Horn Charts

As a trombonist and arranger, I’ve been playing in horn sections for cover and original bands for my whole career. This usually eventuates in me writing heaps of arrangements for this very flexible and powerful instrumentation.

Most of the bands have used a 3 piece horn section: trumpet, tenor sax and trombone. You’d always love to add a bari sax to that combo to give it some grunt, and allow the trombone to soar a bit higher, but this 3 piece combo really does most soul, funk and pop covers well, without compromise. I’ve found that I use the trombone more as a lower part, as you can cover the bari sax lines better than the tenor, even though it’s a different sound.

Anyway, we’re not here just to listen to me drivel on about this (or are we?); the purpose of this post is to tell you about the horn charts I’ve put up on Sheet Music Plus. The most recent ones are from a band I’ve put together a horn section for, The Flotonics. We’ve got our first gig together on Friday, and I’m super pumped because these guys really know how to do Motown and Soul.

I’ll be adding more horn charts soon, as I have quite a big library. Check back later, or follow me on Facebook to catch all the updates.

Updates to Brass Ensembles

I’ve been busy redoing the 10 piece Brass Ensemble pieces I have available at Sheet Music Plus because I found that whilst the instrumentation I chose worked for some bands, others were having to transpose parts for their Soprano Cornet and Bb Bass, as well as not having a Trombone player who reads bass clef. So now it works for every instrument in the band!

The available parts are as below, with the intended instrument in bold:
1 Bb Cornet; 1 Eb Cornet
2 Bb Cornet
3 Bb Cornet
4 Bb Cornet; 4 Eb Horn; 4 F Horn
5 Eb Horn; 5 Bb Cornet; 5 F Horn
6 Baritone TC; 6 Trombone BC
7 Baritone TC; 7 Trombone BC
8 Trombone BC; 8 Baritone TC
9 Euphonium TC; 9 Euphonium BC
10 Tuba BC; 10 Eb Bass; 10 Bb Bass

Whilst this is great, I suggest you buy my full brass band arrangements if you are using every instrument, as the extra parts are simply a transposition and are not ideal for those instruments.

If you have purchased a 10 piece brass arrangement off me, you can download an updated version on Sheet Music Plus. If you have any other issues with the arrangements, please contact me.

A Night Like This button

A Night Like This | Caro Emerald | Brass Band

From the popular Dutch jazz singer comes a catchy tune you won’t get out of your heads once you start playing it. Written for Tredegar Town Band for their performance at the Dutch Nationals in 2015, this arrangement features a solo for trombone, but can be played by any soloist in the band.

Check out the music video if you’re not familiar with the song. I love the use of sax in the original recording, plus it has such a cool vintage vibe about the whole thing.

The arrangement follows the original track for a couple of verses, but then breaks into a samba feel to give it some interest. Featuring two mallet percussion parts plus drum kit and aux percussion, this arrangement will certainly bring some sparkle to your concerts.

Close To You

Close To You | Burt Bacharach | Brass Ensemble

Written for Tredegar Town Band for their 2014 Brass In Concert program, this arrangement used the mellow tones of 6 flugelhorns with 6 trombones along with tuned percussion. It aims to capture the essence of an amazing performance of the tune by Burt Bacharach and Barbara Streisand on a Emmy award winning TV special entitled “Singer Presents Burt Bacharach

Ian Porthouse, MD for Tredegar, provided the idea for the arrangement, including a transition into their next piece With A Little Help From My Friends. This version is the one with a complete ending, as played by the band at a pre-contest performance. The arrangement calls for a talented Vibraphone player, along with a solid Bass Trombonist and a soloistic 1st Flugel. The latin vibed ending can use more percussion if you wish, although a light feel is preferred.

For those bands that don’t have access to 6 flugelhorns and 6 trombones, I’ve also reorchestrated it for the more standard 10 piece Brass Ensemble. There are small differences between the two versions, with 2 less instruments but the structure stays the same. The Vibraphone part is also cued in the brass, to make this version playable in all situations.

Close To You

Unfortunately, the arrangement didn’t make it onto the Brass In Concert DVD that year, so I only have a low quality recording of it. If your band buys this piece, I’d love to hear how your version sounds! Connect with me on Facebook or Twitter to let me know.

Here’s a score video so you can listen and follow along.

