Brody McDonald
Director of Choirs
Kettering Fairmont High School
with demonstration group
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•

What is contemporary a cappella?
Where to find music
How to pick music
Stylistic considerations
What ...
•

It is the creation of a “vocal band”
–
–

Voicing: Male, Female or Mixed
Size:
•
•
•
•

Anything that works for you
Usu...
How about some
live a cappella?
•
•
•

Off-the-rack charts
Custom charts
Self-arranged
•
•
•
•

Affordable
Accessible
Trusted source
Reference
recording
•

Directly contact arrangers
– Credits of albums
– Collegiate or pro group websites

•
•

www.betteracappella.com
www.aca...
•
•

Listen to the original
Make it a weekly
assignment
– Notate the solo
– Notate the bass line
– Fill in backing vocals
...
•
•
•
•

Pick the soloist first
OR… section solos / pass-around
Student input
Check it
•
•

•

Listen to the original (a lot)
Determine the character of each
section (especially for the
drummer)
Don’t be afrai...
Section
Cherries
Introduction

Volume

V.P.

Vibe/Style

mf

Hi-hat

Mysterious

Verse 1

mp

Light rock

Intense

Chorus ...
Section
Cherries

Volume

V.P.

Vibe/Style
•
•

•

The basses are singing the bass
guitar part most times
Even if syllables are written, it will
sound more like a ba...
Tech Toys
•
•
•
•

Bass octave pedal
Thumper throat microphone
Distortion pedal
Wireless microphones
• If they are too exp...
•

Basic Sounds
• Kick
• Snare
• Cymbal

•
•
•
•

Good beats are more important than good
sounds
Don’t have too much SPM
H...
•
•

Always drum full-out to build
stamina
Don’t depend on the VP for time
• Time is everyone’s job
• Put movement in your...
Vocal Percussion part 1
• Basic Sounds
• Kick
• Snare
• Cymbal
• Good beats are more important than good sounds
• Don’t ha...
Vocal Percussion part 2

SOUND
• Always drum full-out to build stamina
• Don’t depend on the VP for time – practice
withou...
•

Kettering National A Cappella Festival
•

•
•
•
•
•

November, 2014 (leaning toward Nov. 8 – acafest.org)

Complete lis...
•

Best bang for your buck
– SING series
– BOCA / BOHSA

•

Digital Downloads
– Acatunes.com
– Itunes.com

•

PLEASE NOTE:...
•
•
•
•
•

ACappellaEducators.com
CASA.org
Humanbeatbox.com
CampAcappella.com
BrodyMcDonald.com
brody.mcdonald@ketteringschools.org
brody.mcdonald@wright.edu
(937) 603-7256
www.brodymcdonald.com
Make a Recording
• Self-awareness: hearing your voice in isolation
is eye-opening
• Public awareness:
• “They must be good...
A Cappella Pop - KMEA 2014
A Cappella Pop - KMEA 2014
A Cappella Pop - KMEA 2014
A Cappella Pop - KMEA 2014
A Cappella Pop - KMEA 2014
A Cappella Pop - KMEA 2014
A Cappella Pop - KMEA 2014
A Cappella Pop - KMEA 2014
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A Cappella Pop - KMEA 2014

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Brody McDonald presents A Cappella Pop: A Complete Guide to Contemporary A Cappella Singing (Alfred Publishing)

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  • The first thing any group needs is music. Where can we get it? How do you decide which avenue is right for you?
    We’re gonna blow through this – many show choirs already understand this process
  • A Cappella Pop - KMEA 2014

