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Thread: Arranging neo-motown horns on keyboards

  1. #1
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    Arranging neo-motown horns on keyboards

    Lately as I've been getting better at keyboard (I'm a guitarist), I've wanted to incorporate some horns into my demos. Sort of along the lines of the neo-soul (Amy Winehouse/Mark Ronson & The Heavy) and ska stuff. Some of the soft-synth horn libraries out there are great and authentic sounding.

    When I harmonize a melody using all the same root, first or second inversion the result doesn't sound so good, so I'm looking into a book for that.

    Please note, I'm not interested in virtuoso jazz or big band arrangements, but more in the much more simplistic pop/rock/ska/neo-soul vein.

    I was looking at maybe this book: http://www.amazon.com/Arranging-Tech...1665990&sr=8-2

    Does anyone have any other suggestions?
    Last edited by DukeOfBoom; 12-07-2010 at 05:36 AM.

  2. #2
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DukeOfBoom View Post
    Lately as I've been getting better at keyboard (I'm a guitarist), I've wanted to incorporate some horns into my demos. Sort of along the lines of the neo-soul (Amy Winehouse/Mark Ronson & The Heavy) and ska stuff. Some of the soft-synth horn libraries out there are great and authentic sounding.

    When I harmonize a melody using all the same root, first or second inversion the result doesn't sound so good, so I'm looking into a book for that.

    Please note, I'm not interested in virtuoso jazz or big band arrangements, but more in the much more simplistic pop/rock/ska/neo-soul vein.

    I was looking at maybe this book: http://www.amazon.com/Arranging-Tech...1665990&sr=8-2

    Does anyone have any other suggestions?
    Judging by the contents page, it looks excellent. Somewhat more in depth then what you're after right now, but it should cover the basics too.

    I don't know of a book specifically on pop/R&B horn arranging, and I'd suggest transcribing some of the kind of things you like. Horn harmonies in classic soul are rarely complicated and may often be unison riffs.
    Check out some classic Stax 60s tracks, that's the main influence on the Ronson/Winehouse sound

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