Josh Bess shows us “How Drum Grooves Control the Genre of Music”

Percussionist and electronic performing artist Josh Bess is the author of Electronic Dance Music Grooves: Techno, Trance, Hip-Hop, Dubstep, and More! , just published by Hal Leonard Books. In the video, Bess takes us behind the scenes as he creates drum grooves!

00128989Electronic Dance Music Grooves provides creative insights to help you understand how to build exciting, powerful, and compelling EDM grooves. Whether you’re into techno, trance, dub-step, drum ‘n’ bass, garage, trap, or hip-hop, author, Ableton Live Certified Trainer, and noted EDM performer Josh Bess helps you take your skills to the next level with an extremely efficient and intelligent groove-making system. And, as an added bonus–providing a valuable basis for your own creations–this book describes the history behind the development of multiple electronic music styles.

A MIDI map, designed to make it simple to use the included grooves and samples with virtually any modern DAW, accompanies each styles. Whether your preferred DAW is Ableton Live, Reason, Pro Tools, Logic, or almost any of the other popular music production and performance software applications, you’ll quickly be equipped to incorporate these grooves and samples into your own creative workflow.

Electronic Dance Music Grooves includes over 300 professional-quality drum and FX samples, more than 300 drum grooves and MIDI files, 17 Ableton Live Drum Racks, and much more, all provided to support your creativity and electronic dance music production. Samples and sessions are delivered online to ensure access to all content, whether you’re using a desktop, laptop, or mobile device.

Coming This Fall — Beatles Gear: The Ultimate Edition!

It’s the ultimate book for Beatles fans, and it’s coming this fall from Backbeat Books!  Beatles Gear: The Ultimate Edition is a revised and greatly expanded version of Andy Babiuk’s best-selling guide to the instruments and equipment the Fab Four used on stage and in the studio. Can’t wait until fall? Check out a sneak peek of the book only on ISSUU


In 2001, Andy Babiuk wrote Beatles Gear, the first book to tell the full story of how the Beatles made their music, detailing exactly which guitars, drums, amplifiers, and keyboards the Beatles used at the key points of their relatively brief but entirely revolutionary career, from the formation of the Quarrymen skiffle group in the 1950s to the dissolution of the Beatles in 1970.

00333744The book was lauded by fans and critics alike: The Chicago Tribune said it “may be the ultimate specialized study of the Beatles’ equipment.” Library Journal proclaimed it “A fresh, highly readable perspective on the group’s well-documented history.” And, the San Jose Mercury-News called it “the ultimate Beatles fanatic book.”

Fifteen years later, Babiuk once again turns his keen eye to the Fab Four with Beatles Gear – The Ultimate Edition (November 2015, Backbeat Books, $60). Double size of the original and featuring 625 additional photographs, all-new edition provides fresh insights into Beatles history, exploding myths and uncovering dozens of new stories along the way. John, Paul, George and Ringo’s moves from cheap early instruments to the pick of 1960s technology are carefully and entertainingly documented in an easy-to-read narrative, fully illustrated with many previously unseen photographs, a cache of rare memorabilia, and a unique collection of specially photographed actual Beatle instruments.

Here’s a sneak preview of Beatles Gear: The Ultimate Edition.

The 5 Biggest Things You Really Need to Make It as a Band

Bobby Borg, author of Music Marketing for the DIY Musician is always ready to help out a fellow musician. This time he’s letting you know what you really need to make it as band. Check out his top 5 below.


With so many blog posts and books about “how to succeed in the music business,” it’s easy to get confused about what and what not to do. So let’s take it back to the essentials: make sure your band’s got the following five things covered before you move on to anything else!

1. Have amazing songs that convey your unique sound and style

Nothing will be more important to the success and longevity of your career than having well-crafted, original songs that stand out from the rest of the pack. No matter if you’re self-writing or co-writing songs with other professionals, your career might be short-lived or nonexistent if you sound exactly like everyone else in the flooded marketplace.

00124611While exploiting your inner strengths and staying true to your artistic integrity, strive to be both unique and relevant. Pay attention to where music is today, as well as to where it may be heading (or needs to be heading) in the future. In the best case scenario, strive to find a market need or void that aligns with what you do as an artist, and an opportunity to fill that need or void better than anyone else.

To sum things up, hockey legend Wayne Gretzsky once commented on the key to success: “A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” Believe that!

2. Deliver unforgettable, standout live performances

There is a live performance element that is a crucial part of selling your songs. Not gimmickry, but a complete auditory and visual live experience that’s aligned with your brand and is positioned uniquely among the competition. The idea is to deliver a live performance that your fans will remember.

