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Norm Stockton - The Art Of Groove


After years of receiving countless requests from bass enthusiasts seeking to study his methodologies, techniques, and grooves, Norm Stockton has produced a new educational resource. In March 2012, Stockton launched The Art Of Groove at ArtOfGroove.com. Featuring an online database of Stockton's acclaimed teaching curriculum including almost seven hours of instruction from his Grooving For Heaven video series, 60-lesson groove course, and hours of tutorials demonstrating practical application to spark your creativity and expand your musical development, The Art Of Groove offers unlimited streaming access and the opportunity to interact with Stockton through live online events scheduled regularly throughout the year.

In this interview, Stockton discusses The Art Of Groove, his instructional videos, touring with chart-topping worship artist Lincoln Brewster, and much more!




Could you tell us about your new Art Of Groove project?

Norm Stockton My schedule for the past 8 to 10 years hasn't allowed me to do any private teaching, and that's always been a bummer for me. I've always enjoyed helping folks develop their musicianship and learn things more easily than I did. Several years ago, I sent a survey to my e-newsletter list and asked what sort of resource subscribers would most like to see. There was an overwhelming response for two things - a resource where I teach the actual grooves, licks, and techniques I use from my various CDs and from my work with Lincoln Brewster and also a resource for players just starting out.

The Art Of Groove brings together all of my existing teaching curriculum, including the material I go through when giving private lessons, with many hours of practical application where I actually teach my specific parts from Pondering The Sushi, Tea In The Typhoon and Lincoln Brewster's CDs. The new footage includes lots of close-ups, slowed-down demos, explanations, and tips. Plus, technology has gotten much better in the past few years so the shots are really clear and can be streamed or downloaded in HD if your connection is fast enough.

Perhaps my favorite aspect of it is the pricing. I really worked to make it affordable for any interested player. Individual downloads range from $1.99 to $4.99 each, or you can subscribe for just $9.99 per month to get unlimited streaming access to the entire site. There's a ton of material including the 60-lesson groove course, my Grooving For Heaven instructional DVDs, and new footage to keep players busy for a long time. Plus, new content is being added regularly.

Private lessons with me or my colleagues can easily run between $75 to $100 per hour so this obviously is a great value. Plus, the material can be paused or replayed until your heart's content!

What playing level is most of the lesson material geared towards?

It really spans the full range from beginner to intermediate and pro-level player. Players just starting will find lots of helpful material in both my Volume 1 Grooving For Heaven DVD material and Level 1 of the groove course. There are a handful of tunes, particularly some of the Lincoln Brewster material, that will be within the grasp of newer players. In the near future, I'm also planning to add a new series specifically aimed at getting the beginner up and running. For intermediate to advanced players, there is a lot of material including everything from styles, modes, and technique to hours of song tutorials for real-life examples of how to apply it all.

Do you need to be a subscriber in order to access all of the content?

A subscription is needed for folks wanting to access the full site content. The 60-lesson groove course and all of the Lincoln Brewster material is available only to subscribers. All of the material from the Grooving For Heaven DVDs and song tutorials from my music is available for download without subscribing. The subscription is definitely the best deal as you also get a 25% discount on any downloads, 25% off at NormStockton.com, access to quarterly live interactive online events, and quarterly giveaways from me and my sponsors including MTD, Gallien-Krueger, Gruv Gear, and Aguilar Amplification.

Are all of the videos available in high definition and can they be viewed across all platforms including mobile devices?

All of the new footage is available in high definition. The video content from the 60-lesson groove course and the Grooving For Heaven DVDs were shot prior to HD being widely available. All of it can be viewed across all platforms. As a matter of fact, our video streaming delivery system detects your viewing device and connection speed and automatically streams the best version for you.

How frequently will new content be added to The Art Of Groove?

There's a lot of material already in the pipeline, and it is slated to be added every two to three weeks. I'm really excited about the upcoming content. It will include a lot more music, various short series on bass line composition, arranging, focused style studies, the beginner series I mentioned, career and/or ministry perspectives, etc., as well as interviews with various prominent bassists, drummers, engineers, and producers.

Is the 60 Lesson Groove Course available on your web site exactly the same as your online courses at MusicDojo?

Norm Stockton Yes. The guys at MusicDojo are good friends of mine, and I will continue to make that coursework available there. In the same survey I mentioned earlier, though, I discovered that despite lots of folks having taken my courses at MusicDojo, less than 4% of the folks on my list had done so! I wanted to get it in front of my folks so decided to include it in this comprehensive collection of all of my teaching material at ArtOfGroove.com. The response has been great.

