Love this! Here are my horn charts for trumpet, tenor sax, and trombone.
It’s quite likely this song should be written in 12/8, but I went with 3/4 for simplicity’s sake. Also, I didn’t bother counting nearly 4 minute’s worth of rests. I’ll leave that to you to count your own bars or find your own cues for coming in.
Trumpet virtuoso Don Ellis recorded his cover of Gilbert O’Sullivan’s composition in 1972 and released it on his album entitled Connection. The arranger of this tune, Don’s pianist Milcho Leviev, turned a somewhat dreary and corny song into something bouncier and more entertaining, and I’m sure the musicians in the studio had fun with it in the process.
I always hear tiny reminders of Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree, and also MacArthur Park in this song. Noticeably all of the same era. But, I digress…
I transcribed each note by ear, and also added a couple of my own ideas to the bridge for a little more contrast. When it came to playing and recording, in the spirit of Don I played parts of the tune with a Cry Baby Wah pedal, adding it to my trumpet and flugelhorn lines.
These charts are for trumpet, flugelhorn, tenor sax, trombone, violin, cello, guitar, keys, and bass. I’ll fall over in shock if someone else ever uses these charts, but I’m so thrilled to have met the challenge to transcribe them and to have had the opportunity to record this myself.
Bandhub, one of my favorite creative outlets, is closing down on March 15, 2019. I will lose the opportunity to make music and collaborate with so many talented people globally on this wonderful platform. This is very sad news for the Bandhub creators and the thousands of members who formed the online music collaboration community. We forged some very strong friendships and stretched our musical domains to new highs.
Since joining in February 2016, I have recorded more than 400 collaborations and enjoyed honing my trumpet skills in a unique way. Rising to the Bandhub challenge saw me highly motivated to practice during the breaks between gigs and rehearsals when, without the motivation, I would probably have let it slide. It saw me focus much more clearly on my note attack (who wants a recording full of split notes?) and accuracy (unlike recording in a studio, it isn’t possible to “drop-in” new notes to tidy-up mistakes). Playing something from beginning to end, without mistakes, suddenly became even more critical than ever.
I found myself being invited to collaborate with others to play music I’d never heard of before, even in styles I’d never bothered with previously. I still can’t believe I’ve played music by Johnny Cash and Conway Twitty (who I’d only ever known of from being mocked on The Family Guy). But more interestingly I was able to play all manner of rock, pop, funk, Motown, and jazz-influenced music that really ticked the boxes for me. Adding to it, I was able to initiate my own collaborations. This was my opportunity to record the music that I was longing to play for my own reasons.
I’m more comfortable playing from written charts than not, so I became highly adept at searching for charts online. But with a strike rate of only 50%, to play the other material I had to hone my listening and transcriptions skills to work out the parts that I was hearing, and then get them down onto paper. Sharing the outputs of that work with the world is the nature of this blog.
I’ve downloaded video and audio of all of my Bandhub work. It amounts to >400 songs and tunes, spanning 29 hours and 53GB on my PC. No wonder server storage costs became a problem for Bandhub!
Almost all of my blog posts here include a link to a Bandhub collab, so I will slowly work to upload the video of each onto YouTube and update the link in each blog post. This way I can maintain my goal of not only providing my transcribed charts but also a demonstration of how I played each one. It will take me some time to point all of the URLs to YouTube, so I apologize now for the likely broken links that will litter the blog for a while.
There are alternatives to Bandhub, and over the next little while, I will explore those. And there’s a whole Bandhub community of fantastic, talented people across the planet to play with. I’ll continue to collaborate with them to make music online, and for as long as I do that I’ll continue to transcribe music and share it here with trumpet community.
Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. Farewell Bandhub, I will miss you!
This was very satisfying. I transcribed the horns, while my immensely talented friend Ynping expertly transcribed the strings. And now, despite substituting flugelhorns for French horns, and soprano sax for oboe, we have a transcription that very closely mirrors the original recording.
All that’s left for you to do is to find someone with immense vocal talents to sing it. Like I did!
“Reward” was a 1981 Top-10 UK pop hit for Liverpool post-punk/neo-psychedelic band The Teardrop Explodes. The song was a new discovery for me last week, 38 years after the fact, despite its supposed continued prominence in 1980s alternative pop compilations (according to Wikipedia). Notwithstanding its popularity, I couldn’t find any traces of a trumpet chart, piano sheet, or even a crappy MIDI file for the song anywhere on the internet. So I rolled my eyes, hunkered-down, and set-about learning another one by ear…
The original recording was difficult to decipher, with heavy doses of effects and keyboards all in the wash. Although, I’m confident that this transcription is a very solid representation of the notes that the English studio trumpet player (or players) belted out all of those years ago.
So, finally, the internet now has a trumpet chart for this song!