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Blog - Jason Didner Music

My Songs are Finding their Way on Spotify 

Since 1999 I've posted music online in hopes that listeners like you would discover it and relate to the song's message and intent. Back then there was

Flash forward 24 years and Spotify is the go-to place to have your album tracks heard (or not). The music business now works from the bottom up more than ever before. Record companies used to pluck artists from obscurity and push their music to radio stations. Now, those same companies look at what is already a hit with listeners and then sign the makers of those already-proven hits. 

With the help of a service called Groover, I was able to pitch a couple of my songs to a few discerning playlist curators on Spotify. Some of those playlisters added my tunes when they sensed a good fit.

Playlist Title/Link Curator Song
All Monkey Gone To Heaven Blue Orchid Give Up the Ghost
Rock Acùstico | Internacional | As Melhores | Acoustic Rock | Unplugged | The Best | Grunge Manga Rosa Playlists Give Up the Ghost
Playlist Showland Productions Side Effects
Breathe The Music Stellar Voices Side Effects
Pop Squad Tata Kim Side Effects
Music for Monday Jon Pinter Cubicle

If you listen to Spotify, please give these playlists a go and support all the artists you enjoy hearing. 

How Groover Works

Groover connects artists to music curators - playlisters, journalists, radio hosts, and concert bookers. While it's strictly against Spotify policy (and artistic integrity standards) for playlist curators to sell guaranteed slots on their lists, there's another way. Artists can pay Groover to share their pitch with curators, who are then free to accept or reject the pitch. The curators make a cut of this money, incentivizing them to listen and provide feedback, not necessarily to use the music. You're not paying for placement; you're paying to advertise to the curators.

If an artist has a budget set aside for music promotion and wants to put some of their tracks in a position to be heard, they can give this a try. 

It took two campaigns for me to start to see a noticeable increase in listeners. My songs don't always fit neatly in a given subgenre, so matching my music with the tastes of the right curators based on genre is a learning curve. The table above lists the curators who chose to include a song I pitched. Many of my other pitches ended up getting feedback that the song I sent was not exactly the genre they promote.  

I hope I will continue to find my way to new listeners and deepen my connection with existing ones. My second Groover pitch got more results than my first; if I see this continue to improve, I'll stick with this as part of the process of promoting my new musical releases. 

Spotify's library grows by about 80,000 songs a day. Standing out in that crowd to someone, for a moment, is a good start. 

Earbud headphones

Here's Why I'm Offering Handwritten Lyric Sheets in my Store 

Jason Didner signs his lyric sheet for his song It pleases me to create original music. Each song idea arises from what I want to say - lessons I've learned in life; emotions I feel keenly; observations that activate my sense of humor. The mere existence of my own material that I can enjoy in the car the morning after I recorded the demo or twenty years after releasing it to the world is a gift to delight the soul of my future self. 

Still, there's an equally powerful emotional reward when I hear from others how one my songs landed with them, and what it meant to them. You've laughed; you've been deeply moved. Your remarks remind me how my songs become conversations between us. 

So, how do we deepen the connection between artist and audience in an age when millions of songs flows freely out of Spotify and Apple Music like so much tap water? 

One way is to create an inherently rare expression of my song, right from my hand to your home. I find it thrilling to handwrite these lyrics that are so close to my heart, knowing they will be proudly displayed and will remind you of your experiences with the song.

Album Downloads Included

When you order a handwritten lyric sheet, you immediately get a full digital download of the album that contains that song, and a digital booklet of all the lyrics and stories behind the songs (which are typed).

Order your lyric sheet in my store. Get an album download with the sheet.  

Choose the Album, then the Song

At present time I have four albums out. You can order the handwritten lyric sheet for one of those four albums. Then you get to select the song title for which you want me to handwrite the lyrics. 

Choose your preferred album and song title for your lyric sheet in my store. 

