Marching Tutorials

We spend a lot more time working on music than we do on marching, but we can still use a little marching help now and then to look SHARP.

 

TBGO Rehearsal Music


Here's some help with learning the TBGO music.  Click on the various links to listen and play along. Songs are listed in alphabetical order after a "General Stuff" section that applies to all our music.

To download songs to your own machine

Right-click on the link to a song, choose "Save Target As ...", select the folder on your device where you want to place the recording, and then click the Save button. The recording will download to the selected folder. You can play it back by double-clicking the downloaded file or playing it back in any of your favorite players.

 


General Stuff for All Tunes (Be Sure to Read This Part!)

 

Help with Jazz Rhythms

While it's not the center of gravity of what we play, we DO sometimes play music with a jazz feel. Jazz isn't really harder to play than other styles of music, but it has a different idiom that many marching band players haven't encountered before. The first thing to recognize is that (for most jazz tunes), the rhythm of eighth notes is SWUNG, not STRAIGHT. In standard music notation, when you play a pair of eighth notes you split the beat exactly in have; that is, each note takes exactly half the beat. Swung eighth notes are written so that they look exactly the same, but are played differently -- the first note takes roughly 2/3 of the beat and the second note takes only 1/3 of the beat. When playing "standard" rhythms, a string of eighth notes goes dit-dit-dit-dit-dit-dit-dit-dit -- every note the same. But if you are playing swing rhythms, it sounds doo-dit-doo-dit-doo-dit-doo-dit (long-short, long-short, long-short, long-short). It's important to recognize (and play!) the difference because otherwise you won't line up with other players.

Jazz tunes also see a lot of syncopated rhythms, including tied notes that cross the bar line and accents on upbeat notes. Click here for a Help With Jazz Rhythms sheet with a collection of rhythms that you'll see a lot, along with how they should "sound" when you play them so that you'll match style with everyone else.

Another thing that can be helpful to know is that jazz players don't usually tongue every note on the page. You DO want to tongue notes that are accented, but not every note in a string of notes. In particular, a string of eighth notes that are accented on the upbeats have a standard "slur style" that jazz players apply automatically even though they're not written on the page. The typical idea is that you TONGUE the upbeat note and then SLUR to the downbeat note. Here are links to a couple of examples for tunes we play, with parts "marked up" to show where the "invisible" slurs go:  Sing Sang Sung ......... Long Live Texas. The specific parts shown are for saxophone and clarinet, but the same idea applies to other instruments too (you can mark your own part!). Look for the slurs that are marked in red -- they are the "invisible" ones added by the player even though they're not on the page.

 

America the Beautiful

Recorded by TBGO September 9, 2012 .

Any Way You Want It

Recorded by TBGO May 11, 2014.

This is a VERY early recording and still pretty rough. Since we were still in "learning" mode, tempo suffered so the original recording is at around 140 beats per minute. You may also want to try this version speeded up to 152 bpm, which is closer to the tempo we'll use eventually.

Bad Romance

Recorded by TBGO on April 12, 2015.

Full arrangement (from Hal Leonard).

Band of Gold

Recorded by TBGO on May 26, 2019. You may wish to compare with this Finale MIDI playback version.

 

Bang Bang

Recorded by TBGO on March 26, 2017. For comparison, here's the full arrangement from Hal Leonard.

Continued improvement! Remember, "keep it light and sassy!"

The drum licks are also getting better, but you can still hear places where the drums and horns are fighting each other, especially in the choruses. But when it DOES lock in, it's pretty awesome! Rule of thumb: While you're learning the part, it's okay to play fewer but cleaner notes -- go ahead and omit some of those sixteenth notes and hard licks until you've got it all under your fingers.

Beer Barrel Polka

Recorded by TBGO November 20, 2011.

Bend Me, Shape Me

Full arrangement recorded by TBGO November 13, 2011.

Full arrangement (not recorded by TBGO).

Birdland

Recorded by TBGO November 20, 2011. See also the video recording that we did at Hillsboro Stadium on October 29, 2011 (a really good rendition). And here's the audio recording (no video) from that same Hillsboro appearance.

Full arrangement from Arrangers Publishing Company.

IMPORTANT: We play the first 4 measures a total of 3 times (this is DIFFERENT from the ArrPubCo recording). First time is basses only; second time adds Trombone 2; third time adds Trombone 1.

Updated Alto Sax part: Since we're often short on Tenor Saxes, we've cued the tenor part from measure 19 to measure 35 into the alto sax part. (It's now in the standard TBGO handout.)

