I first came across the Dick Grove Arranging book when I was doing a Master’s at DePaul University in Chicago. We used his material throughout a full year arranging course I completed for horns, strings, and jingle writing.
The concepts he taught completely changed my way of thinking about arranging. The whole idea of manipulating span, weight, and density as a basis for an arrangement was completely new to me. It took me out of the thought process of treating the big band as 4 different sections. After being exposed to the Grove Method of Arranging, I started thinking of the big band as more of a collection of players whereby you could mix and match instruments without always relying on voicing each section as one individual unit.
I stumbled across the following videos on YouTube and thought I would post them all here for you. These apparently come from Dick’s correspondence course that included videos, text, and even phone help.
I especially like the philosophy of getting arrangements played immediately by good players after writing them. Oftentimes I think aspiring writers slow the learning process down because the players that first play their charts do not do them justice enough to make judgements on how good the writing actually is. More often than not they are butchered by less experienced players without enough rehearsal. The result is the arranger comes away with a bad feeling and a lack of confidence in their abilities, when that might not be the case at all.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy these.