Blog Archives

Deke Sharon Introduces The Heart of Vocal Harmony

Deke Sharon, author of The Heart of Vocal Harmony, shares his insight on a cappella and how groups need to feel instead of constantly focusing on the technicality of it all. He is a world-renowned arranger and producer with television credit’s Pitch Slapped and The Sing Off in addition to movie credits for Pitch Perfect, Pitch Perfect 2.


 

00156135Deke Sharon has been heralded “The Father of Contemporary A Capella” and he is passionate about music. The goal with tis latest book is to inspire groups to take that extra step with their vocals. It goes beyond being a great singer and sounding ‘pretty.’ What emotions an you exude to your audience? What can you do to make a difference in their lives?

He has said that the difference between a rehearsal sounding great on one day and then horrible on the next has to do with emotion. Most rehearsals spend time focusing on notes, rhythms, and precision. There is too much focus on the musical and vocal techniques and not enough on the emotional technique.

This book is like no other a cappella book that has been released. Most of the other a cappella books have been about teaching people how to sing technically well. The Heart of Vocal Harmony focuses on the process of delivering an emotionally compelling performance. His previous book A Cappella Arranging was instructive, providing insight on how to create the music, this book  turns those notes into passion.

The Heart of Vocal Harmony is not just for a cappella groups –
it is also for vocal harmony groups, ensembles, and choirs atall levels, with or without instruments. In addition to the process, the book features discussions with some of the biggest luminaries in vocal harmony: composers, arrangers, directors, singers, and groups – including Eric Whitacre, Pentatonix, the Manhattan Transfer, and more!

Figure out how can we consistently create music on stage that inspires and transforms an audience.

Deke Sharon


Dave will be the vocal orchestrator for the first ever a cappella Broadway musical, In Transit,  debuting this November.

Advertisements

Sylvia Massy on Lynda.com!

Sylvia Massy, author of Recording Unhinged: Creative and Unconventional Music Recording Techniques, is featured in a new video that is now available on Lynda.com. Click play on the video below to watch a preview and check out the full video in the link below!

>>Click here for full video<<

Recording Unhinged: Creative and Unconventional Music Recording Techniques dares you to “unlearn” safe record-making, to get out from behind the windshield, stick your head out the sunroof, and put the pedal to the metal! 

“There have been countless how-to books on sound recording, but this isn’t one of them. Sylvia Massy has a unique perspective on what makes musicians tick and how great recordings are created. This book is a brilliantly assembled insight into their world and is a cracking good read,” says Alan Parsons.

Recording Unhinged, Sylvia Massy and her cohort of celebrity music industry producers, engineers, and recording stars discard fixed notions about how music should be recorded. They explore techniques that fall outside the norm, yielding emotionally powerful, incredibly personal, gut-wrenching, and even scary recordings. With commentary by Hans Zimmer, Al Schmitt, Bruce Swedien, Jack Joseph Puig, Dave Pensado, Tchad Blake, Bob Clearmountain, Linda Perry, Michael Franti, Michael Beinhorn, Bob Ezrin, Geoff Emerick, and many others, this book includes the stories, tips, and advice that you won’t find in any other instructional manual. 

“Working with Sylvia on Undertow was an absolute pleasure. Whether recording the destruction of a piano with sledgehammers and shotguns, or dialing in killer drum sounds with the greatest mic choices, her approach was always fresh, fun, and never preconceived. This book will assuredly inspire some wacky recording sessions!”, praises Danny Carey (drummer from TOOL).

Recording Unhinged is also unique in its inclusion of exercises, diagrams, jokes, photos, and other images all related to more adventurous recording techniques. Throughout the book (and on the cover) are many full-colored illustrations – created by a musical genius – Massy herself! 

Banjo: An Illustrated History

Author of Banjo: An Illustrated History, Bob Carlin, was interviewed by Fox News 8! In it he spoke about his book, what you can expect from it, and it’s evolution from the many other Banjo related books that he has written. Click on the link below to watch the video to learn more about Bob Carlin and his book, Banjo: An Illustrated History.

>>Click Here<<

00142046The banjo is emblematic of American country music, and it is at the core of other important musical movements, including jazz and ragtime. The instrument has been adopted by many cultures and has been ingrained into many musical traditions, from Mento music in the Caribbean and dance music in Ireland. Virtuosos such as Béla Fleck have played Bach, African music, and Christmas tunes on the five-string banjo, and the instrument has had a resurgence in pop music with such acts a Mumford and Sons and the Avett Brothers.

