Arranging for Big Band – Preparation #1

I know alot of you guys are interested in arranging for big band, so I thought I would do a few quick lessons on the steps and issues that need to be considered before you put one note on paper (or in your computer!)  Consider the arranger’s equivalent of the carpenter’s saying “measure twice, cut once.”

The more time and careful effort you take preparing a chart to be written will undoubtedly save you time, energy, and frustration in the long run.

This first lesson will show you the items that I consider to be the most basic (and the most important) things to consider when beginning to work on a big band chart.

Some of these specifics will be covered more in detail in subsequent video lessons in this series, but if you do have any questions, feel free to leave them (or comments) in the comment section below.

NOTE: for best viewing, click on the upper right hand corner of the video to expand out to a full screen. (running time is 10:22)

(Transcription in PDF format coming very soon)

3 Replies to “Arranging for Big Band – Preparation #1”

  1. Kenneth Jackson

    Jim, Yes notation software. I got Notion 4 because it was on sale and a lot less expensive then Sibelius. I hope that is ok and it’s not a bad notation, but of course, Sibelius or Finale is better, I’m sure. Would that be a problem using it in scoring for jazz orchestra?

    Thank you

  2. Jim Martin

    Kenneth, there is a $9.95 version of Finale, just google it. I am unfamiliar with the notation software you mentioned. finale and Sibelius are the two most widely used. You can’t go wrong with either platform. Check Ebay for older versions of either, you can probably pick them up pretty cheap.

  3. Fredo Vollmer

    And there is MuseScore (Free!).

    It is Ok, you can get very good results, it has most features you could want. Its look and feel is similar to Sibelius.

    But … it obviously is not as fast to work with it as with Sibelius. Lots of shortcuts are not there … but you will get your score done. It is worth a try and test. It’s freeware, no virus, no adware. Just an excellent software made for musicians composing and printing scores!

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