I've also produced a MIDI version of the tenor sax / baritone / tuba part between measures 19 and 31 to make it easier to hear and rehearse this tricky part. There are versions at full tempo (160 bpm) and at a slow tempo (124 bpm), and you can also hear it with and without melody parts. You can also see the score for the MIDI version so you can tell exactly what's being played in each part.

Blueberry Hill

If you need to print a part for this tune, click here.

A nice, leisurely rendition of Blueberry Hill. No need to play anything too loud; drums especially hold back and stay in the background

Solo trumpet beginning in measure 4 as marked; rest of section joins in bar 12 ("tutti").

Here's a Finale MIDI version to play along with.

Blurred Beautiful

Recorded by TBGO on April 12, 2015.

Here's the latest MIDI version of the chart. This is the version dated 17 July 2014.

Help with the Intro: The opening section of this tune has been a traditional trouble spot, especially among the clarinets. Here's a MIDI recording with just the clarinets, alto saxes, and tubas from bar 1 through bar 9 for you to play along with. This combination of instruments makes the "melody line" through this section when you add them all together. Flutes, you can also use this to rehearse if you like, adding your part where you enter at 6. Clarinets: If you're struggling with the sixteenth notes, try replacing the two sixteenth notes with a single staccato eighth note until you become comfortable.

Bohemian Rhapsody

Recorded by TBGO April 15, 2018. This is the result of six months of hard work on this tune -- you'll like it! I'd still like to get the finale going at a faster tempo; here's a recording we did of just the ending with the tempo that we'd like to hit. And finally, here's the original sample recording of the Tom Wallace arrangement so you can see what else we might aspire to.

Everyone:

Winds:

Percussion:

Aux Percussion:

 

Brick House

Note: We take the "short ending" (bars 49-50). See below for the horn/alto music modification in bars 49-50.

Recorded by TGBO November 20, 2011.

Build Me Up, Buttercup

Recorded by TBGO September 24, 2017. First recording we've done for this tune in a long time, and ... unfortunately it's not great (unsteadiness, tearing and tempo problems). But it's here until we do a better recording.

Closer Walk - The Saints

If you need to print music for this chart, use this link.

If you're not used to reading jazz rhythms, please see the Help with Jazz Rhythms section above.

We use this tune only for special occasions, so recordings are scarce and imperfect. Here's TBGO on August 12, 2018 -- our best recorded version. In this one, there are two solos at the solo section (measure 49).

Here are a few additional recordings to help you out with this chart. These are all MIDI playbacks from Finale. First, here's a version of the entire chart.

The chart is busy enough so that it can be hard to pick out your part when everything is playing at once. To help with that, I've broken out groups of similar instruments in various sections of the tune so that you can heaer what your part is actually doing. There are four sections of the tune:

Find your instrument in each section below and you can listen / play with the appropriate part. You may sometimes have a choice if your instrument is in multiple recordings.

A Section B Section C Section
Flute and Clarinet Flute and Mallets Flute, Clarinet, Tuba
Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, Horn Clarinet, Trumpet, Mallets Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, Tuba
Trumpet and Mallets Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, Horn, Mallets Trumpet, Tuba
Trombone, Baritone, Tuba Trombone, Baritone, Tuba, Mallets Trombone, Tuba
    Baritone, Tuba, Mallets

 

Coach Driver's Love Song

This is one of the tunes done especially for the Chinese New Year Parade.

Recorded by TBGO on January 19, 2014. This one's starting to sound pretty darn good!

Notes:

Confident

Recorded by TBGO April 30, 2017. For comparison, here's a second recording made the same day.

Recording of the Tom Wallace arrangement (not a TBGO recording).

IMPORTANT CHANGES:

Other notes:

Cool Jerk

Recorded by TBGO on January 13, 2013.

Recording of the Allen Gray arrangement of Cool Jerk (not a TBGO recording).

Dancing in the Street

Recorded by TBGO on September 23, 2018. Much better than our debut recording from last week! Still improvements we can make in pitch and style, but it's getting groovy!

Here's a recording of the Tim Waters arrangement (not a TBGO recording).

Desperado

Recorded by TBGO at NWAPA Championships, Hillsboro Stadium, October 29, 2011. This recording is uneven, at least partly because we were amplifying the soloists in the stadium and the balance is a bit strange (we can do a better recording!). But it'll give you something to rehearse with.

Here's a recording of the Ralph Ford arrangement of Desperado (NOT a TBGO recording).

Domino

Full arrangement recorded April 12, 2015 by TBGO.

Note: LBWW here means people playing the Low Brass & Woodwinds part (i.e., tenor saxes, trombones, baritones).

Note: Trash line, this tune should have a very strong emphasis on beats 2 and 4 in each measure, lay off of beats 1 and 3.