Consider hiring a professional sound and light man, having dancers joining you up on stage, using interesting instruments, projecting a film on a screen, or engaging with your fans by allowing them to text in requests real-time while you’re performing. And don’t forget about throwing those amazing afterparties, too. Whatever you do, just be amazing!

Read the rest over at Sonicbids Blog!

“Shout It Out Loud” – The Album That Changed Everything!

Coming soon in Fall 2015 from Backbeat Books 

Shout It Out Loud: The Story of Kiss’s Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon

00141630How does an underground oddity become a cultural phenomenon?

For over 40 years, the rock band Kiss has galvanized the entertainment world with an unparalleled blitz of bravado, theatricality, and shameless merchandizing, garnering generations of loyally rabid fans. But if not for a few crucial months in late 1975 and early 1976, Kiss may have ended up nothing more than a footnote.

Shout It Out Loud is a serious examination of the circumstance and serendipity that fused the creation of the band’s seminal work, Destroyer – including the band’s arduous ascent to the unexpected smash hit, Alive!, the ensuing lawsuits between its management and its label, the pursuit of the hot, young producer, a grueling musical “boot camp,” the wildly creative studio abandon, the origins behind an iconic cover, the era’s most outlandish tour, and the unlikely string of hit singles.

Extensive research from the period and insights into each song are enhanced by hundreds of archived materials and dozens of interviews surrounding the mid-’70s-era Kiss and its zeitgeist. New interviews with major principals in the making of an outrageously imaginative rock classic animate this engaging tale.

Theodore Bikel: The Original Captain Georg von Trapp

Theodore Bikel, who died on Tuesday, toured for decades as Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof,” but, before he mused about being a rich man, Bikel created the role of Baron von Trapp in the original Broadway production of “The Sound of Music.”  In The Sound of Music FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About Maria, the von Trapps, and Our Favorite Things, author Barry Monush profiled Bikel.


00123101Being not only authentically Austrian but accomplished at playing the guitar, Theodore Bikel (born in Vienna on May 2, 1924) proved ideal casting for Captain von Trapp. His own family had, in fact, faced a similar dilemma as the Trapps, having to flee Austria once the Nazis took power in 1938. In Bikel’s case, however, being Jewish, the threat was even greater. Settling in Israel, he took an interest in dramatics, joining the Habima Theater in Tel Aviv and then journeying to London to attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. A role in a 1948 revival of You Can’t Take It with You led to director Laurence Olivier casting him as one of Stanley and Mitch’s poker-playing pals in the London debut (October 12, 1949) of Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire, starring Olivier’s wife, Vivien Leigh. This, in turn, brought him his first film, John Huston’s Oscar-winning The African Queen (1951), popping up near the climax as a German sailor. That same year he returned to the West End to play a Russian in Peter Ustinov’s comedy The Love of Four Colonels, which he would stay with for two years.

Continuing his run of supporting roles in movies, Bikel covered nearly every nationality possible, playing a Serbian king in the Oscar-nominated Moulin Rouge (1952); a Belgian opera director in Melba (1953), which featured Robert Morley playing Oscar Hammerstein II’s father); a Dutch doctor living in Canada in The Little Kidnappers (1953); a German naval officer in Above Us the Waves (1955); and a French general in The Pride and the Passion (1956). During this time he made his Broadway debut (February 1955), playing an imposing French police inspector in the short-lived Tonight in Samarkand, followed later that year by the more successful The Lark, as a French captain pressured into helping Joan of Arc (Julie Harris). (The cast included Christopher Plummer, putting the two future Captain von Trapps in the same property for the only time). For playing a doctor in the drama The Rope Dancers (1957), Bikel earned his first Tony nomination. He finally appeared in an American-made movie when Stanley Kramer cast him as the sympathetic southern sheriff in The Defiant Ones (1958), which brought him an Oscar nomination for supporting actor. He was also seen in another of the year’s top releases, as a psychiatrist offering assistance to condemned prisoner Susan Hayward in I Want to Live!, directed by Robert Wise.

After the head of Elektra Records, Jac Holzman, heard Bikel perform, he signed him to his label, launching his second career as a noted folk singer with a 1955 album, known alternately as Theodore Bikel Sings Songs of Israel and Folksongs of Israel. There followed An Actor’s Holiday (1956) and Songs of a Russian Gypsy (1958), among others. He did not shut down this side of his career to concentrate exclusively on TSOM, however, appearing for two concerts at Town Hall on November 29, 1959, only two weeks after the musical’s Broadway opening.

At the time The Sound of Music premiered on Broadway, Bikel was thirty-five, a decade and a year younger than the real Captain von Trapp was at the time he and Maria first crossed paths.

