Is Self-Publishing Worth the Effort?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by DocFox, Dec 16, 2016.

  1. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Active Member

    A much better sounding version - for my ears there is too much happening in the percussion (xylophone ?) I find it distracts from what could be an interesting bit of writing.
    Personally I would like to hear a version cut down to about 3 or 4 minutes concentrating on the brass variations.
  2. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    Thank you, Andrew. It is exactly 5 minutes long. I took out two variations I didn't like and even though Mike did a fantastic job with the sound, I doubt any MD would allow the xylophone to dominate like it does in the new mp3.

    Andrew, if you were a brass band MD, and say I cut out one variation (I have one in mind) would you feel that it is interesting enough to download and play? I doubt bands like Black Dyke, Cory, Fountain City, Brighouse & Rastrick and the other top bands would be interested. I might get more interest from 2nd, 3rd, 4th division and non-contesting bands from both sides of the pond, although it is a bit on the difficult side.

    Would you download the score and listen again, and the maybe take the free offer?
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2016
  3. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Active Member

    My band has no tuned percussion - I only have a kit drummer - so it really wouldn't work for me as it is.
  4. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    That rules out quite a few pieces. Several new brass band pieces have parts for timpani and keyboard percussion. I am thinking, in particular, the brass band the arrangement of Leroy Anderson's "The Typewriter" which replaces the typewriter (since everyone now uses computers) with a xylophone. Or Thus Spake Zarathustra and the need for tympani. Of course, there are many others.

    I know good keyboard players are hard to find. They are MUCH easier to find in the US. Nearly every high school has an American Football team, and almost all of them have a marching band. Anyone who can play piano can be taught to play the keyboard (routinely called "the pit instruments" since they do not march). Hence, the high schools turn out experienced keyboard percussionists all the time.
  5. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    Andrew Norman and Mike Lyons -- I have to thank you both for what you have done for me.

    Mike, I have thanked before, but I will again. His mp3 brought forth the possibilities of the piece by improving the sounds.

    Andrew, you have given me much to think about. I sought criticism of the piece and you freely gave your opinion. I defended myself a bit, instead of listening. Your idea of a shorter version without tuned percussion is a very good one. There is no reason for me not to have two versions. I believe I will take your advice and start working on an approximately 3-minute version using only brass and a kit. Why not? The more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea. It would make it playable for a lot more bands.

    Of course, this does not mean I will have arranged a "hit". It just means it puts the piece in the realm of a lot more brass bands. I have been suffering this week from a nasty cold which has had me in and out of bed.

    I will start work on it soon. Andrew, I have you to thank for the idea and me to blame for being a bit stubborn. You made a very good suggestion and I think I will take that suggestion to heart.
    Jack E likes this.
  6. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Active Member

    I would be happy to make it available through my website. I don't have a way of counting the free downloads but I can ask people to email when they take it if you are interested.
    Score Exchange is so big it might just be that people are not finding it.
    All the best
  7. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    If you are happy with it, you could do worse than publish through smpPress. You would have to charge for it, but if you charge a nominal amount that shouldn't put people off. I know you aren't bothered about gaining an income from it, so maybe you could donate any revenue to a charity? Just a thought.

    No need for thanks, Jim, "We're all in this together" as our fascist government are wont to say!

    If the xylophone part is too prominent, I could re-do the mp3. I actually turned it up a bit as I felt it was being drowned out in a few places. Maybe better to adjust it by using dynamics?
  8. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    Andrew - Thanks, I will think about it. This darn cold is driving me crazy.

    Mike - your offer is very kind. In the "primordial soup" of SoundExchange only about half the pieces have mp3s. Most of them sound worse than my attempt. Yours is so much better so it gives me a leg up. Andrew, I will probably take your gracious offer once I get the shorter version done you suggested.

    Merry Christmas All!
    Andrew Norman likes this.
  9. DocFox

    DocFox Retired

    This thread has gone quiet, which happens to all threads. I still invite criticism. You can post on the thread or send me a personal message if you are a late comer to the thread.
  10. knuxie35

    knuxie35 Member

    The main issue with self-publishing is reach. On our own, marketing can be a nightmare. I use two worldwide resources to get my stuff out there: Amazon and Sheetmusic Plus. Try them out.
  11. Chuk_rok

    Chuk_rok New Member

    Hi Jim, had a listen. Please bear with me as I have no specific skills as an arranger/composer myself so opinions are just mine as a listener

    I agree with Andrew - it needs to be shorter, and the percussion does nothing for me, it just distracts from what could be nice sounding brass. The other thing I would say is that I have no idea of the tune, before or after listening to it. That may be a balance thing on the recording.

    Having said that, there are a couple of really nice variations in there, the one around 4.20 was really interesting
  12. David Broad

    David Broad Member

    To be honest it is not something I would play. The chords don't resolve as I would expect as a listener and the xylophone / BBb bass part sounds liken the player has mis read the time signature and is playing twice as fast as he should be. Working up a 5 minute piece is a major commitment of rehearsal time for a band like ours, at least a couple of hours. Listen to Pacibel's Canon "Variations on a Ground Bass" to see how a variation should be done, but to answer the question honestly at the risk of bruising your ego, self publishing seems quite valid but you need good quality engaging pieces, like your quintet and a good range of pieces if you want a good number of people to perform and enjoy your music.

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