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2017

Sixteen Meditational Rosaries

for More Fruitful Visits with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament

by Mark Christopher Brandt

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2017

A Heroic but Practical Way of the Cross

by Mark Christopher Brandt

Mark’s second published work, entitled His Footsteps...Your Calvary, was granted ecclesiastical permission at the same time as A Year of FavorHis Footsteps contains Mark’s personal reflections on the Stations of the Cross for deep meditation in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, as well as several shorter versions for making the traditional Way of the Cross using the stations in any church.  The book also includes two versions for children, which will ultimately prove invaluable for parents, as they introduce their children to this beautiful and ancient Lenten practice.

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by Mark Christopher Brandt

2007

Guitar and bass tablature available on request.

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An easy, organized approach towards jazz improvisation

and playing the blues

Review comes from Thomas Mirus, jazz pianist, New York, NY.

 

A good teacher is one who not only imparts vital information to his or her student, but also leads the student through the process of organizing, internalizing and applying that information so that the student is empowered to learn on his own. The converse is also true: that too much information, raw and disordered, brings about confusion and paralysis. This is as true in jazz as in any other discipline, and it is typical of the Information Age that the aspiring jazz musician has access to countless wonderful books and websites devoted to teaching jazz, the vast majority of which will be of no use to him whatsoever because the knowledge therein is not organized to provide an entry point for a beginner. But the experienced artist and the novice alike seek simplicity and depth, and these are offered to the novice in How to Play the Blues When You Don't Have Them by Mark Brandt, an experienced artist who understands and possesses both.

 

How to Play the Blues contains the basic information about theory, scales, voicings, technique and ear training needed by every beginning jazz student, and presents this information in an organized, step-by-step format that inspires rather than overwhelms. Furthermore, Mark understands that scales, voicings, and technique do not a jazz musician make, and that they are means to the end of uninhibited, spontaneous expression. Thus his book is not only filled with theoretical and technical information, but is also permeated with the wisdom he has gained throughout his decades of experience as a jazz pianist, composer, arranger, private teacher and clinician. It is this aspect of the book in particular that makes it useful to advanced jazz musicians as well as beginners.

 

Having used Mark's method successfully with my own students, I can attest that How to Play the Blues will be an invaluable resource for teachers, particularly high school and middle school band directors. All too often, a new student comes to his or her first lesson loaded down with one or more gigantic tomes filled with chord progressions and scales, understandably bewildered by the prospect of doing the musical equivalent of learning to speak English by reading a dictionary. The student's relief when I reassure him that we will be using a much more organized and accessible method is only matched by his relief when I tell him that Mark's book is the only one he will need to purchase for a long time.

 

Along with the book itself come two bonuses. The first is a play-along CD which serves as an aid to practice and ear training, particularly for learning to play the blues in all twelve keys. The second is Mark's unfailing generosity in answering questions via phone or email, of which I have taken advantage on many an occasion.

 

One of the greatest jazz artists of all time, Herbie Hancock, has said: "While knowledge may provide useful point of reference, it cannot become a force to guide the future. Without wisdom, the future has no meaning, no valuable purpose." In How to Play the Blues When You Don't Have Them, Mark Brandt offers the aspiring jazz musician both knowledge and wisdom as a firm foundation for future growth.

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2012

An Organized Guide for Jazz Bass Players

by Mark Christopher Brandt

Bassik Instincts is the book that taught me how to play jazz bass.  I specifically remember playing my electric bass and wishing I could play jazz bass lines. I wanted to be able to play with a jazz feel, but I did not know how to do this, especially when I had no entry point.  This book got me completely lined up when I began working with it on my electric bass. Within a few months, I acquired my first upright bass with which I then started the book again.  The exercises in this book taught me how to play the upright bass.  Ever since I began working with Bassik, I have not needed to go through any other method book, as this one is so comprehensive.

 

The opening exercises in Bassik Instincts completely line up your left hand to start negotiating the fingerboard and playing bass lines through chord changes in all 12 keys.   You immediately start shifting and covering the full range of the bass in a manner that is very simple and easy to comprehend.  This book contains dozens of fully composed jazz bass lines that are immediately applicable to the standard jazz repertoire, as well as countless ideas to be used to creatively construct your own bass lines in all styles of jazz. There is no other bass method book out there that can take a bass player from ground zero to becoming a competent, confident jazz bass player.  Bassik Instincts is the book for learning how to play jazz bass!

 

Shaun Jurek

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