Overall: The biggest problems with this tune happen when it gets heavy and sludgy. Even though a lot of the big licks are in the low brass, we need to keep them light and moving -- if you listen to Van Morrison, the feel is close to jazz.

Don't Stop

Full arrangment recorded January 22, 2012 by TBGO.

Auxiliaries: I think we're going to want to extend this tune by adding a second verse (repeating from the end of bar 24 back to the beginning of bar 9). Here's a mock-up of the extended version that I created by cutting-and-pasting from the above recording.

All instruments throughout the piece: Whenever you have a figure that rhythmically looks (wholly or partially) like this, don't treat as a herky-jerky dotted-eighth-sixteenth thing (as written). Instead, mentally translate it into an eighth note shuffle feel; leave a little space between the notes, but we want a more relaxed groovy feel. You'll find this a lot in the low brass parts, but it also appears for a few notes here and there in the melody.

Drum Cadence + Whistle Example

Here's an example of how we use whistles to call a tune and start a roll-off on the parade route. You'll hear the following:

Enter Sandman

IMPORTANT:  You MUST get the TBGO version of Enter Sandman - don't use the original! Four measures have been removed and the music has been marked up to make it easier for the band to figure out how the solo section works.

Recorded by TBGO March 20, 2016.

Here's a recording of just the Enter Sandman Background in case you want to practice your solo.

Here's how we will perform this tune (and it's what happens in the recording):

  1. Steve introduces the tune, counts the band in at the top.
  2. Drums play the opening four bars.
  3. Tubas/drums begin the vamp at M5. We will play this section FOUR times. Steve will do a voiceover during parts of this section. On the second time through the vamp, drums are OUT for just the fourth bar (M8) so that the tubas play solo for one bar. (You can hear this at 0:40). On the fourth time through the vamp, alto saxes and F horns play their parts as marked.
  4. Band enters at M9 and plays through the ending marked "To Next Verse".
  5. Go back to M9. Alto saxes, F horns, tubas, drums play their parts as background; everyone else is OUT as marked. Soloist plays over the top of the background. (Note: trombones enter for just 4 measures beginning at M17.)
  6. Take the ending marked "To Next Verse" again. Solo finishes as we reach the last part of this ending.
  7. Back to M9 to play for the third time with whole band in again.
  8. Take the "Last Time" ending and finish the tune.

Fanfare for the Common Man

Recorded by TBGO on April 12 2015. Our best recording to date! Snare drums and cymbals are missing from this recording; they will add a little extra pop.

MIDI rendition of the arrangement.

Final Analysis

We haven't really started work on this yet, but here's some practice files in case you want a head start.

Here's the MIDI version of our arrangement.

Here's a Frankenstein version edited from the original Don Ellis recording on the Live at Fillmore album, augmented by MIDI where our arrangement differs significantly.

And finally here's just the Percussion Solo section in case you folks want to listen/practice.

Fins

Important: We are using the Tolopka arrangement dated January 20, 2012; do NOT use the Smedley arrangement!

The handouts published at the Jan 22 rehearsal had "two parts on one staff" for several instruments. As requested at rehearsal, I've exploded the flute, clarinet, and trombone parts into separate 1 and 2 parts for those who prefer that format. For a limited time, you can download those parts here and print the page(s) you need.

Recorded by TBGO February 5, 2012.

There's also a MIDI rendition of the arrangement. It's not the finest sound (and some of the articulations are a little funky), but it gives you something different to practice with.

Alternatively, you can go the original Jimmy Buffet recording since our arrangement tracks it pretty nicely. Go for the recording on the album "Songs You Know By Heart"; you can purchase it from Amazon for 99 cents right here.

The trickiest part of this tune is getting the rhythms to be precise for the verses since they're all different. Really - this is what is taking most of our rehearsal time on this tune, and it'll make all the difference in how good this tune sounds. To make it easier for you to get this right, here are MIDI versions of each verse so that you can hear (and practice) without the distraction of other parts. You should also take advantage of the lyrics to help you play the rhythms correctly; the flow of the words should help with the timing. Click below to listen and play along:

Other notes:

Fireball

Recorded by TBGO September 27, 2015.

This has now become respectable, though there are still things that can be improved.

For comparison, here's the original sample recording of the chart (not TBGO).