For people who are interested in obtaining physical products, can all of your Grooving For Heaven instructional DVDs still be purchased directly from you?

Absolutely, and as I mentioned, subscribers can get everything for 25% off. Otherwise, the Grooving DVDs are also distributed by Alfred Publishing and available in lots of music stores.

Which of your Grooving For Heaven videos has proven to be the best seller?

Volume 1 continues to outsell all the rest. It was shot back in 1998, and between my newly-grown facial hair and the sweater vest which was actually in style back then, it's the toughest for me to watch! I still get a lot of emails from people saying they've found it really helpful so I suppose I just need to get over myself. I'm most proud of Volume 2, despite the same laughable facial hair, and Volume 4.

Since the future of music education is through online instruction, do you plan to release any additional instructional DVDs in the future?

I'm really just waiting to see which direction technology takes us. There's a possibility that, at some point, I might compile some of the song tutorials from The Art Of Groove onto DVDs but no plans beyond that.

Is recording and touring with Lincoln Brewster still your primary gig?

In June, I'll play my last concert with Lincoln. I'm leaving the band to spend more time with my family. Lincoln and I remain great friends and will definitely be working together in the future, but for this upcoming season, with my daughters in high school, I really want to be home as much as possible. That's actually one of the big reasons I invested so much time and energy over the past year toward getting The Art Of Groove project launched. I'm hoping to become less dependent upon road work to make a living. I would love to be able to spend most of my time over the next few years reaching out to the global bass community through ArtOfGroove.

What's on the calendar for the rest of 2012?

Lots of time will be spent developing new content for The Art Of Groove as well as a number of clinics and conference teaching. A certain amount of travel is just part of being a vocational musician so I'll continue to do intermittent freelance work.

An exciting opportunity came up recently, and I'm in rehearsals to do some touring with Bobby Kimball, formerly the lead singer with Toto. It's fun to be learning Toto tunes that I've loved since my high school days!

Lincoln has been tossing around the idea of recording his first instrumental project so I will likely be involved with that. I've heard some of the preliminary tune ideas, and it should be much fun.

I'd love to get the Norm Stockton Group out a bit more. I just haven't had any time to book dates. I anticipate we'll be making another appearance soon at The Baked Potato in Studio City, Los Angeles.

For anyone interested, please drop by either NormStockton.com or ArtOfGroove.com, and signup for the Groove Update, my e-newsletter, as that's how I let folks know about upcoming events. I usually only do mailers every three months so no spam worries. Otherwise, I regularly keep folks up to date through both Twitter (@normstockton.com) and Facebook.





Selected Discography

The Art Of Groove
Solo Recordings
Tea In The Typhoon
Pondering The Sushi

With Lincoln Brewster
Real Life
Today Is The Day
Let The Praises Ring - The Best Of Lincoln Brewster

With Gina Stockton
All That I Can Bring

With The Outtengrand Orchestra
A Dangerously Groovy Christmas

With Steve Laury
Vineland Dreams

Instructional Videos
Grooving For Heaven, Volume 1 - The Bassist & Contemporary Worship
Grooving For Heaven, Volume 2 - The Bassist & Contemporary Worship
Grooving For Heaven, Volume 3 - The Art Of Groove - Taking Your Bass/Drum Relationship To The Next Level
Grooving For Heaven, Volume 4 - Pondering Bass Technique - From Bass Pyrotechnics To Art


Gear

Basses:
MTD 535 Fretted 5-String (#252)
MTD 535-24 Fretted 5-String (#900)
MTD 735 Fretted 7-String (#552)
MTD J5 Prototype (#2)
MTD J4 Prototype (#1)
Carvin AC-50F Fretless 5-String Acoustic Bass Guitar
1965 Fender Precision (strung with flatwounds)
1963 Hofner 500/1 "Beatlebass"

Amplification:
Gallien-Krueger 1001RB Amplifier
Gallien-Krueger Neo 212 Cabinet
Gallien-Krueger Neo 112 Cabinet
Gallien-Krueger Neo 115 Cabinet

Strings:
MTD Stainless Steel Roundwound Strings (Medium Custom - .045, .065, .085, .105, .135)

Effects:
Aguilar Amplification TLC Compressor
Aguilar Amplification Tone Hammer
Aguilar Amplification Octamizer
Aguilar Amplification Agro
Aguilar Amplification Filter Twin


Contact

For more information on Norm Stockton and the Art Of Groove, visit: NormStockton.com and ArtOfGroove.com.


© 2012 The IIB