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World Wide Woodshed

Paul Kulak's Woodshed is named after an age-old musicians' tradition — woodshedding means going somewhere to practice til you're ready to perform in public.

Is the old-fashioned woodshed being replaced by video in the age of the internet? Wired.com says YouTube ingests more than 20 hours of music per minute, much of it poorly shot, amateurish and seemingly not-ready-for an audience.

But in many cases an early, raw video leads to a breakthrough. Post a performance on the web, it goes viral, and you might just have an instant career.

There are plenty of examples of online performances that led to big things. Some of the musicians were mere children when they got noticed, others performed for years before a lightning struck.

Justin Bieber famously got his start after his Mom posted videos of him performing on YouTube.

The band “OK Go” had been together for years, and even had a contract with a major record label. But it was their video “Here It Goes Again” that gave them their big break.

Fans of teenage pop star Charice posted her early performances in the Philippines online, and the videos eventually led to appearances on Ellen, Oprah and a role on Glee.

We've created a poll that features some current online musical sensations. Watch all the videos in the playlist at the top of this page. Hover your cursor at the top of the video to see the artist's name, then vote for your favorite at Facebook.com/SoCalConnected. And if you think we missed someone important, please share by add a new option.

Acoustic guitarist Andy McKee describes himself as a guy from Topeka "who kind of blew up on the internet." One of his videos has gotten 38-million views so far, got him signed to a record label, and led to concert dates in Europe.

Kurt Hugo Schneider produces music videos with amateur musician friends, mostly singer Sam Tsui. Some original songs but mainly covers and mashups. Business Insider calls him one of the world’s most powerful YouTube stars, likely to earn over $100,000 this year.

Pomplamoose musicians Nataly Dawn and Jack Conte gained online fame with their self- produced, shot and edited video covers of everyone from Nat King Cole to Lady Gaga. According to an NPR interview, they've never made a CD but make their living through online sales.

 Dave Days is the most subscribed musician on YouTube.  He started out by making parodies in his basement, then started posting them on YouTube. Three years later he has a CD out, has had Mylie Cyrus appear in one of his videos, and is headlining Digitour — along with other top YouTube musicians Mystery Guitar Man, DeStorm and the Gregory Brothers, also known as Schmoyoyo.

 Rebecca Black paid a video production house to make a video of the song Friday. It was posted on YouTube and became a social media sensation labeled the worst song ever. In spite of all the negative reaction, Black is now working on a new album. 

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