Six Songs from "A Shropshire Lad"

Six Songs from “A Shropshire Lad” | George Butterworth | Baritone and Wind Ensemble

Six Songs from “A Shropshire Lad” | George Butterworth | Baritone voice and Chamber Wind Ensemble

The very lovely setting of A.E. Housman‘s poems by George Butterworth, reorchestrated for Chamber Wind Ensemble, was commissioned by the Maidstone Wind Symphony for their recent Concert of Remembrance entitled “A Time For Peace“.

Composed in 1911 for baritone voice and piano, this collection of short pieces utilises poems from A.E. Housman’s “A Shropshire Lad” published in 1896. The words have been woven into a delicate and moving composition, with the emotions contained in the text expertly drawn out through use of dynamics and phrasing.

The delicate nature of the original pieces has been kept, with the voices of the wind orchestra giving a new timbral twist to the music. The reality of growing up in wartime is prevalent in the theme of the music and is captured well by Butterworth’s original. There has been a few orchestral settings of these songs, but this arrangement is to be the first for wind band.

Premiered by Martin Hindmarsh and a selection of the Maidstone Wind Symphony players, the performance was delicate and true to the original essence of the piano accompaniment. You can listen to a recording of their performance (whilst admittedly a poor quality) on the score video below.

For Once In My Life

For Once In My Life | Tenor Solo with Piano

For Once In My Life | Tenor Solo with Piano

THE ARRANGEMENT

A few years ago, good friends of mine were getting married and asked if I could arrange this song for their ceremony, to be sung by a tenor with piano accompaniment. I wanted to write a completely new take on this classic song, so decided to set it as a ballad, rather than the popular Stevie Wonder version which is uptempo. I also had a very good pianist and tenor soloist, so consequently, the difficulty of the arrangement is at an advanced intermediate level, with the tenor going up to a Bb and the piano part containing a lot of black notes! I was really happy with how it turned out, but unfortunately couldn’t fly to Australia just for the wedding and they didn’t record it. So now it’s available to purchase, in the hope that someone would enjoy singing it and maybe even send me a recording!

THE SONG

Written for the Motown label, it first was recorded by Barbara McNair, followed by a host of others in a ballad style, until Stevie Wonder pumped up the tempo and reached #2 on the U.S. Billboard charts. It eventually was the title track for his album of the same name, and features the amazing Funk Brothers, most notably James Jamerson for his incredible bass playing on this track, known to be one of the greatest example of his style. Stevie Wonder also provided the harmonica solo on the track.

THE VIDEO

Check out this amazing live version of the song by Stevie Wonder at the 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame concert in 2009. It doesn’t get any better than this!

PRINTING TIPS

Beautifully laid out, the score and parts are easy to read and available NOW for digital download at www.sheetmusicplus.com, thanks to the Arrange Me program at SMP Press. We suggest you print on 80gsm paper, to ensure that the copies last longer in your library. For more printing tips, visit here

Easy Pop Combo

Easy | The Commodores | Pop Combo

Easy | The Commodores | Pop Combo

THE SONG

Written by Lionel Richie, Easy is a classic power ballad that features a ripping guitar solo and reached #1 on the US RnB charts. The lyrics are a typical breakup song, with “easy like a Sunday morning” being the main hook referring to not being depressed about the breakup, but instead free to live his life without “chains”.

THE CHART

Arranged for Pop Combo, with three horns (Trumpet, Tenor Sax & Trombone) and backing vocals, this is a faithful recreation of the original Commodores hit. The groove is piano driven, and contains many hits, which the drummer can complement with fills. The shuffle style, with swung 16th’s, should be relaxed and tight.

THE VIDEO

Check out the classic music video from The Commodores. I just love the outfits and afros!

THE COVER

Many people will know this song from the Faith No More cover, released in 1992/93 with separate European and US versions. There is not much difference in structure between the two, although the cover version is heavier in style and tone. Because of this, you can feasibly use this arrangement to play the Faith No More version, with a few alterations.

PRINTING TIPS

Beautifully laid out, the score and parts are easy to read and available NOW for digital download at www.sheetmusicplus.com, thanks to the Arrange Me program at SMP Press. We suggest you print on 80gsm paper, to ensure that the copies last longer in your bands library. For more printing tips, visit here

Can't Take My Eyes Pop Combo

Can’t Take My Eyes Off You | Frankie Valli | Pop Combo

Can’t Take My Eyes Off You | Frankie Valli | Pop Combo

THE SONG

From the catalogue of the hugely popular Frankie Valli, lead singer of The Four Seasons, this song has been covered by hundreds of artists over 4 decades, and featured in the hit Broadway and movie musical The Jersey Boys. With smooth vocals and a kicking horn section, this tune is a must have for any cover band.