 

The whole key to this tune is correctly playing the rhythm found in Bar 1 and 2, which looks like this. Other parts have different notes in different places (e.g., Flutes and Clarinets at 17), but sooner or later everyone plays the rhythm shown below. There are three things to watchout for. First, in the 16th-8th-16th figure you must keep the 8th note SHORT (staccato) and on the second quarter of the beat (i.e., it must stand on the "e" of 2-e-and-uh and cannot fall onto the "and". Second, the 16th note that finishes each measure must stay on "uh" and not fall late on the downbeat of 4. I'll refer back to this as the "main lick" in the notes below.

Here's another technique you can use when learning to play tricky rhythms like the ones above. Grab some music paper (or draw some lines!), then write out the difficult measures -- BUT make the duration of each note TWICE AS LONG. (Note: that does mean that you have to insert additional barlines after each four beats.) In the case of the "main lick" rhythm, it would look like this:

Here's the "main lick" with all the notes (and rests) written to be twice as long as the original. Note that TWO bars of the original lick have become FOUR bars here since the notes are twice as long.

You'll probably find that this rhythm is easier to read since it looks more like the notes you're used to seeing. Now play this version; you'll find that it sounds slow. Once you have it down cold, speed up the tempo. Then speed it up again. After you've done that a few times, you'll find that you're counting about twice as fast as the original tempo -- and what you're playing sounds like it's supposed to! I highly recommend this trick for ANY difficult rhythm!

Okay, here are the performance notes:

Five Olympic Fanfares

Here are recordings of the five fanfares (though not by TBGO) plus an edited-together version of the "mashup" that we're doing. We are currently performing only two fanfares:

Click to listen to TBGO recordings made August 5, 2012:

Here are the original recordings (not TBGO):

Five O'Clock World

Recorded by TBGO February 10, 2013. This is the first day we were playing the tune, so we'll post a better recording after we've worked it!

Forget You

We're sneaking up on this one a little at a time! Even though we've performed it in public, this tune is really still in rehearsal. Here's a September 16, 2018 rehearsal recording, which actually has a lot of good stuff in it. The background "chirpy hits at 23 aren't great and there's some odd stuff going on around 32-33 in the melody, but definitely worth a listen. For comparison, here an old recording done in September 2015 that has better "chirps" but is much weaker overall.

Recording of the Tom Wallace arrangement (not a TBGO recording).

Frosty the Snowman

Recorded by TBGO November 10, 2013.

Notes:

Gangnam Style

Recorded by TBGO on December 9, 2012. This is an early recording, plenty of room for improvement! In this recording, it's also hard to hear/distinguish exactly what's going on. For now, I'd refer you back to the La Quinta (California) High School Blackhawks doing this arrangement.

Start by watching the Blackhawks pep band in action at a basketball game. Op! Op! Op!

Okay - here's the same performance as an MP3 file instead of a YouTube video.

And finally: LQHS is playing that tune at about 138 beats per minute (bpm), which sounds great but wouldn't work in a parade. Here's the same performance editing down to 128 bpm, which is closer to parade tempo.

Ghostbusters

Recorded by TBGO on April 7, 2019. We had two alto saxes standing near the recorder during this take, so their part is pretty "forward" - but it's still better than our previously-posted recording!

In case we need it for performances with the Roosevelt HS band, here's the original Doug Adams arrangement (not a TBGO recording).

Gimme Some Lovin'

Recorded on November 20, 2011 by TBGO.

 

Full arrangement from Arrangers Publishing Company.

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen

Recorded by TBGO November 2, 2014.

You might also like to listen to the recording put out by the music publishers; click here to listen to the Arrangers Publishing version.

See Fireball or Uptown Funk or any of our other funky tunes for hints about playing that 16th-8th-16th rhythm correctly. And watch out for the 2/4 bar!!!

Half-Time Caper

This is the fight song for Roosevelt High School. Here's the TBGO recording from September 13, 2015. Make sure you accent, separate, and punch the notes so this sounds like a march (and like a fight song!).

Happy

Recorded by TBGO June 16, 2019. This recording includes the repeat with the additional verse (suitable for the "Happy Dance').

 

Heartache Tonight

Recorded by TBGO March 26, 2017. This version includes a roll-off.

Much better than previous recordings! Tempo is getting locked in, shuffle feel is much improved, and those tricky melody rhythms are working. Yay!

Hey Baby!

Recorded by TBGO November 20, 2011.

High School Never Ends

This recording is in the lower key that TBGO uses. A pretty good recording, although the ending is still a little awkward (we'll get that fixed!)

Here are two recordings for you, both in the lower key that TBGO uses. The first was recorded by TBGO on January 13, 2013. This recording is less precise than February 24, 2013 recording, but has much better balance. (We are too "percussion-forward" on the Feb 24 recording"). Listen to the first one for balance and the second one for how to play you part more cleanly.

