pop, rock and dance arrangments

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by James McFadyen, Oct 16, 2003.

  1. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    The list below are arrangments I would like to write, if your interested in any of them, and perhaps may be tempted to buy any of them, please say so....

    Sundown S Club 8
    Sunshine Gareth Gates
    She's like the Wind from Dirty Dancing
    Maybe Emma Bunton
    Sk8er Boi Avril Lavigne

    Thank you.
  2. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    i'm not sure skater boy would be the most interesting piece... lots of power chords and stuff.

    however, if you feel like arranging sweet child o mine i'd be bugging people to buy it!
  3. i think an arrangement of skater boy would be quite good....
  4. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    Actually, Sk8ter Boi doesn't contain much, if any power chords. Remember Power Chords on the Electric Guitar are the 1st and 5th of the Chord, I think you're just confusing it with Chords that 'sound' powerfull. Anyhow, you wouldn't score power chords exactly as it would be for electric guitar, we would tend to make the chord complete.

    As for Sweet Child of Mine, not keen on that one, November Rain is a much better and more of an 'anthem' song by Guns 'n' Roses.
  5. Aidan

    Aidan Active Member

    No offence here.
    But most "pop" songs sound poo for band...
    Due mainly to the fact that the rhythms have to be notated exactly to fit our duration of notes (ie. quvers, dotted crotchets etc..) So most pop rhythms sound very "wooden".
    Therefore I wouldnt consider buying or getting my band to buy them.
    They may do for the odd concert for "novelty (comedy) value" but I wouldnt want to subject a paying audience to this genre of music when there are so many nice pieces out there.
  6. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    Care has to be taken when describing pop arrangments. Sparke's version of 'Music' is by no means poo or derogatory to the original.

    When poeple think of pop tunes for Brass Band, they think of the arrangments by Frank Bernerts. With no disrespect to Frank, his arrangments break a major rule in arranging. The absolute rule you MUST follow when arranging is that your arrangment must sound like an original composition. This often means altering to fit the Brass Band idiom.

    ou will notice Philip's arrangment of 'Music' sounds like it was originally written Brass Band and NOT in fact an arrangment - well done Philip (said with no disrespect :lol: ) Truly a master of the Brass Band idiom.

    It purely depends on the arranger and his skill to take someting written for guitars, etc and re-write it for the Brass Band, it simply isn't a copy and paste job, like many amateur arrangers do, folk doing degree's will learn to get out of this pitfall. It's similar to arranging from a Piano score.

    Anyhow, I do agree, some pop arrangments aren't too great, but it would be nice to have some faith that I could do the job better than the 'one-stop-factory-for-cheesy-arrangments' that I think you are mainly refering to.
  7. tewkeshorn

    tewkeshorn Account Suspended

    Hehe we were talking about this at practice last night actually. :)

    We reckoned there out to be a sop solo of 'I Believe in a thing called love' by The Darkness, and Electric Six's 'Gay Bar' would make a great trom/bass trom solo! :p
  8. stephen2001

    stephen2001 Member

    The problem is with pop songs, is that the bass line is very repetative, and will really anno any bass player who has to play the same rythmn in a bar hundreds of times!
    That's my personal opinion of it anyway!
  9. tewkeshorn

    tewkeshorn Account Suspended

    Thats nothing new though is it? Bass players playing the same thing over and over :wink:
  10. Janet Watkins

    Janet Watkins Member

    How true!!!!

    Janet (Stephen's Mum and a Bass player 8) )
  11. Hmmm. not my sort of music so i cant really say but if you are into that sort of thing, then go for it.
  12. Cornetto

    Cornetto Member

    No offence but....

    in my opinion there are very few pop tunes you could arrange for band that would sound half decent, unless you kind of rewrote it in a kind of big band jazz arrangment (a la Arturo Sandoval's Americana album and even that gets cheesy!). Basically the only things that really transcribe well for band are instrumental wind pieces, but even then it's often not written for the actual instruments. Trust me, ive done some s***e arrangements!

    My advice: Don't bother, and why would anyone want to listen to those tunes when you can just buy the original version in the shop down the road?

    My request: Please don't!! If they are played then your only making the movement as a whole look bad, (or even worse!), from a public viewpoint.
  13. Cornetto

    Cornetto Member

    Ok, I apologise for what I just wrote... totally unhelpful and very dismissive!