The Beatle Years host, Bob Malik, speaks with Michael Seth Starr

Michael Seth Starr, author of Ringo: With A Little Help, visited Bob Malik’s show, The Beatle Years, to speak about his book and what made Ringo Starr so popular. From Ringo’s life as a young kid to his life with The Beatles, Michael Seth Starr covers a little bit of everything to give listeners a preview of what the book is like. Click below to hear what he had to say!

>>LISTEN HERE<<

Ringo: With a Little Help is the first in-depth biography of Beatles drummer Ringo00333865 Starr, who kept the beat for an entire generation and who remains a rock icon over fifty years since the Beatles took the world by storm. With a Little Help traces the entire arc of Ringo’s remarkable life and career, from his sickly childhood to his life as The World’s Most Famous drummer to his triumphs, addictions, and emotional battles following the breakup of the Beatles as he comes to terms with his legacy.

Born in 1940 as Richard Starkey in the Dingle, one of Liverpool’s most gritty, rough-and-tumble neighborhoods, he rose from a hardscrabble childhood – marked by serious illnesses, long hospital stays, and little schooling – to emerge, against all odds, as a locally renowned drummer. Taking the stage name Ringo Starr, his big break with the Beatles rocketed him to the pinnacle of worldwide acclaim in a remarkably short time. He was the last member of the Beatles to join the group but also the most vulnerable, and his post-Beatles career was marked by chart-topping successes, a jet-setting life of excess and alcohol abuse, and, ultimately, his rebirth as one of rock’s revered elder statesman.

Janet Horvath’s offers 12 tips for having manners in the orchestra

Janet Horvath, the author of the book, Playing Less Hurt has offered up her advice on having manners while in the orchestra. Everyone wants to be successful in the orchestral setting but it doesn’t hurt to remember your manners with your fellow orchestra family. It’s important to keep the environment from becoming toxic and getting along with one another is the first step in doing so. Below are five quick tips to help you along.


00332931If you are to be successful in an orchestral setting, you need to have manners— unwritten rules of behavior that will help you become successful in the orchestra family. It’s tough enough that you have to take direction all the time from the conductor and also your section leader. Annoying behavior from colleagues makes the whole workplace toxic.
So here are a few tips:

1. Be prepared. Know your music before the first rehearsal. Sight-reading is a not appreciated by others who have spent hours learning the music.

2. If you’ve borrowed the music be considerate to your stand partner and arrive at the rehearsal early with the music. They might like to glance at a few tough licks.

3. Be in your seat well before the time for tuning. There is nothing worse than having a colleague racing in at the last minute who then jostles the music stand and shuffles chairs to make enough room for him or herself when the conductor is already coming onstage.

4. Agree with your stand partner where you can put a few markings or fingerings, in pencil. Typically in the string section, the person sitting on the outside of the stand will write above the staff and the person sitting on the inside of the stand will write below the staff but keep these to a minimum. The music has to be legible and erasable for performances down the road.

5. Do not talk during the rehearsal unless it’s a direct question to your section leader. Every orchestra has a jokester who chatters a running commentary during the rehearsal. Although it can be funny it is distracting to the other members of the orchestra.

Read the rest here.

Susan Masino’s on The Marty and Fairlie Breakfast Show

Susan Masino, author of AC/DC FAQ, visited The Marty and Fairlie Breakfast Show on Australian radio station i98FM to discuss her latest book. Click the link below to hear all that she has to say about both the book and the band, then let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

>>LISTEN HERE<<

00120817AC/DC FAQ spans AC/DC’s 40-year career, starting from the band’s inception in 1973. This book covers everything form their early days in Australia to their first tour of England and the United States. It also includes personal experiences, stories, conversations, and interviews by author Susan Masino, who has known the band since 1977.

Featuring 37 chapters, AC/DC FAQ chronicles the personal history of each of the band members, all their albums, tours, and various anecdotes. Rebounding from the tragic loss of their singer Bon Scott in 1980, AC/DC hired Brian Johnson and went on to record Back in Black, which is now one of the top five biggest-selling albums in music history. Taking a seven-year break after their album Stiff Upper Lip, the band came back in the fall of 2008 with a new album, Black Ice, and a tour that ran from 2008 through the summer of 2010. Once again breaking records, AC/DC saw the Black Ice Tour become the second-highest grossing tour in history. True rockers from the very beginning, AC/DC will continue to be heralded as one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time.

Ian McKellen is the latest Sherlock Holmes!

Today marks the premiere of the new movie ‘Mr. Holmes’ starring Ian McKellen as Sherlock Holmes. A multitude of actors that have portrayed Holmes through the years, from Nicholas Rowe to Robert Downey Jr. to Benedict Cumberbatch, and in his book,  Sherlock Holmes FAQ, Dave Thompson has picked his favorite — Basil Rathbone.  Here’s an excerpt from Sherlock Holmes FAQ in which talks about the first, and in Thompson’s eyes, the best Holmes on screen:

00117258Basil Rathbone is the template from which all future portrayals of Sherlock Holmes would be drawn.