Percussion: Be careful not to rush the intro - it kinda wants to take off! For example, in the Feb 24 recording, I actually slowed down the drum into by 4% in editing, which brought it right in line with the tempo we actually want (and that the band played).

Recording of Dave Henning arrangement. (Not a TBGO recording.) This is in the original key, so you can listen to it for style and rhythms, but can't play along with it. There are also a couple of places where the rhythms are slightly different than the way we play it.

Horse, The

Recorded by TBGO on June 26, 2016. It's loud and the drums kinda dominate, but good enough to rehearse with. Click here and prepare to ride!

Hot Stuff

Full arrangement recorded by TBGO November 13, 2011.

I'm Shipping Up to Boston

Recorded by TBGO March 12, 2017. A very nice recording!

Hal Leonard recording.

IMPORTANT: We are ignoring the fermata in measure 79; i.e., just treat it like a whole note and keep going. The last long note lasts a total of 3 measures (6 beats). Be sure to do a good forte-piano and late crescendo!

Auxiliary units and support staff: We'd love for you to learn (and shout) the Sailor's Lament that happens in the second woodwind chorus (just before measure 61). You'll hear it on the recording about 1:05 into the recording. Here are the words:

I'm a sailor peg,
And I lost my leg,
Climbing up the topsails, I lost my leg.

Jingle Bell Jam

A work in progress! Here's our first version, recorded October 7, 2018 after about 20 minutes of rehearsal. This recording is (ahem!) a bit leisurely; here it is speeded up to approximately performance tempo.

And for good measure: here's the (non-TBGO) recording.

Jingle-Bell Rock

Note: This is the ONE PAGE version marked "TBGO Street Edition".

Recorded by TBGO September 23, 2018. This is our first day rehearsing the tune but it's coming together. Still problems with swing/shuffle feel and rhythms in some places; listen to this MIDI rendition if you're having trouble with those things.

Joy to the World

Starts in bar 2 ("Jeremiah was a bullfrog"); we skip the awkward bar 1.

Full arrangement recorded by TBGO November 13, 2011.

Jump

Recorded by TBGO on June 16, 2019. THis recording is becoming more musical, with better balance and clearer statements of the melody wherever it occurs. Still can't hear the "back and forth" sections (see bar 13-16 below for one example). But definitely our best sound so far.

Recording of the Jay Bocook arrangement (not TBGO).

Here's a concert band recording of a similar (but not identical) Jay Bocook arrangement. This is an excellent recording for balance and style - very clear, easy to hear the "back and forth" sections. Highly recommend a few listenings since it'll help you a lot!

Here are a few notes on things to watch out for, but the best idea is to listen to the Jay Bocook recordings for style, balance, articulations, and precise placement of notes.

Last Night

Full arrangement.

Long Live Texas

Recorded by TBGO March 20, 2016.

Swing Style: Note that The Yellow Rose of Texas (which goes from measure 75 to just before the end) is written in Swing (Jazz) style. See the Help with Jazz Rhythms section for more info and playing aids on learning jazz style, including some marked-up saxophone parts that show where "invisible" slurs should be added by the performer to achieve the correct style.

Long Train Runnin'

For a rock tune, this one is pretty complex, with lots of interlayered parts. Use your ear, learn when to bring your part out and when to lay back! The same part (e.g., the "train lick" right at the top) may be important in some places and background in others.

Recorded by TBGO at the NWAPA Championships, Hillsboro Stadium, October 29 2011.

Here are some MIDI selections to help you get some of the licks straight.

Louie Louie (Johnnie Vinson)

Here's the Johnnie Vinson version of Louie Louie as recorded by TBGO on March 9, 2015.

You can also listen hear it as part of the American Band / Louie Louie medley.

Mercy Mercy Mercy

Recorded by TBGO on April 12 , 2015.

Here's a MIDI version of bars 5 through 10 so you can hear the drum break and practice with it.

Recording of the original Jay Dawson arrangement (not a TBGO recording).

Mighty Oregon (University of Oregon Fight Song)

Full arrangement recorded by TBGO November 10, 2013.

National Anthem March

Full arrangement recorded by TBGO November 6, 2011.

For grins and giggles, here's the reference version (NOT recorded by TBGO) with a MIDI roll-off.

National Emblem March

Full arrangement recorded by TBGO July 10, 2016 (all repeats).

Nutcracker Christmas Parade

Only read through this once so far, so there's no TBGO recording yet.

Here's the non-TBGO recording of the Allen Gray arrangement.

Olympic Fanfares

See the section on Five Olympic Fanfares.

One Mint Julep

Recorded by TBGO on January 25, 2015.