In Banjo: An Illustrated History (June 2016, Backbeat Books, $35), author, broadcaster, and acclaimed banjoist Bob Carlin offers the first comprehensive, illustrated history of the banjo in its many forms. He traces the story of the instrument from its roots in West Africa to its birth in the Americas, through its coming of age in the Industrial Revolution and beyond.

Banjo: An Illustrated History profiles the most important players and spotlights key luthiers and manufacturers and features 100 “milestone instruments” with in-depth coverage, including model details and beautiful photos. It offers historical context surrounding the banjo through the ages, from its place in Victorian parlors and speakeasies through its role in the folk boom of the 1950s and 1960s to its place in the hands of songwriter John Hartford and comedian Steve Martin.

Folk, jazz, bluegrass, country, and rock – the banjo has played an important part in all of these genres. Lavishly illustrated, and thoughtfully written Banjo: An Illustrated History is a must-have for lovers of fretted instruments, aficionados of roots music, and music history buffs.

John Breglio at The Drama Book Shop

John Breglio author of I Wanna Be a Producer: How to Make a Killing on Broadway…or Get Killed, was at The Drama Book Shop in New York, NY! He was joined by Barry Weissler, producer of the Broadway show Chicago, to talk about his book, what makes a successful play, and much more! Watch the video below to hear what they had to say.

IWannaBeCOVERWhat does a producer actually do? How does one travel from that great idea for a show to a smash hit opening night on Broadway? In I Wanna Be a Producer: How to Make a Killing on Broadway…or Get Killed, John Breglio – a Broadway veteran with more than 40 years experience – shares an exceptional road map for the hows and wherefores, the dos and don’ts of producing a Broadway play. In this highly informative book, Breglio offers practical concepts for the aspiring producer and entertains with great personal anecdotes from his illustrious career as a leading theatrical lawyer and producer.

Breglio recounts not only his first-hand knowledge of the crucial legal and business issues faced by a producer, but also his experiences behind-the-scenes with literally hundreds of producers, playwrights, composers, and directors, including such theatre luminaries as Michael Bennett, Joe Papp, Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Patti Lupone, August Wilson, and Mel Brooks.

Says Breglio, “Ultimately, my goal is to give the business of producing the respect it deserves. It is a profession that requires numerous skills, both business and creative. It demands relentless fortitude and optimism, and it should never be assumed casually without recognizing the enormity of the task.”

Working or aspiring producers, investors, directors, actors, designers, teachers — as well as those who are simply curious about the backstage reality of the theater — will relish John Breglio’s sage advice and irresistible storytelling. They’ll also treasure the included DVD of Every Little Step, a documentary of the auditions for the 2006 Broadway revival of A Chorus Line.

I Wanna Be a Producer is indispensable reading for theater professionals and fans of all levels – from high school drama clubs to college theater programs, from community theater groups and summer stock to The Great White Way.

Bobby Borg on Taxi Independent A&R

Bobby Borg, author of Business Basics for Musicians, was featured on an episode of Taxi Independent A&R! He speaks about his book and gives you some insight on topics featured in the book. There’s even a little surprise at the end! Click play on the video below to learn more!

00139915

There has never been a greater need for musicians to understand the music business than now, when emerging technologies make it possible for artists to act as their own record labels, and new contracts are structured to grab the biggest slice of an artist’s revenue pie. But in a digital age overflowing with confusing and ever-changing information, musicians need trusted business advice from a veteran artist who can break down the basics in a language they understand.

Business Basics for Musicians is the layperson’s guide to the music industry, written by a professional musician for other musicians. In his book, Bobby Borg simplifies in a conversational tone five vital areas in which musicians need to succeed:

  • Career Execution
  • Business Relationships
  • Pro Teams
  • Deals and Dollars
  • and Future Predictions.

The book not only covers legal aspects such as copyright and record contracts, it also shows to how to deal with the people involved along the way: band members, managers, attorneys, talent agents, and producers. Business Basics for Musicians will help musicians to faster navigate to success.

Howard Massey on Pensado’s Place

Howard Massey, author of The Great British Recording Studios, was featured on the 254th episode of Pensado’s Place! In this episode Howard Massey speaks about Abbey Road, EMI, and many other groundbreaking music operations of the early and mid 20th century and emphasizes the importance of historical knowledge in addressing the modern music environment. Watch the video below to learn more!