Name your price, starting at $45

Original handwritten lyric sheets from the hand of the artist/songwriter are inherently rare. The going rate for a small, independent artist's lyric sheets starts out at $45 and rises well into the hundreds. I've opted to let you name your price, starting at $45, so you can support my songwriting and record production at a level you're comfortable with, at the value level you believe this lyric sheet to have for you. 

Order your lyric sheet in my store for the price you want, starting at $45. 

Do you collect lyric sheets from musicians you admire? Feel free to discuss in the comments. 

New song "Disinformation Overload" - short video 

It's really been bothering me that cyber spies from opposing countries were so easily able to use social media against us - to gin up divisions among Americans with disinformation.  

So I wrote this song to not only express my frustration but also to urge mindfulness of the information we consume. Do we believe the headlines that pop in our social feeds? Or do we check out claims with reputable news outlets that actually follow journalistic methods? 

This has a more grungy, alternative sound to it than I usually go for - but it's no imitation of a 90s Seattle band. It's filtered through my melodic sensibilities. 

If you like the short video shown here, sign up here to get an acoustic demo of the full song emailed to you. 


Disinformation Overload

© 2023, Lyrics and Music by Jason Didner

Lyrics of the 1st verse and chorus, as shown in the video: 

Cyber spies recognized our weakness
They saw we were exposed
We left our front door open
While our minds were tightly closed

They simply used our anger
At those who disagree
To divide and conquer
Preying on our vanity

We were glued to our phones
So they flooded the zone

Disinformation overload
Disinformation overload
The truth got tossed by the side of the road
Disinformation overload

A New Dimension to my Performance: Looping 

I've just added a new dimension to my live music performance - something I figured I'd get around to someday, but my upcoming show Saturday gave me a really good reason to make it happen now. 

I've been rehearsing for a benefit concert for my daughter's school. My neighbor Leslie Masuzzo is a teacher in the district and will sing while I play guitar. During a practice, Leslie suggested we replace a sung part with a guitar solo. As the only guitarist in a duo, I'd normally have to drop the rhythm guitar to play lead guitar and try to imply the rhythm part, frequently punctuating the solo. Now I don't have to! 

Thanks to this new looper pedal I'm using, I can capture the rhythm guitar part live and immediately play it back on repeat, then play my guitar solo over it, as shown in this one-minute video! 

This will now become a moment in my live shows whether I play solo or in a duo, whether I'm playing in person or on live stream. 

The new pedal is a Boss Loop Station RC-1 - the simplest pedal they make. I'm counting on the simplicity of operation to make me less likely to misfire in my capture and playback of a rhythm part to solo over, and to make sure I end playback gracefully. I'm practicing this regularly and you'll likely see more videos like this one as I go. 

The guitar is also new - a Yamaha APX 600, a physically smaller acoustic guitar, more closely resembling an electric guitar in feel and playability. Since I'm now in a position to play guitar solos, I suddenly found myself in need of an acoustic guitar where I didn't have to press down to hard to clearly sound the notes. This instrument is nicely satisfying that need, as you'll see in this clip. 

For more videos like this: 

Advocating for Julia Beckley, an Advocate for Adaptive Sport 

Last night I gave an online benefit concert to help Julia Beckley raise funds to replace the racing wheelchair that was stolen out of her garage this week. As of this writing, she is more than ⅓ of the way to her $7,500 fundraising goal. She can still use more support. 

During the benefit show, we took a bit of time for Julia to appear onscreen and chat with me about her participation in accessible sport, some of the races she's been in and a race she dreams of taking part in. 

💸 Donate to Julia's GoFundMe page. 

📺 Watch a local news interview (ABC affiliate in Colorado) with Julia about adaptive sport.

Here's a replay of the benefit concert from last night. 

Here's the official music video for “Run With My Troubles," with an appearance by Julia at the 1:44 mark. 




Saturday April 1 - Online Benefit Concert for Julia's Racing Wheelchair 


Julia Beckley loves to race. She is an integral member of the running community online. For her, racing is done in a pushrim wheelchair, as she has a bone disorder that causes high risk of stress fractures.

