We have a huge song list that ranges styles from:
- Broadways songs
- Celtic music
- Classical music
- Country music
- Disney music
- Folk music
- Holiday & Christmas music
- Italian music
- Movie music
- Spanish music
- World music
- And more
But sometimes we have clients who want us to arrange a special song for them. We are happy to arrange and perform special requests for a bride’s processional, for a birthday, for a memorial service/life celebration or any other special event.
With our skills and experience, we can generally arrange, rehearse and perform any request with little advance notice. But that doesn’t mean it’s not considerable work for us to prepare and perform a song for you.
Here are the 8 steps to arranging and performing your special request.
- Listen to the song – Listening to your song is the first step to preparing to preform it for you and your guests. If we don’t know the song already, it takes more time to listen and become familiar with the song. If the song has been made famous by one performer, we will study that recording and get to understand the character of the song and the inflections the performer uses to express it. If the song is not tied to a specific performer, we will listen to and study various recordings to see how several artists interpret the song.
- Write out the melody and chords – Our next step is to write out a “chart” of music for your song. This means writing the melody and chords that work for the flute and guitar. The melody has to fit the range (how high and low the flute and guitar can play comfortably) and technical capabilities (what techniques can the flute and guitar do and not do to emulate what is done in the song.) To make our arrangements, we take what we know about our instruments and write out the melody and accompaniment/harmony that best captures the original song while highlighting what the flute and guitar can to do enhance the song.
- Play through the first draft of music – After we write out the melody and chords, we start practicing what we’ve started with individually. We each make any note or chord changes that we think will help strengthen the song and decide how exactly we want to play the melody and harmony.
- Listen to the song again – Once we have our first draft of the music done, we go back to listening to the original recording. Here we take the time to refine dynamics (how loud or soft sections are), articulations (how notes are attacked and decay) and tempo (how fast and slow sections including where they speed up and slow down.)
- Practice the updated draft of music – After we’ve added these musical details, we read through the music again individually and see how our changes feel and sound. We check to see how the music now compares to the original. By now the notes of the melody and harmony should be accurate, so what we focus on is capturing the feeling of the song that we want to be sure to express when we perform the song for you and your guests.
- Rehearse the parts together – Next, we play the flute and guitar parts together to see how they fit. We discuss what we each of us hand in mind as we worked on our parts individually and make sure we agree on dynamics, tempo and style. We use this time to make sure we’re matching in style in every way and playing together as an ensemble.
- Final practice – After a rehearsal, we go back to our practice rooms separately to spend any additional time working out technical issues or ideas we discussed in our rehearsal.
- Performance – We’re ready for your performance!
Depending upon the difficulty of the song and how well it is suited for flute and guitar, this process can be more or less involved. But, as musicians, the whole process is one we relish and enjoy!
Please contact us if you have a special song you’d like us to arrange for you. We’d love to hear your ideas!