Forming a Cover Band of My Favorite Band and I Immediately Bought a Commercial Band Score!
But when I started practicing, the score was so thick that I didn’t have time to flip through the pages! It ended up becoming several pages, making it impossible to play!
This is what a high school student told me. I’m sure many of you have had similar experiences.
In this article, I will introduce methods for using commercial band scores comfortably and showcase the scores that professionals actually use in live performances.
Band scores are thick and hard to read because they faithfully copy the entire song.
There are various types of band scores available from publishers, including scores for piano only or scores with only chords, each serving its own purpose.
A band score divides the song into individual parts for each instrument in the band, and it transcribes the exact pitch and rhythm. It’s probably not the first sheet music someone who has just formed a band would get their hands on.
Since it is a faithful copy of each part, it is thick, and you cannot practice while looking at the pages. Even if you copy an entire song, it ends up being several pages, stretching over several meters.
How to Make Band Scores Easier to Read – Creating Part Scores
Although band scores are thick and lengthy, there are ways to make them easier to read.
Prepare scissors, glue, and thicker paper.
1.copy the song you want to practice from start to finish.
2.Cut out only the drum part score.
(Make sure you know the correct order.)
3.Paste it onto a slightly larger, thicker paper, about A3 size.
(The thickness is important because the paper will gradually warp due to the weight of the glue or tape.)
4.Use colors to mark sections like dal segno or coda.
For example, dal segno can be marked in red, and coda in blue.
By pasting only the drum part score onto A3 paper like this, one song can fit on a two-page spread.
You’ll probably need no more than three pages.
Proper Usage of Band Scores
The above is the method of using band scores for actual performances. However, that is not the correct way to use band scores. Band scores are used for “checking answers.”
What does that mean? First, you start by ear-copying the song on your own. By transcribing the song yourself, you internalize the song’s structure and atmosphere.
Then, by figuring out the rhythm and pitch on your own, your transcribing skills improve. By comparing your transcription with the band score, you can identify what you haven’t understood.
It’s like studying at school, but it’s a method that works for any genre. With that in mind, you finally perform while referring to the band score.
If you get into the habit of relying on the band score from the beginning, you’ll only be able to perform a light drumming that simply follows the music.
Please try the above method.
What Types of Scores Do Professionals Use?
There are several types of scores used by professionals.
First, there are no complete note-for-note scores in live performances, except in the world of classical music.
In rock and jazz scenes, scores that describe the structure and key elements are used (refer to the image above).
For drummers, once they have a certain direction, they are allowed to express themselves freely through their timing.
This leads to much better performances compared to rigidly prescribed phrases. Of course, there are places where the energy should build up or designated fills to be played.
In jazz jam sessions, for example, scores with only melody and chords are used. Based on the song’s structure, musicians perform improvisations.
Personal Experience of the Site Owner, Kawabata
I once performed and conducted a clinic at a certain junior high school.
After the performance, a student showed me a band score and asked, “Could you play this part?”
The notes on the score were so dense that my eyes started to strain, and it wasn’t something I could play right away.
The kids think they can play anything. I managed to play a phrase that vaguely resembled it, but I’m not sure if the junior high school students were satisfied.
It was a nerve-wracking experience.
Placement of Sheet Music
It’s advisable to remember where to place your sheet music.
The sheet music should be placed on the “left” side, specifically in front of the hi-hat.This can be considered a universal practice.
When playing drums, your body isn’t facing directly forward but slightly to the left.The left side is closer in distance, making it more convenient for sheet music placement.
Preparations for Sheet Music
Here are some additional items to have on hand along with a music stand and sheet music:
2 or 3 clips
Clips and magnets are used for “wind prevention.”
Depending on the venue, outdoor performances may be involved.
In the presence of strong winds, using clips or magnets to secure the sheet music can be beneficial.
Cloth tape and clear files come in handy when playing in cramped spaces or attaching the sheet music to a wall.
Clear files are also useful when uncertain weather conditions arise for outdoor performances.