For over a decade, Jesse Cannon has been pushing creative ideas in music. You may know him from writing one of the most popular books on the music business, Get More Fans, or from his recording credits on records with the most varied set of bands you’ve ever seen including: The Cure, The Misfits, Animal Collective, Brand New, The Dillinger Escape Plan, The Menzingers, Limp Bizkit, Basement, Leftover Crack, Saves The Day, Senses Fail, Weird Al, Lifetime, Say Anything, NOFX, Man Overboard, Bad Books, Transit, Somos, Conflict and over a thousand others. You may also know his work as the host of the podcast Noise Creators and Off The Record or from writing for outlets like Alternative Press, Tape Op, Hypebot and countless others. He just wrote a book about what he’s learned working on all those records and writing about music’s bleeding edge, taking on the subject he knows the most about; helping musicians fulfill their creative vision. Processing Creativity: The Tools, Practices And Habits Used To Make Music You’re Happy With is the culmination of four years of poring over scientific studies, books and thoughts from top creators as well as his own experience to write a book every musician should read about what goes into making great music versus what bands do when they make a bad album.
Covering the pitfalls of creating music, the book thoroughly explores the hidden reasons we actually like music, how to get along with your collaborators and patterns that help creativity flourish. While every musician says that being creative is the most important part of their life, they barely explore what’s holding back them back from making music they are happy with. When trying to navigate the ways our creative endeavors fail there’s no YouTube tutorial, listicle or college course that can help navigate the countless creative pitfalls that can ruin your music. If you’ve had trouble getting your music to be as good as the musicians you look up to, then this book can help you understand the practices they use to make their music so great.
He’s crafted a book that exposes life-changing knowledge that can be read in under a day, that identifies the patterns and essential knowledge he helps bring to musicians each day. Writing a detailed read that will leave even the most advanced creators with a new perspective on how to make music they’re more happy with. There are no rules to being creative, but there's research and considerations that can help you make better decisions, get past the breakdowns in your process and enhance the emotional impact your songs have on others. The essential ideas on creating music are detailed in a simple, fun language that’s littered with quotes and insight from the most innovative creators of our time that discusses subjects like:
How to make highly emotional music that makes listeners compelled to listen again and again.
I somehow got my first work being paid in the music business when I was 15. Since then I’ve managed to work in nearly every facet of the music business. If a stranger happens to know who I am, they usually know me from being lucky enough to have worked on records in various capacities with bands like The Cure, Animal Collective, The Misfits, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Brand New, Limp Bizkit, Man Overboard, Somos, Basement, NOFX and The Menzingers. I'm also known for writing the book Get More Fans: The DIY Guide To The New Music Business, which has gone on to be one of the most popular books on the music business. I also host two podcasts, Off The Record and Noise Creators and write articles on the music business for various sites like Alternative Press and Party Smasher Inc. along with a handful of others.
But that doesn’t explain how I got to do all of that and that's what I'm supposed to explain here. When I was barely a teenager I started to get paid for doing live sound at concerts and spoken word events. Two years later, a hilarious and fun guy by the name of Stork liked my mixes and invited me to engineer live performances at the world-renowned freeform radio station WFMU. There I was lucky enough to work for nearly a decade recording acts like The Magnetic Fields, Spoon, The Sea and The Cake, Olivia Tremor Control and a couple hundred others. Because of this I started doing live sound at local clubs The Pipeline and Connections. In time, I started booking shows for the company that booked those clubs and the legendary Coney Island High in NYC. Somewhere in this time I got my first credit on a record singing back up vocals on a song with Joey & Dee Dee Ramone, which I still question if I've ever topped.
Those jobs gave me enough courage to put on my own concerts, and be crazy enough to think I knew what I was doing enough to start recording local bands. But all of this would happen at night, so I needed a day job. I then started working at my local punk record store (Let It Rock), which then qualified me to work at Soapbox Records on St. Marks Place in NYC. This was great since it also housed esteemed indie label Go-Kart Records where I ran the record store and did publicity. While I love marketing, PR is way too social for me and I preferred talking to creative people instead of cranky zine editors. I was also writing for the esteemed zines of the day like Tape Op, Punk Planet and Maximum RockNRoll. So I decided to stop doing live sound and working at record labels in order to focus on record production. My boss at Go Kart was kind enough to give me a recommendation to Alan Douches at West West Side Music, who happens to be the engineer with the most credits in all of music history.
At West West Side I got to learn how to engineer and master from the best in the business. Not only did I get to work under Alan’s amazing talent, the best producers in the business were coming by every day (J. Robbins, John Agnello, Brian Mcternan, Kurt Ballou) as well as the coolest bands around seemed to walk in the door every day (Fatboy Slim, Fall Out Boy, LCD Soundsystem, Brand New). In that time, I met Steve Evetts (one of my favorite producers growing up) and got to work with him on great records by The Dillinger Escape Plan, Senses Fail, Saves The Day and Say Anything. He then brought me to work with Ross Robinson (my other favorite producer growing up) and I got to work with The Cure & Limp Bizkit among others under him.