Because I thought you might enjoy hearing how much the band has improved, I've also left a link to this recording from October 14, 2012.

Recording of the Allen Gray arrangement from Jalen Publishing (not recorded by TBGO).

OSU Fight Song

Full arrangement recorded by TBGO November 13, 2011.

Over Mountains and Valleys

Here's our new second song for the Chinese New Year Parade.

Recorded by TBGO on January 12, 2014. This is version 1.2 with the updated parts.

Recorded by TBGO on January 19, 2014. This is version 1.3 (minor tweaks from previous edition). I've kept both recordings here so you can listen to both and decide which recording you like best!

Over the Rainbow

Recorded by TBGO April 12 2015.

Nice recording here! Big things to remember throughout this piece are:

Overjoyed

Recorded by TBGO on November 2, 2014.

Notes:

Papa's Got a Brand New Bag

Recorded by TBGO on March 10, 2019. This is an improved recording after a first day of real work on the tune. For comparison, here's a recording of the Nick Baratta arrangement (not a TBGO recording).

Notes:

Poker Face

Recorded by TBGO on April 12 2015.

Notes:

Poker Face Street Routine

There's a simple marching routine for Poker Face; first use will be in New Orleans for Mardi Gras in February 2011. Here's how it works:

In "shorthand form", the A Section and B Section are meant to be very similar:

Because the two pieces of music are somewhat different, the number of "normal steps" and the length of "stop time" vary -- but the basic idea remains the same.

  A Section B Section
Slow Steps 8 8
Fast Steps 6 12
Stop On beat 3 On beat 1
Rear Back On beat 4 On beat 4

Proud Mary

Recording of the Allen Gray arrangement (not a TBGO recording).

We will eventually MODIFY this arrangement by putting a slow opening verse on it.

Rolling in the Deep

Recorded by TBGO on January 13, 2013. Pretty decent recording with good balance. Still feels a little rushed (needs more groove). And we have intonation problems in a recurring spot that we need to look at and correct (bars 9-10, , 33-34, 52-53).

Recording of the Michael Brown / Will Rapp arrangement (not a TBGO recording).

Runaway Baby

Recorded by TBGO March 20, 2016. This is starting to cook!

Here's the original sample recording of the chart (not a TBGO recording). (Now go practice!!! <grin>)

Salute to Julie and Homer

Recorded by TBGO on June 26, 2016. This recording has been post-processed to make it somewhat easier to hear and understand the vocal parts.

Basic plan for how it goes:

Santa Baby

Recorded by TBGO on November 6, 2016.

Just for fun, here's the version recorded by TBGO on November 10, 2013 (first day we played it).

For comparison, here's the recording of the Mike Story arrangement (not a TBGO recording).

Notes:

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

A work in progress! Here's our first version, recorded October 7, 2018 after about 20 minutes of rehearsal. This recording is (ahem!) a bit leisurely; here it is speeded up to approximately performance tempo.

And for good measure: here's the (non-TBGO) recording.

Semper Paratus

Full arrangement recorded by TBGO June 28, 2015.

Shut Up and Dance

Recorded by TBGO September 16, 2018. This is our best recording so far, especially for getting the dotted 8th-16th rhythms to be correct and dance-y. Pretty fun. Compare it with this recording from one month earlier, which sounds much more square and boring. The biggest trick is not to let the tied 16th note come too so that it sounds like it falls onto the next downbeat. Take a listen to the original recording of the Matt Conaway chart (not a TBGO recording). Notice how much cleaner and crisper this one sounds! (Work to do ...)

Here are some "aural aids" to help you hear the difference. Here are three MIDI playbacks of the first 10 bars of the tune:

Correct rhythm and articulation. The music sample at right shows the critical bars. Listen
"Square" rhythm. Note how the tied 8th note sounds like it's falling onto the downbeat. The music sample at right shows you what's happening here (compare with the sample above). Listen
"Triplet" rhythm. If you "round off" the rhythm, you get the rhythm shown at right. This is incorrect; it should be "jaggier". (Compare with the samples above.) Listen

Here's one more bit of assistance for the clarinets, alto saxes, 1st trombones, and bells who play the "chirpy" rhythm beginning at measure 15:

Correct rhythm and articulation. Music sample is shown at right. Two things to pay attention to are the LENGTH of the notes and the RHYTHMIC PLACEMENT of the notes. In particular, notice how the SOUND of every note is the same length although the written form looks different. Basically, the dotted 8th notes are just there to make it easier to read, but the length of each note is the same because of the staccato markings. Listen

 

Sing a Song

We've added a chorus to this tune that we use for most shows. (We may use the "original version" with no repeat from time to time, so there are recordings below done both ways.) The added chorus works as follows:

Here are November 2011 recordings done by TBGO:

For reference, here's a recording not done by TBGO.  IMPORTANT: This does NOT include the 24 bar repeat that we've added!