    1. 1. Brody McDonald Director of Choirs Kettering Fairmont High School with demonstration group
    2. 2. • • • • • • • • • • What is contemporary a cappella? Where to find music How to pick music Stylistic considerations What about the bass? Vocal Percussion Visual tips Sound tech Student ownership and a cappella culture More resources
    3. 3. • It is the creation of a “vocal band” – – Voicing: Male, Female or Mixed Size: • • • • Anything that works for you Usually 5-16 Smaller groups usually one singer per microphone Larger groups can use zone/solo microphone combos or none
    4. 4. How about some live a cappella?
    5. 5. • • • Off-the-rack charts Custom charts Self-arranged
    6. 6. • • • • Affordable Accessible Trusted source Reference recording
    7. 7. • Directly contact arrangers – Credits of albums – Collegiate or pro group websites • • www.betteracappella.com www.acappellaeducators.com
    8. 8. • • Listen to the original Make it a weekly assignment – Notate the solo – Notate the bass line – Fill in backing vocals • (chance to improv) Record your “jam sessions” to capture brilliant moments
    9. 9. • • • • Pick the soloist first OR… section solos / pass-around Student input Check it
    10. 10. • • • Listen to the original (a lot) Determine the character of each section (especially for the drummer) Don’t be afraid to experiment • For performance • As a training exercise
    11. 11. Section Cherries Introduction Volume V.P. Vibe/Style mf Hi-hat Mysterious Verse 1 mp Light rock Intense Chorus 1 mf Heavy rock Strong High harmony Verse 2 mf Light rock Sassy Female trio chords f Heavy rock In-your-face Solo and drums Half-time funk Bass feature Heavy rock Assault Chorus 2 Bridge Chorus 3 mp-f build ff
    12. 12. Section Cherries Volume V.P. Vibe/Style
    13. 13. • • • The basses are singing the bass guitar part most times Even if syllables are written, it will sound more like a band if the bass part is neutral (guitar sound) Use mostly a closed sound and eat the microphone
    14. 14. Tech Toys • • • • Bass octave pedal Thumper throat microphone Distortion pedal Wireless microphones • If they are too expensive for all, try one or two for soloists
    15. 15. • Basic Sounds • Kick • Snare • Cymbal • • • • Good beats are more important than good sounds Don’t have too much SPM Have a concept for each section Know when to add fills
    16. 16. • • Always drum full-out to build stamina Don’t depend on the VP for time • Time is everyone’s job • Put movement in your body • Resources • Humanbeatbox.com • Videos (DVD, YouTube)
    17. 17. Vocal Percussion part 1 • Basic Sounds • Kick • Snare • Cymbal • Good beats are more important than good sounds • Don’t have too much SPM • Have a concept for each section (form) • Know when to add fills
    18. 18. Vocal Percussion part 2 SOUND • Always drum full-out to build stamina • Don’t depend on the VP for time – practice without your VPGEAR so everyone keeps time • Put movement in your body • Resources • • • • Humanbeatbox.com Videos for sale at a-cappella.com Youtube videos Open-mic time for vocal play
    19. 19. • Kettering National A Cappella Festival • • • • • • November, 2014 (leaning toward Nov. 8 – acafest.org) Complete list of other festivals can be found at www.acappellaeducators.com CARAs – Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards BOHSA – Best of High School A Cappella SING – prestigious compilation open to HS ICHSA – International Championship of HS A Cappella
    20. 20. • Best bang for your buck – SING series – BOCA / BOHSA • Digital Downloads – Acatunes.com – Itunes.com • PLEASE NOTE: artists get more $ from a direct sale or acatunes than from itunes
    21. 21. • • • • • ACappellaEducators.com CASA.org Humanbeatbox.com CampAcappella.com BrodyMcDonald.com
    22. 22. brody.mcdonald@ketteringschools.org brody.mcdonald@wright.edu (937) 603-7256 www.brodymcdonald.com
    23. 23. Make a Recording • Self-awareness: hearing your voice in isolation is eye-opening • Public awareness: • “They must be good; they have a CD.” • You will get gigs from people hearing your CD • Use cuts as promotional material and for web clips. • Group awareness: • Recordings allow us to capture a group at its better than its best. • We then create the cycle of virtual improvement
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