 If you've ever seen Julia's social media posts, she exhibits this sense of euphoria after every race, after every workout, every day she's not in the hospital and can do her favorite thing. Even in those harder times, she's grateful and hopeful. 

So, when I saw a post yesterday morning that her pushrim wheelchair was stolen from her garage, I felt the weight of that injustice and the imperative to do something about it. I had already scheduled an online concert. But this news made me change it to a benefit concert so we could raise funds to replace this chair. For Julia, a pushrim wheelchair is more than a prized possession. It's the key to her way of life. Race season is just beginning and she'll now have to wait until the funds are raised and a specialty pushrim shop can customize a vessel for her. 

Join us Saturday April 1 for an Online Benefit Concert for Julia

📅 Date: Saturday, April 1

⌚ Time: 7:30 PM Eastern-US

📺 Platform: Live Streamer Cafe (this link takes you directly to my lounge). 

Arrive 5-10 minutes early and set up a username and password. Live Streamer Cafe will verify your email address, so check your email during the process. 

If you can't see the chat window, click the Expand button. Otherwise the chat window is below the video frame. 

Sign up for my email to get a reminder about the show and an exclusive live single. 🎧

Run With My Troubles

Julia contributed an incredible clip to my video “Run With My Troubles,” which features runners across the USA who realize the mental health benefits of their exercise efforts. Look for Julia training in her pushrim wheelchair at the 1:44 mark. 

Julia's GoFundMe

The benefit concert's environment will contain a donate button for Julia's GoFundMe - but you can donate now and get updates about this effort at Julia's GoFundMe page, maintained by her friend PJ and PJ's mom Cindy. 

See Julia's GoFundMe page here.

Finding my Singing Voice by Controlling Acid Reflux 

Jason Didner singing and playing acoustic guitar solo at Outpost in the Burbs in Montclair, NJ March 10, 2023. Photo by Nicole GrayWhen you learn to listen to your body, many things in life get better. I've gotten several benefits from recognizing when my stomach is about full. One of them is in rehearsing, recording and performing with my singing voice. 

Chronic stomach acid issues had me frequently clearing my throat or singing through intermittent spikes of burning pain. My voice was hoarser with less range and endurance. Doing vocal exercises a few times a week helped, but did not prove sufficient. The acid was affecting me as it occurred during singing and it was having a cumulative effect by coming up for much of the day and night. 

What really helped was cutting my meal portions in half and recognizing that 20 minutes later I wasn't actually hungry. When my stomach is less full, I'm less likely to have acid rush into my esophagus over the course of several hours a day. 

It also helped to see John Taglieri, a singer with a voice strong and true, share stories of his own struggles with gastroesophogeal reflux disease (GERD) and its effect on his vocal abilities. This keeps me more aware of the importance of managing my own case of GERD.  

Mindfulness plays a role

I credit my meditation practice with the Ten Percent Happier app for a subtle improvement in my awareness of my bodily sensations. I believe this is how I'm better able to know when I'm full. I still want snacks between meals, but I'm better able to discern want from need. Also, by eating smaller meals, I know that a snack will not overfill a stomach already inundated with the most recent meal. 

Benefits offstage too

I've experienced benefits besides the onstage ones. I've lost weight after I'd been gradually gaining. I sleep better and am now unlikely to wake up an hour into sleep with my throat on fire, which would happen after a late, rich, big dinner. I worry a little less about my heart (My ongoing issues with anxiety have sent me to the ER three times now). I've slowed my consumption of cough drops by a lot, because I'm not spending hours a day feeling the burning of acid in my throat.  

Self-care, not deprivation

I view my new-found eating habit as a matter of self-care rather than deprivation. It's rooted in feeling better and safer, not in feeling badly about myself, my appearance, etc. It's reinforced by my having given the best vocal performance of my life when it mattered most. I was on top of my game in front of the Outpost in the Burbs audience in my hometown of Montclair last week. 

