Cover Arrangements: Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

If you are a musician who is hired for weddings and other events you are probably asked to cover popular songs. Many of these are so ubiquitous that charts for them are readily available in “Real Books” and “Best of the Decade” collections.

But your customers have a wide range of musical tastes. While you may charge extra for obtaining the sheet music for their request, sometimes it is either not readily available or you need it arranged for a particular combination of instruments (e.g., string quartet, violin and guitar, etc).

If your usual method of arranging a pop song is to play the mp3 or YouTube video over and over while you attempt to transcribe what’s being played, here are a couple of helpful hints:

Continue reading

What Do YOU Want To Know???

I’ve added a new page to this site – in the top bar next to Contact you will now find a link:

What Do YOU Want To Know? Use Betty’s Brain

Do you need

  •  to know something I haven’t addressed?
  •  some topic researched but don’t have good Google-fu skilz?
  •  a piece of music written, transcribed, or the sheet music located?
  • a wingwoman to accompany you to test/buy some gear (musical, tech, even a car)?
  • an acoustic or electric violist/violinist for your event, or to sub at your band’s gig?
  • something else with which I could help? Tell me about it…

I’m available for any of the above – hire my brain! Ask me for a quote:

Web Classes for Sibelius 7 and Finale 2012

I’ve been using the music notation software Sibelius for 4+ years (after initially using an inexpensive app, Noteworthy Composer, which surprisingly is still available!), with occasional forays into Finale since my bandmate uses that. All this time I’ve been “winging it” with Sib… which if you know me means I intuit a lot of it, and Google for info on more arcane functions if I can’t find it in the 500-page not always well indexed pdf manual.

I’ve felt that there are probably more efficient methods to accomplish time-consuming tasks (e.g., inputting notes) than how I do it. But the only accessible source I found for that was Berklee’s online courses, which cost $1,200 (non-credit; more if credit) for a 12-week session. So I was excited to see the Sibelius Blog mention another online course, which costs $199 for a 10-week session!

Granted, it will cost me a bit more than that, because the course specifically covers Sibelius 7, and I only finally upgraded to version 6 in January (while I’m on the cutting edge of a lot of things, I avoid software upgrades like the plague as long as my current version does what I need, since there’s always some “gotcha” requiring hours of tweaking to remediate). But thankfully my educational discount from B&H comes through again, pricing the upgrade at $45 less than retail.

AND… here’s another way to discount that you can use: the course’s website platform offers new users a 20% discount coupon. Just go to their course listing page and fill out your contact info in offer box to be emailed a code for 20% off one course. NOTE: don’t do this until you find a course you want to take, as the coupon expires in 15 days.

The Sibelius 7 course, and also a Finale 2012 course from the same instructor, start June 18th. But they will apparently be run again in the fall. Also FYI this is not a “live” class – all the materials are presented in view-on-demand videos, so you can view and do the exercises on your own schedule.

Check out the other music courses presented though this site, too – besides standard stuff like music theory and guitar lessons, there are some interesting non-Western courses, such as lessons in Indian classical music and  Carnatic violin and vocals!