Sing Sang Sung

Full arrangement recorded by TBGO October 2, 2016. Not quite up to tempo yet and there are issues with rhythms and intonation, but it's beginning to sound like it's supposed to!

Swing Style: Sing Sang Sung is written in Swing (Jazz) style. See the Help with Jazz Rhythms section for more info and playing aids on learning jazz style, including some marked-up saxophone and clarinet parts that show where "invisible" slurs should be added by the performer to achieve the correct style.

Here are some recordings at various tempos (tempi?) you can use while working through your part. Listen for style, articulation, and balance as well as getting rhythms right. And swing, baby, swing!

Here's a clip of the tricky back-and-forth between the high and low brass in Measures 69-72 (preceded by a four beat count-in). You can use this to work that little section so it's clean.

So Very Hard to Go

Recorded by TBGO November 20, 2011. It's not a bad recording, but it is clearly an example of why it's important to work on intonation, dynamics, and blend for this tune!

For trumpet players who would like to practice the solo section, here's a "Music Minus One" version of that section that you can play along with.

A few additional recordings that may help (not TBGO)

Notes:

You get this one right and I promise you it'll bring down the house!

 

Soul Finger

Star-Spangled Banner

Turns out we've never recorded this for ourselves! However, here's a recording of the Texas All-State Philharmonic Orchestra playing the same arrangement / same key.

Sweet Caroline

TBGO rehearsal recording (2013) - includes the modifications described below. The ending of this recording is a bit abrupt since we ended sloppily and I had to edit ... last note should be off right on the fifth beat (downbeat of bar).

Recording of the Allen Gray arrangement (not a TBGO recording).

We have MODIFIED this arrangement as follows:

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

This is the arrangement that was supplied to us by the Oregon Symphony in 2014. Recorded by TBGO August 3, 2014.

Takin' It to the Streets

Full arrangement recorded November 20, 2011 by TBGO. (We sound okay here but can play this better; we should do a better recording and replace this!)

Full arrangement from JW Pepper.

More extensive notes need to get posted for this!

TBGO Drum Cadence

Click here for music for the drum cadence (all parts).

Here's a variety of MIDI recordings so you can play along with different combinations of instrumentation.

Tear the Roof Off the Sucker (Give Up the Funk)

Tom Wallace arrangement (not a TBGO recording).

The Beat Goes On Cadence

Recorded January 13, 2013. Contains three full run-throughs (16 measures each). Please note that the trombone lick ("The beat goes on ...") is being played INCORRECTLY here (there's an extra eighth note included); we fix that in an updated recording.

Thriller

This is the arrangement by Paul Murtha, in the Series One Marching Band Series published by Hal Leonard.

Recorded by TBGO on July 20, 2014. The tuba/baritone Groove starting at bar 3 is *almost* correct here. (In fact, it's correct a lot of the time and sooo cloooose the rest of the time.) See below for more on the Groove.

The recording's not great, but here's a fun example of what can happen when we have an enthusiastic crowd egging us on. Here's a version recorded by TBGO at the NWAPA Championships, Hillsboro Stadium, October 29 2011.

Time Warp

Recorded by TBGO on May 26, 2019.

For comparison, here's another recording of the Tom Wallace arrangement (not a TBGO recording). And finally, here's the Purdue All-America Marching Band playing this same arrangement.

Toccata!

Recorded by TBGO March 20, 2016.

Important things to note:

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Here are the recordings from the Augsut 18,2018 rehearsal:

Notes on the above recordings:

Additional observations:

The following recordings make it easier to hear rhythms that are giving people trouble.

For comparison, here's a Finale playback of the chart that can help you learn rhythms.

Here's a concert band recording. This is probably the best way for you to clearly hear and learn the rhythms of the more complicated parts (although to my ear the alto sax is rushing, especially in the early part of the tune). But nice blends and a good way to hear how all the parts fit together.

Here's the official Bonnie Tyler music video. Note that there's a second verse and a longer runout that we don't play. But same key and otherwise the same arrangement, so you can play right along with the recordings.

Here's a link to the lyrics. In the places where you have melody lines that are tricky, it can be VERY helpful to know the lyrics since they'll guide you toward the correct rhythms. You might even want to write them on your part in critical places as a reminder.

Tribute to America

Recorded by TBGO on September 27, 2015. This contains the new "modified" ending; we'll have updated sheet music for you at upcoming rehearsal.

