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Question: Is A Bigger Band Always Better?


Answer: Almost always.


     A larger band is generally more musically flexible and has a more impressive stage presence. In jazz and big band swing music most of the songs are composed for around 20 musicians so a larger ensemble is going to sound more authentic, but also requires musicians with even greater skill to execute the music with pristine synchronicity instead of garbled noise.


     Some genres or styles of music have common instrumentation within that idiom. Here are some generic instrumentations for different styles of music.


Country:

Vocalist

Acoustic Guitar

Electric Guitar

Slide Guitar

Banjo

Fiddle

Bass

Drums


Big Band Swing:

2 Alto Saxophones

2 Tenor Saxophones

Baritone Saxophone

4 Trumpets

3 Tenor Trombones

Bass Trombone

Vocalist

Piano

Bass

Drums


     While much big band music is only written for the above instrumentation most original recordings by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, Michael Bubl√©, and the like usually have an additional string orchestra and often other orchestral wind instruments such as flute, French horn, clarinet, and auxiliary percussion.


     Many of our original arrangements of popular songs have well over 40 instrument parts with some written for over 100 musicians. Sometimes this is referred to in the publishing industry as an augmented big band or a full orchestra. Our band can expand to and beyond something similar to the following:



The Matt McCallie Orchestra:

2 Alto Saxophones

2 Tenor Saxophones

Baritone Saxophone

4 Trumpets

3 Tenor Trombones

Bass Trombone

Vocalist

Background Vocalists

Piano

Synth

4 Violins

2 Violas

2 Cellos

Upright Bass

Electric Bass

Drums

Auxiliary Percussionists


     And here are some examples of other ensembles we are often requested to provide:


String Quartet:

2 Violins

Viola

Cello


Rock Band:

Vocalist

Lead Guitar

Rhythm Guitar

Keyboard

Bass

Drums


Motown Band:

Vocalist

Background Vocalists

Lead Guitar

Rhythm Guitar

Trumpets

Saxophones

Trombones

Strings

Keyboard

Bass

Drums

Auxiliary Percussionists


Funk Band:

Vocalist

Background Vocalists

Lead Guitar

Rhythm Guitar

Trumpet

Saxophone

Trombone

Keyboard

Bass

Drums


Folk Band:

Vocalist

Acoustic Lead Guitar

Acoustic Rhythm Guitar

Bass

Drums


Compact Dance Band:

Vocalist

Guitar

Keyboard

Violin

Sax

Trumpet

Trombone

Bass

Drums


     We can customize any of our instrumentations by making them smaller or larger and mixing instruments for something truly unique.