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Click My Song

Posted October. 28, 2006 07:06,   


It was in early this summer that the teenage girl who likes Eric Clapton and playing the drum and the guitar began to gain the spotlight. She video recorded herself playing songs like Malmsteen’s “Far Beyond the Sun” and Deep Purple’s “Burn” with her electronic guitar and uploaded the video on her blog, and Internet users viewed each video more than 5,000 times. This way she won the attention of net users.

"People left myriad of comments like, ‘Don’t suppress your feelings’ or ‘Be more careful about vibrato’ (a technique to make a vibrating sound by moving the guitar cord) that hurt me at first, but the comments helped me a lot, too," says Cho. “I want to be a sing-a-song writer in the future.” Her “four seasons” video was clicked more than 40,000 times in five days with more than 300 comments left on the web board.

Yang Seung-gu (18), who uploaded the video of himself playing film music with the piano, has a special corner of his own in the portal site “Daum” named: The Man Who Plays OST. “I uploaded the video recording of playing Banheogong (Half Up in the Air), one of the songs in the OST of King and the Clown, to have my piano ability tested,” he said. “More than 5,000 people visit my blog each day. I’m quite confused with the popularity I gained.”

Amateur musicians used to roam about the streets of Hongdae, Seoul, each hanging a guitar bag on the shoulder. But they now prepare computers, video editors and web cameras instead of bags. And they play their instruments in front not of the manager of clubs but of the 30 million net users through the videos they upload. The Internet audition era has begun.

Internet audition culture started by the Internet music portal Mule two years ago, and has expanded to its current status through video portals such as Mgoon and PandoraTV and the video web boards within the portal sites such as Naver Play of Naver, and TV Pot of Daum. Daum opened the First Video Music Contest for the Internet users from October 18 which became so popular that more than 200 videos of guitar or piano plays were uploaded within 10 days.

Easy to Become a Star, but Hard to Become a Musician?

It was Im Jeong-hyeon (22), who gained fame with one single video of himself playing Canon with guitar that let the net audition culture have full attention. He uploaded a video of himself playing the rock version of Canon on YouTube, an online video community in the U.S., early this year. He became one of the overnight stars when his play gained such attention that an interview article with him was printed in New York Times. Since then, a great number of “wannabe Im Jeong-hyeon teenagers” or youths in their twenties have uploaded their videos on Internet waiting for the assessment made by the net users.

“While [amateur musicians] used to show their skillful performance in front of a limited number of audiences in limited spaces, they now do so with the net users all over the nation as the audience,” says Kim Cheon-seong, the manager of Rolling Hall, one of the clubs in Hongdae Street. “Becoming a star is easy now.”

The Internet, which transformed the CD culture into the MP3 era, is now poised to change audition culture.

But many in the music circle react that it`s not ripe enough yet. Many of the songs being played are famous songs, not written by the players themselves, and in many cases doubts are raised as to whether the videos are real.

Im Jeong-hyeon says, “There aren’t many cases where the amateur musicians who became famous on the Internet have become successful in the actual professional world. The n-audition culture should be led in the direction that it is considered not as the easy way to become an overnight star but as the means to strengthen the skills.”