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, on June 13, 1892—that is, in the same month as “The Adventure of the Copper Beeches” brought the first volume of Sherlock Holmes stories to an end in The Strand magazine—Philip St. John Basil Rathbone was the son of a mining engineer, Edgar, and a violinist, Anna.

His filmography includes starring roles in such well-remembered epics as David Copperfield, A Tale of TwoCities, Anna Karenina, Captain Blood, The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Last Days of Pompeii, Son of Frankenstein, and The Mark of Zorro. But his crowning glory,at least in terms of his future reputation, arrived in 1939, when he was cast as Sherlock Holmes in 20th Century Fox’s upcoming production of The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Still regarded among the definitive retellings of Holmes’s best-known adventure, the movie was only ever intended as a one-off. Its success, however, prompted the studio to swiftly follow up with The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, a movie ostensibly based upon William Gillette’s original play but scarcely recognizable in any form. Indeed, Rathbone’s second Holmes movie retains only a handful of that earlier piece’s characteristics—a bit of subplot, a couple of characters, and a nice piece of sparring between Holmes and Moriarty. Like so many of Rathbone’s performances, however, his very presence overcomes any attempt to contextualize the story in terms of the original Holmes; he is just such a great actor, with such a formidable grasp on the role, that one is instantly sucked into this tale of fiendish ne’er-do-welling, while admiring the fresh insights into a genuinely Holmesian mind that it delivers.

It is The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, for instance, that introduces moviegoers to the detective’s attempts to discover the most potent insecticide ever known; having trapped some bluebottles inside a brandy glass, he is now plucking his violin at them, “observing the reaction on the common housefly of the chromaticscale.” It is his belief—or, at least, hope—that somewhere within the range of notes, there will be one that will strike such horror into the heart of the pest that it will leave the room directly.


Who was your favorite Holmes?  How does Ian McKellen measure up?  Let us know in the comments section!

 

Sponsorship and Endorsement deal tips with Bobby Borg

In Music Marketing for the DIY Musician, Bobby Borg provides tons of tips on how to promote and distribute your work as a musician. But that isn’t all there is to the music business, endorsements and sponsorships are an important part of getting your music out there. Bobby wrote an article for Disc Makers Echoes Blog explaining how to properly and correctly choose your endorsement deal or sponsorship. Read more here.


How to align with local and national sponsors

00124611A sponsorship or artist endorsement is a symbiotic relationship between artists and product-based companies. You can receive free merchandise, cash awards, recording time, promotional items, assistance with promoting local shows, distribution through CD samplers, and exposure from company advertisements. You can appear more credible in the eyes of the public, as well as the eyes of club bookers who might be interested in having you perform at their event.

Through artist endorsement deals, companies can creatively expose their brand name and products to their target demographic audience and increase public awareness and sales. Everybody wins! Though sponsorships are usually reserved for artists already creating a small buzz in their community, everyone can benefit by checking out the following tips

Know the products and brands associated with your fans
The first step toward getting local and national sponsorships is to understand what products and brands your target audience is attracted to. Survey your fanbase – as well as the fans of groups you sound like to get ideas. Pay attention to your fans’ clothing, footwear, headgear, sunglasses, and what they drink. They might be drawn to Quicksilver clothing, Vans shoes, Ray-Ban sunglasses, Gold Coast skateboards, Harley Davidson motorcycles, and Rockstar energy drinks. Whatever the products and brands your fans enjoy, this information is essential in helping you home in on which businesses and companies are worth approaching.

Put together a local target sponsor list
Research local businesses that sell the products associated with your target fans and compile a local target sponsor list. Gather each business’s name, owner, address, phone number, and even store hours. Don’t be afraid to include small mom and pop stores on your target list in fear that they won’t have the money or interest in sponsorships. One Los Angeles band approached a hip and fashionable clothing boutique on Melrose Avenue and got free merchandise to parade onstage and give out to fans. Furthermore, the band’s CD was made available for sale in the boutique while select tracks blasted over the sound system daily. It’s not too difficult to find interested businesses willing to form alliances with you. Artists right in your very own city may already have relationships with local stores and they’d be willing to share contact information with you.

Compile a national sponsor list
Research the companies that manufacture the products associated with your target fans and compile a national sponsor list. Gather each company’s name, marketing director, address, phone number, and also its submission policies. If alcohol is a product associated with your fans, add companies like Jagermeister and Jim Beam to your target list. These companies have long reputations for supporting up-and-coming bands with rewards of cash, recording time, and musical gear.

Read the rest over at Disc Makers Blog.

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