Songwriting and Composition Part 1 of 2 (with Paul Barsom) Ep068



In this episode, Aaron sits down with composer and multi-instrumentalist Paul Barsom of The Weed Garden to discuss his project’s latest release, Boy Interrupted.

Paul’s career as a composer and teacher of musical composition spans over 30 years and has influenced numbers of composition students and musical educators, including Fret Buzz The Podcast alumnus Tony Scaltz.

As a result, Tony makes a guest return to the show to join Aaron and Paul on the mic and discuss the genesis and recording of Boy Interrupted and the various styles and musical idioms the album invokes. In addition, the guys explore how composers approach creativity, musical invention, various career paths, adaptation to digital audio environments, and so much more.

Be on the lookout for Tony’s new line of skin care products, Prodigal Sun, which hits beaches across the country next summer.

Find more about Paul here:

http://paulbarsom.com/


Amp Modeling (with Ryan Brown) Ep067



Ryan Brown of “The Great Noise” joins Aaron Sefchick and Joe McMurray to talk about amp modeling (the Line 6 Helix), improving live shows with technology, and social media marketing.
Ryan and his band decided to make the jump from tube amps and analogue effects pedals to all digital equipment run direct into the PA system.  He uses the Line 6 Helix Guitar Multi-effects Floor Processor, which gives him nearly infinite tonal options in one unit.  Ryan explains how the Helix uses impulse response to simulate the sound of a guitar amp, speaker, and microphone.  He also mentions some other useful tips for getting genuine sounds and feel/response from the Helix.
Aaron, Joe, and Ryan discuss studio experiences and the need to interact with the recording engineer.  Joe talks about how he uses the Digitech TRIO+ for both practice and live performance.  The guys talk about improving live shows with lighting and Ableton.
Finally, Ryan talks about social media marketing and branding.  They examine color schemes for branding, the failed Fyre Festival, short-term goals, the curation of content to show people your personality and your authenticity, and following your analytics.
Find out more about Ryan’s band, The Great Noise, at https://thegreatnoise.space/ or https://www.instagram.com/thegreatnoise/ or check out their music on iTunes.

Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitar part 2 of 2 (with Don Ross) Ep066



Canadian guitarist Don Ross is a legend in the acoustic fingerstyle world.  With decades of experience, he employs modern techniques, altered tunings, and a strong melodic sense to write memorable songs.  Aaron Sefchick and Joe McMurray have a fun and informative conversation with Don about a wide range of topics including his musical journey, his guitars, acoustic guitar pickups, traveling with guitars, songwriting, recording, his most memorable shows (good and bad), and much more.
Part 2 of 2 begins with a discussion about Don’s approaches to songwriting.  He expands on how he uses altered tunings to solve compositional problems and expand the range of the guitar.  He talks about following song structures, thematic development, and different grooves.
Don talks about his experiences as a recording engineer, working with ProTools, and his favorite microphones and pre-amps for recording acoustic guitars.  He tells the guys about recording his wife’s (Brooke Miller’s) album at his home studio and having that album mixed by world-renowned music producer and engineer, Frank Filipetti.
Joe and Aaron ask Don about his most memorable shows.  Then Don offers some advice about making money as a musician, songwriting, and originality.  He specifically gives praise to Petteri Sariola, a young fingerstyle guitarist from Finland.  Finally Don talks about his guitar camp that he is hosting at his home in Nova Scotia from October 11-14 (http://donrossguitarweekend.com/).
Find out more about Don Ross at https://donrossonline.com/ or check out his music on any music platform.

Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitar part 1 of 2 (with Don Ross) Ep065



Canadian guitarist Don Ross is a legend in the acoustic fingerstyle world.  With decades of experience, he employs modern techniques, altered tunings, and a strong melodic sense to write memorable songs.  Aaron Sefchick and Joe McMurray have a fun and informative conversation with Don about a wide range of topics including his musical journey, his guitars, acoustic guitar pickups, traveling with guitars, songwriting, recording, his most memorable shows (good and bad), and much more.
In part 1 of 2, Don tells Aaron and Joe about his musical upbringing in Canada and his early influences.  He talks about how his love of R&B music led him to write some songs around strong bass lines.  He also talks about how altered tunings can be used to solve compositional problems and expand the range of the guitar.
Don talks about his Beneteau guitars, and how he maintains them on tour.  Check out Fret Buzz’s interview with Marc Beneteau (Episodes 47 and 48)! Don sheds light on several different pickup systems for acoustic guitar amplification, including products from K&K and LR Baggs.  Joe asks Don how he safely travels with his guitars.
Find out more about Don Ross at https://donrossonline.com/ or check out his music on any music platform.

Jazz Vocals, Music School, Vocal Technique Part 2 of 2 (with Darden Purcell) Ep064



Dr. Darden Purcell is a jazz vocalist and the Director of Jazz Studies at George Mason University.  Joe McMurray and Aaron Sefchick have a wonderful time talking with Darden about her musical journey, her duties as a “Director of Jazz Studies,” how to transition to singing jazz music, and specifics on vocal technique and practice.
Part 2 of 2 is packed with useful information and tips regarding vocal technique and practice (applicable to all styles of music!).  Darden tells the guys about vocal habits such as speaking and singing on vocal fry, scooping into pitches, and falling off at the ends of words.  There is a discussion about the short careers of some singers resulting from poor vocal health.  Darden talks about how certain food and beverages affect your singing voice, and she emphasizes the importance of sleep leading up to a performance.  It is important to understand that your vocal range changes depending on the time of day and how far into a performance you are.  This is incredibly useful when choosing the keys of your songs and planning your setlist.
Darden tells Joe and Aaron about her favorite gigs, ranging from performances with symphonies to jazz gigs with great audiences.
Finally, Darden gives a ton if information regarding vocal practice.  She stresses the importance of singing with the piano and a metronome, critically analyzing the music you are singing, and keeping a practice log.  She addresses proper breathing for singing, singing long tones, singing with lip trills, and a couple other exercises to master pitch control.
 
Find out more about Darden at http://www.dardenpurcell.com/.  Find out more about George Mason’s music programs at https://music.gmu.edu/.

Jazz Vocals, Music School, Vocal Technique Part 1 of 2 (with Darden Purcell) Ep063



Dr. Darden Purcell is a jazz vocalist and the Director of Jazz Studies at George Mason University.  Joe McMurray and Aaron Sefchick have a wonderful time talking with Darden about her musical journey, her duties as a “Director of Jazz Studies,” how to transition to singing jazz music, and specifics on vocal technique and practice.
In part 1 of 1, Darden tells the guys about how she started singing jazz music, her experiences singing in the U.S. Air Force Band, her time working and performing in Nashville, and her experience in graduate school at the University of Illinois.  They discuss the music scenes in New Orleans, New York, and Chicago.
Darden explains her duties as the Director of Jazz Studies at George Mason.  They discuss trends in the incoming pools of students and how they are related to trends in society.  They also talk about Darden’s students and some of her teaching approaches.
Darden has released two albums, and she gives insight into her studio experiences, her influences while producing these albums, and the unintentional consequences of releasing an album with complicated arrangements (it’s hard to gig!).
 
Find out more about Darden at http://www.dardenpurcell.com/.  Find out more about George Mason’s music programs at https://music.gmu.edu/.