00333513From the time that Thomas Alva Edison invented the phonograph in the 1870s, music has become an integral part of everyday life.   Nine decades later, the “British Invasion” spearheaded what was inarguably one of the most important and creative periods in the development of recorded music.

In The Great British Recording Studios (November 2015, Hal Leonard Books, $34.99), Howard Massey tells the story of the iconic British facilities where many of the most important recordings of all time were made. The first comprehensive account of British recording studios ever published, it is endorsed by and was written with the cooperation of the British APRS (Association of Professional Recording Services, headed by Sir George Martin) to document the history of the major British studios of the 1960s and 1970s and to help preserve their legacy.

The Great British Recording Studios surveys the era’s most significant British studios, including Abbey Road, Olympic, and Trident, with complete descriptions of each studio’s physical facilities and layout, along with listings of equipment and key personnel, as well as details about its best-known technical innovations and a discography of the major recordings done there. Seamlessly interweaving narrative text with behind-the-scenes anecdotes from dozens of internationally renowned record producers and a wealth of photographs – many never published before – Massey brings to life the most famous British studios and the people who created magic there. His “Stories from the Studio” take readers behind the scenes of the making of some of the world’s best-loved records, including The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, The Kinks’ “You Really Got Me,” and the Rolling Stones’ Beggars Banquet.

Meticulously researched and organized, The Great British Recording Studios will inform and inspire students of the recording arts, music professionals, casual music fans, and anyone interested in the acoustically pristine facilities, groundbreaking techniques, and innovative artists and technicians that have shaped the course of modern recording.

Meet Deke Sharon!

If you haven’t heard of Deke Sharon, then you will now! Deke Sharon, author of the book A Cappella Arranging, and vocal producer in the movie Pitch Perfect, is making waves over in New Zealand and pretty much everywhere else in the world. A Cappella became cool again with the help of  hit movies Pitch Perfect, Pitch Perfect 2, and with TV shows such as ‘The Sing-Off’. Deke was recently in New Zealand to help out a local choir group, click on the link below to learn more!

Click Here!

00333442The world loves to sing. From barbershop groups to madrigal choirs to vocal rock bands, there are tens of thousands of vocal groups in America. The success of mainstream television programs such as Glee and The Sing-Off not only demonstrates the rising popularity of vocal music; it reflects how current trends inspire others to join in. In addition, through various online and on-the-ground vocal music societies, the “a cappella market” is well defined and well connected. Like singing itself, a cappella is a global phenomenon.

At the heart of every vocal group is the music it performs. This often means writing its own arrangements of popular or traditional songs. This book is the long-awaited definitive work on the subject, wide ranging both in its scope and in its target audience – which spans beginners, music students, and community groups to professional and semi-professional performers, vocal/instrumental songwriters, composers, and producers – providing genre-specific insight on a cappella writing.

The tone of the book is instructive and informative, yet conversational: it is intended to stand alongside any academic publication while remaining interesting and fun. A Cappella Arranging is a good textbook – and a “good read” – for every vocal arranger, whether amateur or professional; every vocal music classroom, and any professional recording studio.


Deke also has an upcoming book called, The Heart of Vocal Harmony, due out in the Fall! We’ll keep you updated!

Love, Peace, and Soul

In her book,  Love, Peace, and Soul Behind the Scenes of America’s Favorite Dance Show Soul Train: Classic Moments, Ericka Blount Danois tells the story of Don Cornelius and the television juggernaut he created.  Watch the video below to learn more about the book and and the show that inspired it!

Love, Peace, and Soul tells the story of the television phenomenon known as Soul Train, a show created in the land of bell bottoms, afros, and soul power; a show that became the touchstone of the Baby Boomer generation. Don Cornelius, host and owner of the show, was one of the coolest cats on television. With his platform shoes, wide neckties, and mellifluous voice, he showed the world just how corny American Bandstand was in comparison. In 2012, fans were shocked to hear one of the most powerful men in the music and television business took his own life.

Love, Peace, and Soul is a celebratory, behind-the-scenes collection of anecdotes, stories, and reflections, from the people who were there, about the host, the show, and the power of black music and dance on television.