    Advice - if you want to arrange something for band try a big band number or something along those lines. The sax parts trancribe onto horns/baris and the rest is like for like. Basically, it works and audiences love it. Good luck with whatever you do.
  14. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    There seems to be a bit of dis-trust in my abilities as a professional.

    My name is not [Mod:*edited*] and I for one want to improve pop arrangments in the Brass Band movement, if you have played 'not quite great' pop tunes, then perhaps someone needs to be talking to your conductor!!

    I respect your opinions all the same, though.

    As a big Jazz fan and as a well-experienced Jazz Instrumentalist, I can honestly say that Brass Bands and Jazz don't mix, they do work in a rather old-fasioned way, but to me, the basses always lend a overly-heavy clumpy effect in the staccato walking basses, often marked quassi pizz :lol:

    Any other suggestions for arrangments?
  15. Brian Bowen

    Brian Bowen Active Member

    I'm a bit removed from pop brass band music, but from what I've heard on "Listen to the Band" in recent times some of the arrangements are lame and add little to the advancement of the brass band movement or its culture - just the opposite, in fact. Weak "tunes" which rely on singers' idiosyncrasies and/or production gimmicks are hardly a worthwhile resource for band arranging. While my taste is for more original music, I'm sure there are some creative arrangers around.
    Brian Bowen
  16. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    I think it all depends upon the tune and the arranger. Some just don't work, but there are a few which do (alas these are rare beasts indeed), Ruby Tuesday is particularly good. Love the idea of doing the Darkness track (Sop Solo?). What about David Gray?, the slower stuff probably suits better.

    Anyway you keep plugging away James. If they haven't played it yet they shouldn't criticise. Keep an open mind folks.
  17. James McFadyen

    James McFadyen New Member

    Thanks Steve! :lol:

    All your posts have been very interesting, indeed!

    Are you sure that's what you all think, I bet Mr Bernerts sales will contradict your posts.

    Perhaps Brass Bands are taking a fresh outlook on the music they play today.

    I do think however, your still letting your own idea of pop/rock tune arrangment practices bog you down.

    I studied as a Sond Engineer and my experience is pretty wide, so I'm well aware that there are some pop tunes which rely on heavy production tools, etrc, etc. To a top rate composer/arranger, which I believe myself to be, works around these, as I've said earlier, 'Music' by Philip Sparke is a fine example of how true arranging shold be carried out. It would most greatful if Mr Sparke, or indeed Darrol Barry lend a post here backing up the things I've said about practical arranging techniques, perhaps a known name will help ease you mind a little.

    I would still like to arrange one of the tunes. I know your trying to help, ut I really don't need reminded that the bass lines are drab and that pop arrangments are badly arranged - it does kinda insult me a little, without hearing my music, you judge it upon what others wrote. I have to live with that sort of thing everyday and trust me a an up and comming composer making little money, these sorts of thing really make you think 'what's the point, anymore, why compose at all?'. Although I do respect your artistic opinions, I do believe that too much focus has been brought to this.

  18. Mike Saville

    Mike Saville Member

    I have to agree with the comments about brass bands playing Jazz/Big Band music. Having done this stuff professionally I can say that brass bands swing like a lead balloon - no mater how good the band! Sorry folks, but that's the truth. :D

    I think arrangements fall into 2 types: firstly the functional stuff which we hate playing and the punters love to listen to, these are those naff pop arrangements, easy to play and good for the summer. Then there are the good arrangements but messers Fernie, Barry, Richards et al which move away from cheesy transcriptions to something which is more representative of the brass band idiom.
  19. Aidan

    Aidan Active Member

    There definately is now!!
    Keppler: Edited :?
  20. lynchie

    lynchie Active Member

    I'm not saying arrangements of chart songs are all bad. Just that I can't see Skater Boy becoming a great piece. (That's the only one I can sing in my head so I'll reserve judgement on the rest!) It just doesn't seem to have enough depth to it.

    It seems to me that good chart songs arranged for band usually have a big horn section in them anyway which helps to add depth to the arrangement.

    However, it may be that when you arrange these pieces you add something to them that makes them more interesting which I would be all for. I'll wish you luck with it, and hope you prove me wrong!

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