THE CHART

Written to be easily performed by entertainers who work with house bands, this arrangement is true to the original track and can be played without horns if needed. With a fully notated vocal part, along with accurate transcriptions of all the melodies, you can be sure that what is written in the parts is exactly what you want to hear. The horn section is perfectly balanced, whilst keeping the original parts and easily readable. This arrangement also features an optional ending not heard on the original track, but often asked for by performers.

ENTERTAINERS

Having worked with many different bands over the years, I’m in tune with the needs a singer has to be able to recreate the original sounds when performing.  Many charts I have played myself lack the amount of detail needed to easily rehearse and perform a tune, often with disastrous consequences. My charts are road tested and you can be assured that a good band will enjoy playing the arrangement due to its ease of reading and well laid out parts. All the parts are idiomatic of their instruments, with certain idiosyncrasies taken into account for each musician.

PRINTING TIPS

Beautifully laid out, the score and parts are easy to read and available NOW for digital download at www.sheetmusicplus.com, thanks to the Arrange Me program at SMP Press. We suggest you print on 80gsm paper, to ensure that the copies last longer in your bands library. For more printing tips, visit here

Should I Stay Jazz Ens

Should I Stay Or Should I Go | The Clash | Jazz Ensemble

Should I Stay Or Should I Go | The Clash | Jazz Ensemble

THE CHART

Written specifically for Swing Punks, the amazing London big band who play punk tunes in a jazz style, this vocal arrangement has all the bells and whistles. Starting in a bluesy swing style, see if you can pick up all the quotes as you progress through the chart. When it kicks into double time, it’ll get your audiences toes tapping just enough for you to snap them back to a languid blues atmosphere. With an open solo section this chart comes alive, allowing for soloists to take the tune where they want to. Double time ensues after that, with a big ending to finish this cracking chart.

THE SONG

Released in 1981, Should I Stay became The Clash’s only UK number 1 single, albeit 10 years after in a reissued single. It made 228 in Rolling Stones Top 500 and features Spanish backing vocals, in a strange twist.

THE BAND

Swing Punks (www.swingpunks.com) are an exciting big band based in London, UK who take the best punk music and turn it into swinging big band music. Featuring 3 vocalists and a full complement of horns, their shows are full of energy and pizzazz. I’ve been lucky enough to play with them a few times since moving closer to London, and I always enjoy mixing it up with such great musicians.

PRINTING TIPS

Beautifully laid out, the score and parts are easy to read and available NOW for digital download at www.sheetmusicplus.com, thanks to the Arrange Me program at SMP Press. We suggest you print on 80gsm paper, to ensure that the copies last longer in your bands library. For more printing tips, visit here

Heavenly Father SATB

Heavenly Father | Bon Iver | Choir

Heavenly Father | Bon Iver | Choir

The Arrangement

Recently, I was asked to write an arrangement for choir of the fantastic track Heavenly Father by Bon Iver. The performance he gave at the Sydney Opera House in 2016 as part of Vivid Live, featuring The Staves, was so breathtaking that I immediately agreed to transcribe and arrange the song.

An earthy arrangement that features a soloist and some extra special choral effects, this tune is full of emotions and reaches an amazing climax that will wow your audience. Featured in the movie Wish I Was Here by acclaimed director Zach Braff and scored for SATB Choir and soloist.

The Purchase

The arrangement is available at Sheet Music Plus at the below link. If there’s one piece of music you purchase for choir this year, make it this one!

Live performance

The performance Bon Iver delivered at the Sydney Opera House really took this song to a new level, giving it such emotion and power that takes your breath away. Utilising subtle body percussion and some exquisite voices, this video is a must watch if you wish to recreate the song at the highest level.

Original recording

The original track that Bon Iver recorded on the Wish I Was Here soundtrack uses an electronic choir for the drone, but Justin Vernon’s earthy voice remains the same – such an emotive tone and inflections. The song was written immediately after Justin viewed the film, an immediate reaction to the visuals of director Zach Braff. The film premiered at Sundance Film Festival and received mixed reviews – but the soundtrack was critically acclaimed with songs from The Shins and Coldplay.

Printing tips

Beautifully laid out, the score and parts are easy to read and available NOW for digital download at www.sheetmusicplus.com, thanks to the Arrange Me program at SMP Press. We suggest you print on 80gsm paper, to ensure that the copies last longer in your choirs library. For more printing tips, visit here