Music and television connoisseurs will enjoy the history of not just Soul Train, but of other shows, including Shindig!Don Kirshner’s Rock ConcertHullabalooAmerican Bandstand, and Graffiti Rock. Entrepreneurs will be interested in Cornelius’ humble beginnings with the local version of the show in Chicago, created with his own money. Fans will delight in the lively images and the quirky details. The first mass market book on Soul Train since Cornelius’s passing, this volume has something for everyone. Includes afterword by Gary Harris.

The Richard Wesley Play Anthology discussion

Richard Wesley recently held a book signing and discussion over at The Drama Book Shop in New York, NY. He spoke about his anthology, The Richard Wesley Play Anthology, and what brought him to put it all together. Learn more by watching the video below and let us know your thoughts in the comment section!

00129709The Richard Wesley Play Anthology includes five full-length plays that collectively outline a cultural history of black America in the post-Civil Rights era, from the late 20th century through the first decades of the 21st.

Black Terror looks at the radical politics of the Black Power era; The Sirens, the destabilization of black familial and social life in the early 1970s; The Mighty Gents, the destructiveness of “black macho” in the late 1970s; The Talented Tenth, the midlife crisis and the end of idealism in the black middle class in the early 1980s; and Autumn, the new generational paradigm in black urban politics in the early 21st century.

Each of the plays included in The Richard Wesley Play Anthology was born out of the idea of the public thinker, and what Arthur Miller would refer to as the importance of an individual conscience – as well as the belief that each generation must give back, must inform and inspire the generation that follows. It also features an introduction by the playwright that addresses the emergence, growth and evolution of black consciousness and the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and early 1970s, and serves as a chronicle of Wesley’s artistic evolution as a writer who was both a witness and a foot soldier during those turbulent times.

As Wesley writes in his introduction, “The Stage should be seen as a laboratory where the belief systems, the mores, the myths, the histories and strivings of a people may be presented in full dimension, so that audiences might judge for themselves what is right, what is wrong, what needs to be changed, and what needs to be left alone.

DJ Shortee introduces ‘Shortee’s Complete DJ Method’ on Groove3!

DJ Shortee has released a video introducing her Complete DJ Method, the first six installments of which are available on Groove3.  You can read all about it at shorteescompletedjmethod.com.  Also, you can check out her her book, Spin Now! The DJ Starter Handbook, published by Hal Leonard Books.  Click play below to learn more!

Shortees Complete DJ MethodFor many who aspire to become professional DJs, location or lack of funding to attend a reputable DJ school can stand in the way of their dreams. Groove3 and DJ Shortee have teamed up to offer an exciting alternative: Shortee’s Complete DJ Method, the most comprehensive DJ instructional program available that teaches all the skills of a professional DJ.

DJ Shortee, the world’s leading female DJ, has developed over 50 thorough tutorials for all skill levels. She teaches on a wide range of industry standard DJ equipment and software platforms, so students will be able to follow the instructions on their preferred type of gear. Whether you want to learn on turntables, CDJs, mixers, controllers, or software, each lesson plan is arranged in an organized, easy­to­follow series of courses that cover everything from the essential basics to the most advanced skills.

Shortee’s Complete DJ Method covers turntables, CDJs, various DJ mixers, DJ controllers (Serato and Traktor), various DJ software (Serato DJ, Traktor Pro, Traktor Scratch Pro, Rekordbox, Rekordbox DJ, and Mixed In Key), music theory, mixing, harmonic mixing, trick mixing, scratching, beat juggling, remixing, video mixing, and more.

The first six Method courses are now available on Groove3 along with a number of related DJ courses by other experts making Groove3 the one­stop solution for every aspiring DJ or any musician who wants to improve their craft:

  •  DJ Gear: Turntables & Mixer
  •  DJ Gear: CDJs & Mixer
  •  DJ Gear: Serato Controller – Numark NV
  •  Software: Traktor Pro 2
  •  Software: Serato DJ
  •  Software: Rekordbox

The Method series is continuously expanding, and many new courses will be available within the coming months.

About DJ Shortee

With over twenty years of professional experience as a multi­genre DJ, turntablist, music producer, author, and DJ instructor, DJ Shortee brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding to the classroom. She has taught for the Grammy Foundation, Dubspot, Scratch DJ Academy, Serato, Rane, Turntable U, SAE Institute, and more. Her name has become synonymous with the world of DJ instructional products, and she is respected worldwide for her talent as both an accomplished performer and a gifted teacher. More about DJ Shortee at http://www.djshortee.com/.