As you work on this tune, pay attention to where you have the lead and where you are in a supporting role. Balance is important throughout, but especially at the key change in middle of the piece where we have three (!) patriotic tunes being quoted by different sections of the band, all at the same time.

Uma Thurman

Recorded by TBGO on August 19, 2018. Compare with the Hal Leonard recording.

Unchain My Heart

Recorded by TBGO April 12, 2015. The snare drums are missing from this recording, which is why you don't hear the cymbals in the drum solo section. But the rest of the solo (and the rest of the recording) is solid.

For comparison, here's a recording of the Chris Sharp arrangement (not a TBGO recording).

Up!

Recorded by TBGO March 10, 2013. This is our first decent recording since we finally got a full rehearsal to work on it! This is the Beta 3 arrangement, which will now be anointed as the final arrangement.

For another idea of what this SHOULD sound like, try this MIDI rendition of the TBGO arrangement.

Uptown Flash

This is a little "walk-on" prelude that lets us use Uptown Funk as a flash-band tune.

Click here to download and print your part.

Click here for a MIDI (Finale) rendition to get the idea of how it's supposed to work.

The repeated sections in Uptown Flash are all "vamps"; i.e., we can repeat them as many times as necessary (not just twice) since it may take longer than two times to get the next group of people in position and ready to play. Director will CUE when to move to the next section. If you're not in sight of the director (because you're still in "hiding"), you can also tell when we move to the next section by listening to when the new part comes in.

In the MP3 above, each section is played exactly twice.

Here's how the sections work:

Note that the first few bars of Uptown Funk are shown on your Uptown Flash part for reference. But the basic idea is that you should flip over to your Uptown Funk part at that point.

Uptown Funk

We're still working on getting the feel of the dotted eighth-sixteenth figure, but we've come a long way! (Not to mention we've finally conquered the dreaded Bar 42!)

Here's our best current recording done on January 24, 2016.

For comparison, here's the original sample recording (not TBGO). Listen to how much crisper it is!

Additional Notes:

Venus

Now we're cookin'! Recorded by TBGO on April 15, 2018. The April 15 recording is cleaner overall, but unfortunately starts a few measures into the tune. If you want ALL the measures, try this February 18 recording instead.

Veterans Salute

Full arrangement (recorded by TBGO on September 23, 2018). This is the NEW arrangement that includes Semper Paratus.

For reference, here's a version not recorded by TBGO.

Washington Post March

Recorded by TBGO February 24, 2013.

Not quite Sousa-precise, but nevertheless a decent recording.

We Like to Party

Recorded by TBGO August 19, 2018.

Here's a full version of the tune from MIDI playback, which may help you hear what sections and rhythms should sound like.

And finally, here's rehearsal material for the drum section as requested. (NOTE: This is out of date since we simplified some transitions on Feb 18, but may still be somewhat helpful).

We Need a Little Christmas

We've only played this through twice so far, so this is pretty rough! Nonetheless, it's something to play with (and learn from). Recorded October 7, 2018 by TBGO. Rollicking good fun!!!

Here's the non-TBGO recording.

We're An American Band

Full arrangement recorded by TBGO on March 8, 2015. We often do this as a medley with Louie Louie; here are the two tunes as a medley (also March 8 2015).

For comparison purposes, here is the Tom Wallace recording.

We have some simple "choreography" (horn swings) that we do with this tune. Here's a copy of the alto sax part for this tune with the horn swings marked so you can see where they go.

Wooly Bully

Recorded by TBGO November 20, 2011.

Word Up

Recorded at TBGO rehearsal on January 25, 2015. You can get it with the repeat or without the repeat. Most of the track is pretty good, though there's a weak entrance for the final strain.

Here's a rendition recorded by TBGO at the NWAPA Championships, Hillsboro Stadium, October 29 2011. It's not as good a recording, but the energy level in the stadium is great fun!

Original arrangement (not recorded by TBGO). This does NOT have the extension described below.

We've added an extra verse/chorus to the original arrangment. This repeat is now marked in all the music we hand out. We normally perform this tune using the repeat, but will occasionally do it with no repeat if we want a shorter version of the tune.

We're also replicating the chant from the original tune each time we reach bars 33-36:

Word Up Cadence and Solos

We also use the tuba lick at the beginning of Word Up as a cadence on the street or for marching into a show. We normally perform it as follows:

YMCA

Full arrangment (uses MIDI instruments).

You're a Grand Old Flag

Recorded by TBGO on June 28, 2015.

We add a vocal verse to this tune as follows:

You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch

Recorded by TBGO on November 6, 2016 -- back in the book after a long absence!

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