumbled, your voice quavers and your palms sweat. If you say, "Oh, not me! I never get stage fright" I say you're lying or you've never been on stage. Performers in general and musicians in particular are insecure by nature. That's why we seek spotlight in first place, to gain validation from others. Don't worry, it doesn't have to paralyze your performance or worse, keep you from performing at all. You may not be able to banish it completely, and you may not want to as it can be used to your advantage. Read on McDuff and I'll pass along words of wisdom I've absorbed in my years of dealing with stage fright and discussing it with other professional musicians.
MENTAL IMAGERY The very first line of defense against stage fright is using your own mind to blunt it's impact through mental imagery. Remember what that last audience looked like last time stage fright negatively affected your performance? Now change that picture in your mind. Imagine those scary people all in their underwear. Briefs and boxers with little pink cupids and superman underoos. They look rediculous don't they? The more rediculous better. They don't seem all that threatening any more do they? The next gig you play, just as you're about to play, take a look at audience and choose their mental underwear. Then close your eyes for a moment and really try to form mental picture. They may wonder what hell you're laughing about but they're not going to seem very threatening. PREPARATION Be prepared and you will not feel so insecure. Practice, practice, practice. Know your parts before you get to rehearsal and use time in rehearsal to fit parts together. That's what rehearsal is for. Take a few minutes before show to run over first few numbers in your head or on your instrument quietly, preferably in private. Once you have momentum going by playing a couple very well prepared songs, rest of show is a piece of cake. You'll have confidence borne of success to carry you through rest of evening. MEDITATION OR DEEP BREATHING EXERCISES Try this little exercise for relieving stress. Take a slow, deep breath through your mouth. Really fill those lungs up. Hold it just for a half a second and breathe out through your nose very slowly until your lungs empty. Repeat this a few times. Don't you just feel stress ebb away? Your perception becomes clear. You become calm and centered. You've just increased oxygen level in your brain, increasing it's power and clarity. Feels good, doesn't it? MANTRA Oh Mantra sounds like a mystical word doesn't it? It's just a phrase that you repeat over and over. With each repetition, you believe it more. You can make up your own but, as goofy as they sound, here's some I've used that worked for me. "I'm a musician and you're just regular people. You wish you were me."
The Dark Side of P2P File Sharing ProgramsWritten by Bill Paulk
P2P file sharing programs are free. Period. But there are P2P scam sites out there that want you to pay them instead. P2P scam sites are rogue companies that have set up shop to fleece unsuspecting music downloaders looking for file sharing programs by charging a fee for an otherwise free service. No P2P file sharing software costs money. Exceptions would be a site asking members to make a monetary donation to help pay for bandwidth, hosting costs, and other administrative costs. Some P2P file sharing programs offer "pro" versions of their free software. But again, their basic service is free to public. I want you to fully understand this, because paying a P2P scam site money can not only make your wallet a bit lighter, it can also make your computer vulnerable to dangerous spyware. That's right. These scam sites are only interested in making money off you. As well as actually taking your money by fooling you into paying them, they'll make money off you by installing spyware on your PC, so that they can get paid by sharing your online habits and personal information with others. For music download beginners, all of this can be very confusing. Why? Because these scam sites advertise all over Internet. Search engines return results chockful of these scams alongside real P2P file sharing programs; their banner ads riddle Internet landscape; sites are promoting these scams to get their piece of your money. Most real P2P programs don't advertise much on Internet. The reason is that they're not money makers. It takes money to advertise, and who has more money--the free P2P file sharing programs or scam artists? You guessed it. P2P relies on word of mouth. The scam sites rely primarily on advertising.
How Can I Tell a P2P Scam Site? This is easy part, if you know what you're looking for. P2P scam sites often use phrases like 100% Legal, which is absolutely untrue. This is a trick they use to prey on people interested in P2P file sharing programs, but who are worried (rightly) about Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) lawsuits. Keep in mind that sharing and downloading of copyrighted files is, at this moment, an illegal activity. Another tactic is to use fake endorsements and recommendations from legitimate companies. Other cons are to use phrases like Direct Downloads!, Get Access Now!, Download Unlimited Free Music!, and other phrases that are promising you things they absolutely CANNOT deliver.
How Does It Work & How are They Doing It? To be honest, I do not know ins and outs of P2P scam sites. But I know this: all P2P file sharing programs are free. Think about it a moment. It is because music files are being shared free of charge (without artists receiving royalties) that organizations like RIAA are mad and suing. These P2P scam sites are merely taking your money, downloading a little spyware to your PC, then connecting you to one of real P2P file sharing programs. This is all convoluted by nature of P2P, which is a series of servers networking files to one another. Unless you're buying your music MP3 downloads from a legitimate company, either per song/album or through a monthly subscription, you cannot be sure where your music is coming from.