While all that was happening, two other significant parts of the story happened. I harnessed my own production skills and they became so in demand I started my own studio Cannon Found Soundation, which I still run to this day working with hundreds of bands a year. In that time these two interests collided and I decided to start a blog on the things other blogs weren’t writing about in music and wanted to show all the secrets being hidden, since that’s the most punk thing you can do and punk is the closest thing I have to a religion.
This blog became Musformation, a blog I continued through 2015, when I decided to diversify my writing to introduce myself to other audiences. The blog’s music business articles seemed to be very popular and really resonated, so I decided to go with it. I started helping and then managing the two most promising bands I was producing -- Man Overboard and Transit, so I could experiment with the ideas I was writing about. These ideas turned out to be right and both signed with one of the biggest indies in the world (Rise Records) and built massive fanbases under my watch.
That was fun and all, but managing and producing records full-time do not mix. So those bands went their way and I kept producing records. A lot of bands asked me to manage them, but I like sleep and hate stress so I decided against that option. I instead put out my book Get More Fans, so every band could learn everything I did working with them and researching the new music business. Because of that book I got a reputation for knowing music tech, which led me to getting approached to do the podcast, Off The Record and form Noise Creators, a service I co-founded that helps connect musicians with the best producers in music today.
In 2017, I released the book Processing Creativity, a book that aims to help musicians thoroughly understand the creative pitfalls that happen while creating music. I will continue to make a lot of cool podcasts and articles on this subject in the coming years.
The War of Art identifies the enemy that every one of us must face,
outlines a battle plan to conquer this internal foe, then pinpoints just
how to achieve the greatest success.
The War of Art emphasizes the resolve needed to recognize and
overcome the obstacles of ambition and then effectively shows how to
reach the highest level of creative discipline.
Think of it as tough love . . . for yourself.
When other musicians invite you to jam, do you worry that you won’t be able to keep up?
Are you a veteran guitarist who has played for years, but you’re embarrassed to admit you have no idea what you’re doing?
If you want to take your guitar playing to the next level, compose songs like you hear on the radio, and improvise your own music, then you need Fretboard Theory.
Fretboard Theory by Desi Serna teaches music theory for guitar including scales, chords, progressions, modes and more. The hands-on approach to theory shows you how music "works" on the guitar fretboard by visualizing shapes and patterns and how they connect to make music.
* Learn pentatonic and major scale patterns as used to play melodies, riffs, solos, and bass lines
* Move beyond basic chords and common barre chords by playing the types of chord inversions and chord voicings used by music's most famous players
* Chart guitar chord progressions and play by numbers like the pros * Identify correct scales to play over chords and progressions so you can improvise at will
* Create new sounds with music modes and get to know Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian and Locrian
* Add variety to your playing by using intervals such as thirds, fourths, and sixths
* Increase your chord vocabulary by using added chord tones and extensions to play chord types such as major 7, minor 7, sus2, sus4, add9, and more
* Learn how all the different aspects of music fit together to make a great song
* See how theory relates to popular styles of music and familiar songs
Fretboard Theory will have you mastering music like a pro easier and faster than you ever thought possible. Plus, it's the ONLY GUITAR THEORY RESOURCE in the world that includes important details to hundreds of popular songs. You learn how to play in the style of pop, rock, acoustic, blues, and more!
This guitar instruction is perfect whether you want to jam, compose or just understand the music you play better. The material is suitable for both acoustic and electric guitar, plus it features many references to bass.
Level: Recommended for intermediate level players on up.
Fretboard Theory is also available as a 21-hour video series that is sold separately on the author's GuitarMusicTheory.com website. Visit the website and sign up for email lessons to sample the footage.
Fretboard Theory Volume II
When you're ready to take your playing to the next level, get the second book in the series, Fretboard Theory Volume II, which is also available as a 12-hour video series.
The Artist’s Way is the seminal book on the subject of creativity. An international bestseller, millions of readers have found it to be an invaluable guide to living the artist’s life. Still as vital today—or perhaps even more so—than it was when it was first published twenty five years ago, it is a powerfully provocative and inspiring work. Julia Cameron reflects upon the impact of The Artist’s Way and shares additional insights into the creative process that she has gained. Updated and expanded, this anniversary edition reframes The Artist’s Way for today's creatives.
Then, in 1966, at age nineteen, Geoff Emerick became the Beatles’ chief engineer, the man responsible for their distinctive sound as they recorded the classic album Revolver, in which they pioneered innovative recording techniques that changed the course of rock history. Emerick would also engineer the monumental Sgt. Pepper and Abbey Road albums, considered by many the greatest rock recordings of all time. In Here, There and Everywhere he reveals the creative process of the band in the studio, and describes how he achieved the sounds on their most famous songs. Emerick also brings to light the personal dynamics of the band, from the relentless (and increasingly mean-spirited) competition between Lennon and McCartney to the infighting and frustration that eventually brought a bitter end to the greatest rock band the world has ever known.