Backing Tracks, LA Music Scene part 2 of 2 (with Quist) Ep062



Quist has built an enormous online presence through his jam-backing tracks, and he recently performed as the lead guitarist for Bryan Ferry (Roxy Music).  This Danish guitarist has performed at the Royal Albert Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, Coachella, Glastonbury, and Abbey Road Studios, and has established himself in the Los Angeles music scene.  Aaron Sefchick and Joe McMurray enjoy an awesome conversation with Quist, diving into his musical journey, his jam-backing tracks, the LA music scene, and building and maintaining an online presence.
In part 2 of 2,  Quist talks more about the origins of his backing tracks, and how he built a following on YouTube.  The guys discuss balancing the work-load of YouTube video releases, other musical endeavors, and personal time.
Aaron and Joe ask Quist about opportunities to do session work and to tour.  Quist says that he is selective about the work he accepts – it has to be great music with great people or the right money!  His advice for acquiring this work involves 1) being great at what you do, and 2) networking, especially through jam sessions.
Quist reminisces about his most exciting performances and studio experiences: highlights include performances at the Hollywood Bowl and the Royal Albert Hall, recording at Abbey Road Studios, and performing in Colombia with Mike Dawes (fingerstyle guitarist).  The conversation ends with a discussion on the eternal quest to improve as a musician, the insane levels of talent that exist on the internet, and the importance of playing meaningful, emotive music.

Backing Tracks, LA Music Scene part 1 of 2 (with Quist) Ep061



Quist has built an enormous online presence through his jam-backing tracks, and he recently performed as the lead guitarist for Bryan Ferry (Roxy Music).  This Danish guitarist has performed at the Royal Albert Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, Coachella, Glastonbury, and Abbey Road Studios, and has established himself in the Los Angeles music scene.  Aaron Sefchick and Joe McMurray enjoy an awesome conversation with Quist, diving into his musical journey, his jam-backing tracks, the LA music scene, and building and maintaining an online presence.
Quist tells the guys about his musical beginnings, playing his dad’s guitar at age 6 and touring as a ballet dancer until he was 13.  After leaving the ballet world, he devoted himself to the guitar, eventually studying jazz at the Royal Academy of Music in London, performing in New York City, and settling in Los Angeles.
Quist tells Aaron and Joe why he originally started creating backing tracks for practicing, and how they gained wide popularity on YouTube.  The guys have a healthy discussion of how to create mode-specific chord progressions, with lots of useful music theory.
Quist, Aaron, and Joe discuss the differences in the music scenes of different towns with a focus on the LA scene.

Jazz Flute, Piano and Voice (with Jennifer Gammill) Ep060



Jennifer Gammill is a jazz vocalist and flautist who won the 2018 VEER award for “Jazz Album of the Year” in southeastern Virginia.  She also performs with co-host Joe McMurray in a jazz duo called “Blue Orpheus.”  Aaron Sefchick and Joe talk with Jennifer about her background in worship music, jazz flute, teaching music to large groups, songwriting, jazz conferences, and online presence/social media marketing.
 

Papadosio, Synthesizers Part 2 of 2 (with Billy Brouse) Ep059



Billy Brouse is a founding member of Papadosio, a band that has enjoyed tremendous success playing a unique blend of electronic jam band music at major festivals and concert venues, including a recent performance at Red Rocks.  Billy plays keys/synthesizers for the band, and he joins Joe McMurray and Aaron Sefchick on the show to talk about Papadosio, music festivals, the band’s use of Ableton Live for both songwriting and live performance, other bands on the scene, and synthesizers.
Billy tells the guys about his musical influences.  Then he recounts the story of how he and the other guys formed Papadosio and decided to tour full-time.  He tells Joe and Aaron about their very own festival, Resonance Festival, which occurs this Sept 19-22, 2019 (https://www.facebook.com/ResonanceMusicFest/).
Next, the guys talk about Papadosio’s approach to songwriting and how they use Ableton Live to write and record from their own homes and on their own schedules.  Billy explains how the band uses Ableton Live in their live performances and provides some detail into how he uses PADs.
Billy, Joe, and Aaron touch on the subjects of gear damage/theft/insurance, practicing, and injuries before moving on to talk about Billy’s favorite bands on the scene.  Billy finally runs through his favorite synthesizers and effects pedals.