Stevie Wonder – Sir Duke

An all time favorite, but the key is always a shocker for B♭ instruments. Charts that I have seen in the past contained errors or inaccuracies, but besides that, the transposition from B major concert was always to C# major (7 sharps for trumpet). Why??? It hurts our heads to be thinking about B#s and E#s!

As a favor to trumpet players everywhere, I have reproduced in D♭ major (5 flats). The notes all sound the same, but it’s much easier for trumpet brains to process.

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What do you think? Please leave a comment and let me know.

Closing Theme from Unsolved Mysteries

It is said that this was one of the creepiest pieces of music on TV. For some, even creepier than the X-Files Theme. This version of the theme closed out each weekly episode of Unsolved Mysteries from 1988 to 1995.

After a late night hour of Robert Stack narrating bizarre crimes and baffling phenomena, then leaving viewers with feelings of despair, hopelessness, and uncertainty, this was the melody that people heard just before heading off to bed for a night of insomnia or nightmares.

Therefore, it was an honor to transcribe and play it.

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Gonna Fly Now (Rocky)

Last Christmas holidays I set out to transcribe and recreate Bill Conti’s original 1976 Hollywood recording of Gonna Fly Now, from the movie Rocky. This epic project involved very detailed scoring and the cooperation of several like-minded collaborators with perfectionistic flair who bought into the vision (or just went along with it).

There have been some great alternate versions of Gonna Fly Now, but also some duds. Maynard Ferguson’s will forever be immortal in trumpet circles and shines as one of the best, while at the other end of the scale the later Rocky movies substituted brass and strings for keyboards, with a blatantly unmusical copy/paste edit to extend its length. But the original 1976 Hollywood recording was fresh and has a special energy all of its own, that I think we’ve been able to emulate and perhaps even extend the Bandbub way.

The score and recording were as true to the original as we could be. Real trumpets, real trombones, and real violins. Exact note-for-note copies of most parts, including a brilliantly authentic guitar solo, carefully constructed harmony vocals, and guys from across the planet playing the charts that I wrote. Everyone who contributed to this bought into its authenticity, and we put each person’s perfectionistic streak to good use: transcriptions and scoring, performance, much critique, many suggestions, online and offline mixing. It was a whole lot of fun, and each of us marveled as this epic project progressed.

Featuring performances and other talents of the Bandhub Rocky Orchestra (“BRO”):

  • Gary (satchmo67): trumpets
  • Jimmy (jimmididr): piano, saw synthesizer, offline mixing, post-production video editing
  • Juan (sabapc): guitar solo, vocals, online Bandhub mixing
  • Claire (MzMieux): vocals, inspiration
  • Hernan (HernanGordon): bass
  • Yoann (yodrums): drums
  • Joey (jfigg70): shakers
  • Lou (LouDeAngelis): congas and tambourine
  • Andrew (mayesbone): trombones
  • Mandy (mandyvln): violins

My sincere thanks to everyone who contributed to this. I am very, very proud of what we achieved together.

Resources:

Transcribed by me and free for you to use.

What do you think? Please leave a comment and let me know.

Tomoyasu Hotei – Battle Without Honor or Humanity

Atlanta Falcons blew a 25 point lead to lose the Superbowl.An instrumental you might recognize from a car commercial. Or, from the dying minutes of Superbowl 51, just as the Atlanta Falcons blew a 25-point lead to hand Tom Brady his 5th Superbowl ring and extend the New England Patriots’ NFL dynasty.

When I transcribed this chart I tried to balance the higher notes between the 2 trumpet parts to share the load.

Resources:

What do you think? Please leave a comment and let me know.

Justin Bieber – Love Yourself

Another transcription for the night I returned to the stage to play a guest spot with a covers band.

As I was transcribing this I mentioned to my son how low I felt to be transcribing a Justin Bieber song. In his wisdom, he said, “Don’t worry Dad, it’s not as if he would have written it himself.” Made me feel better straight away!

This transcription is limited to the trumpet solo (not the whole song), which I think was after the 2nd chorus. On the night, the singer just “gave me the nod” when I had to play. Perfect…..

Resources:

Justin Bieber – Love Yourself trumpet chart. Transcribed by me and free for you to use.

What do you think? Please leave a comment and let me know.

Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk

I played a guest spot in a covers band early this year. It was fantastic to take to the stage with a rock band for my first time since the 1990s! The only thing that had changed was that I used to be the youngest guy on stage. Not anymore….

This transcription was for that night. From memory this was a transposition and tidy-up of a chart I found somewhere else.

Resources:

What do you think? Please leave a comment and let me know.