I understand a little better what the inside of my body feels like from meditation practice. This way I know when I'm satisfied with what I ate. When I feel satisfied, I don't feel like leaving food for later is punishment or deprivation. Plus when I save the rest for the next day, I get to enjoy more of my favorite foods at a time when I will be actually hungry again.   

Self-care also means checking in periodically with my gastrointestinal doctor, Mark Tanchel with Gastrointestinal Associates of New Jersey (GANJ). I take famotidine to limit the amount of stomach acid that comes up my esophagus at Dr. Tanchel's direction. I also get endoscopies when my symptoms are particularly troubling. 

I'm not on a diet

I'm not on a diet program. I'm not accounting for point values of the foods I'm eating. I'm not “being good” or “being bad.” I'm not “sticking with a program” or “cheating.” I'm simply, for the first time in my life, at age 52, eating enough to feel satisfied, no more, no less. 

Most of my life I've been a visual eater. You put a thick 6" sub and chips in front of me and I'll eat the whole thing – because that's what's there for me to eat. I remember hearing of a fascinating psychological experiment with bowls of soup that secretly refilled through a tube to the bottom if the bowl. As long as the subjects had a visual cue there was more soup still in the bowl, they continued to eat more than a bowl full. 

I haven't stopped eating visually; I've just added the element of listening to my body. This has helped me change my visual references. At a restaurant, I'll typically plan on saving half of what's presented to me. I've tried that plan before, and then I'd eat right through it, to the point where there isn't quite enough left over to save for later, so I'd might as well eat that too. And I'd feel the pain in my throat later.  These days, I seem to appreciate the many benefits of limiting my portions to what won't set off my acid. 

Your Story

If you like, use the comments section below to share your story of managing GERD and the difference that control is making in your music or your life in general. 

My Unconventional Path to the Microphone 

Jason Didner at Outpost in the Burbs in Montclair, NJ in 2003. Photo by John MullerSure, I could carry a tune as long as I can remember. But my real passion was always for my instruments, not vocals. 

At age 10, it was trumpet and piano. By 12 I was fascinated with my friend's synthesizer and certain that was my path. When I was almost 16 I attended my first Van Halen concert (because of Eddie Van Halen's synth parts) and became spellbound by Eddie's guitar wizardry. I picked up guitar and gave it my all to learn to play. 

In high school I formed a rock band and wanted to shred like Eddie. I was more than happy for a classmate to handle frontman duties so I could pour my passion into the guitar. It turns out we had a harder time keeping singers in the band than Van Halen themselves! And there were interim periods where I substituted on vocals. All the while I was way more interested in the guitar part. Given my rapidly deepening voice, I was not about to chase the high wailing vocals of Sammy Hagar, David Coverdale (Whitesnake) or Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin). I'd make do by singing their parts an octave lower, in a low, raspy growl. I sang in the school chorus my senior year, but did not enjoy the feeling of vocal fatigue that would come on halfway through a rehearsal. 

This preference of mine continued into college where I was perfectly content to blast riffs and solos and let singers handle the vocal work and the rapport with the audience. 

Two events in my last year of college started to shift my relationship with singing lead. One was the discovery of Billy Joel's live album “Songs in the Attic.” See, I went to college at Stony Brook University on Long Island where Billy is a true hometown hero. Around my school, Billy's deep cuts were heard coming from a dorm or a jukebox more often than the hits. I could hear my baritone voice in Billy's. I could sing his songs and back myself up on piano with some authenticity. I was learning to open up my throat and sing naturally. 

The other event that got me into singing was the early-90s rise of karaoke, which came to our campus bar. I took my chances and signed up to sing Billy Joel, of course. It was a new experience to hold a mic and not play an instrument. Now I needed to figure out what to do with this new mobility of not being stuck behind a mic stand. I continued to enjoy karaoke after graduating, and even while writing songs and getting interested in the acoustic guitar. 

