Creating music charts
I intend to create a series of short videos presenting handwritten music demonstration from scratch, including extra charts for sax, vocalist sheet, etc.
I was the most organised bandleader in Cape Town in my time. I believe other similar bands could benefit from my organisational skills.
We designed and built an LED display (will upload photos, later) which allowed me to select the upcoming song while playing another, ad lib. We never used set lists. It doesn’t work in a functions band!
A vitally important dynamic in a gig functions band (for weddings, corporates, etc.), is song-to-song continuity. When you have succeeded in filling the floor, the cardinal rule for keeping people on the floor, is to have the absolute minimum time between songs. If you pause just that LITTLE bit too long, the exodus begins, your entire set becomes a failure, and they don’t come back! In fact, we would sometimes segue from one song to the next, per hand signals. We even had groups of songs (not medleys. I hate them!) that were arranged as segues).
I will start by showing a full page of blank manuscript which I custom designed myself, in MS Word, with text boxes for headings, tempos, instrument allocations, etc. I merely typed lines using the underscore function, reduced the font size until it was right, made 5 equidistant lines in a row, forming a stave, and repeated the stave, separated by sufficient space, until the page was full. I don’t have to store reams of them, as I can print them out at will.
Musicians will be surprised to learn you don’t have to go out and buy music manuscript books, which are usually not exactly what you need, are stapled together, overpriced and would have to be unstapled and guillotined so they can be used separately and will never be exactly the right size (A4) for inserting into flip-file pads (plastic sheaths), which have kept the paper from yellowing or fading, and protect them from inadvertent spillages! very unsatisfying, frustrating and counter-productive. We had such a large notated repertoire, that each band member had 3 full pads of music.
Of course, the technology now exists where one could scan all the charts into iPads and have a bluetooth system allowing the bandleader to select the next chart on everyone’s iPad, but that could prove expansive and sometimes impractical.
I then found suitably-sized treble and bass clef graphics on the net, inserted the clefs at the beginning of each stave on the page, and often pre-entered 4 bar lines per stave (as musicians will know, classical era songs, and especially folk music and modern songs since the late 19th century, often have 4, 8, 16 bar phrases, i.e. multiples of 4), so when sight reading, it becomes easier to read ahead.
In the same video or the second (depending on my time allocation – max 10 minutes), I will demonstrate writing a keyboard part by hand, explaining a little as go, and getting as far as I can in ten minutes.