Learn a chord. Save a night.

Tons of people have guitars. Affluent people have pianos. Those two instruments are almost as ubiquitous as singing voices (though suffer from far less social stigma), so I think it would behoove society to give some passable instruction to every youth so they could raise the quality of life with a I-V-IV progression at a […]

Autotune Magic

The Gregory Brothers, more popularly known as the people who Auto-Tune the News, are not only satirically cunning, but they use their musicianship in a particularly effective manner. If you don’t troll YouTube like I do, seeking out memes and delighting in double rainbows, Auto-Tune the News is when popular/recent news clips are set to […]

Explosive discussion did result

I’m on the Society of Composers, Inc. listserv, and there has been a debate raging about the role of modern composers and how to compose. Some people say that audiences should be coddled, some say that composers should write what they feel, some composers are just angry-angry. I’ve been sitting on the sidelines, making general […]

Non-traditional notation teaser

Something to spur imagination while I’m working on a new part of the arranging guide: Non-traditional notation. While sheet music is super-handy, and provides a common language to communicate music, sometimes people just don’t speak Wookie, and you have to think outside the box. ~How would you write out parts for someone who doesn’t read […]

The Art of Song Selection 2: Mechanics and Logistics

While it’s well and good to know what your group is about, who your target audience is, where you want to take the group, and if your 2nd soprano is single, that doesn’t actually pick your songs. This article is geared towards the practicality of picking songs, and several methods with their pros and cons. […]

Techno remixes- the next frontier of satire

For those who aren’t up and savvy with their Christian Bale celebrity gossip, our recent Batman was caught on tape verbally beheading some poor dude on the set of Terminator 4. Just a heads up…it’s pretty much just strong language. Here’s the original rant, which was followed by a techno remix, R&B/Club remix, and my […]

Make Mine Freedom!

A rather excellent YouTube video, detailing the dangers of the “isms” and the wonders of American Freedom!  The music within is pretty classic soundtrack music of the era — very influenced by the art music of the period, but also much more likely to be enjoyable to the ears of the audience.  Have we lost […]

Arranging for Co-ed groups, Introduction

If you’re lucky enough to scrabble together a handful of boys and girls to hold productive rehearsals amidst incredible sexual tension, creating unique and engaging arrangements are going to be a piece of cake. Co-ed groups not only have the advantages of a ready pool of datable singers, but the vocal range and palette of […]

A show business paradox

Forgive the indulgent journal entry. The fact is, that if you sing other people’s songs for a living, the jobness of it starts to impinge on the rest of your musical experience. The rest of music is, at least momentarily, slightly less fascinating because your brain doesn’t quite have the void, the hunger for notes […]

Guitar From the Ground Up

Guitar is wicked cool. You know it in your bones; I know you do. You’ve grown up watching MTV rock stars shimmy and gyrate in that post-Elvis mold. You’ve seen the old videos of Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix in their heydays coaxing lava from Stratocasters. You’ve seen Bob Dylan’s woody box of protest songs […]