In my cover band after college, I enjoyed taking a turn at the mic to sing Billy Joel's “Miami: 2017” and “You May Be Right.” I started to take on solo acoustic gigs to perform both my originals and a growing number of cover songs. I enjoy the direct communication with an audience that I get by singing my originals right to them. I cherish this opportunity to entertain this way either in-person or in an online performance. 

Willie Nile - a True Inspiration for My Artist’s Journey 

My journey as a music artist is now forever linked to Willie Nile, New York City’s quintessential rock-n-roll poet. At age 74 (or 14 or minus 4, whatever he feels like saying into the mic), Willie exudes rock-n-roll passion and vitality I hope awaits in my future.
I’m 52 and just achieved a high-water mark in my music career last weekend opening for Willie. Like Willie, I’ve chosen a patient and persistent approach to my artistry. Like Willie, I’ve chosen family over pursuit of fame. Like Willie, I’ve given myself the flexibility to work at a non-musical career that keeps my family stable and provides health insurance.
Willie Nile backstage with opening artist Jason Didner at Outpost in the Burbs in Montclair, March 2023And last night I warmed up his audience for his show at Outpost in the Burbs in my hometown of Montclair, New Jersey USA.
In Willie’s two-hour podcast interview with Bob Lefstetz, he generously shares an alternative route to a creative way of life without sacrificing one’s most important ties. When the business of major label records got him down, Willie moved out of the city and kept on writing. He eventually started his own record label and got to define success on his own terms, not those of the mass market.
I never got anywhere near a major label opportunity and would not have been eager to bend my life to its demands or business model of keeping its artists indebted. All four of my albums are self-released, as are all but the first three of Willie’s.
Like Willie, I’ve had decade-long gaps between album releases and am experiencing firsts past age 50. Willie’s story affirms for me that in music, age matters way less than artistry when you’re not in it for fame. We’re both more prolific past age 50 than before that mark.
Preparing for this concert exposed me to a great deal of Willie’s story and his vast musical catalog. It reassured me that it’s OK to still want to grow my artistry and audience even as I live up to my adult responsibilities of work, livelihood and family. Willie’s story strengthened my belief that I have not aged out of rock & roll striving.
Willie and I also share the memory of a common acquaintance, “Mr. Lou” DeMartino. You can read more about this connection here

A kidney donor and a recipient co-wrote a new song 

National Foundation for Transplants logoThat kidney donor would be me. The recipient, Catherine Wacha, brings the perspective of someone who was previously on dialysis from the time her case of lupus attacked her kidneys until her life-changing transplant freed her. Catherine also benefitted directly from the services of the National Foundation for Transplants and wants to give back to this organization through her musical talents.  

Together we wrote and recorded a new song "This Gift," which will appear on the 2nd annual "Giving a Second Chance" compilation album, featuring a whopping 45 previously unreleased tracks by artists affiliated with, an independently-run Internet radio station out of New Jersey. 

This uplifting rock anthem brings together the perspective of a grateful recipient and an awestruck living donor. I had given my wife Amy my kidney to fend off the threat of her diabetic complications. It was one of the most important things I will ever do in my life, and it affected the way I express myself as a songwriter and performer. 

Right now, you can get the compilation that includes "This Gift" for a donation of $10 or more at BlowUpRadio's benefit page. Your donation will help National Foundation for Transplants in its mission to provide financial and material support to transplant recipients as they recover from their operations. 

Then this weekend, March 4-5 you'll hear intimate performances by many of these artists, including separate sets from Catherine and me, by tuning in to BlowUpRadio from their home page. You'll find the full performance schedule on the home page, with Catherine leading off Saturday at 12:05 PM. My performance airs Sunday at 3:55 PM. 

Thank you for considering a donation to this uniquely life-affirming cause. 

Jason Didner  
Jersey Rock with Jersey Humor... and Heart