Four great places to get cheap sheet music for string quartet (popular song arrangements)
May 9, 2015
So I play events with my string quartet a LOT. And there are always the classics people ask for-classical music, background vivaldi, bach, pachelbel, arrival of the queen of sheba..
and then there are sometimes the weird requests.
Can you play "come josephine in my flying machine" (a song written by Fred Fischer in 1910-no I'm not kidding!)
So when that happens, I have to somehow come up with a way to uphold my reputation, and being that there are so many places to find the classics online, what are the secrets of my awesome repertoire?
Well, for one thing, I arrange myself if I can't find the sheet music anywhere. I don't like it, I never learned how to arrange, so I basically sit with my computer and a line in, play the main melody, and then improvise three more parts until they sound decent. And then I mute each and agonizingly go over every part and write it out.
And then, in rehearsal, we meet up and Niki (the violist) laughs at the mistakes I made transposing into C Clef and the Maytal (the cellist) says I should have sent the music over to her so she could write out the parts for herself, and my handwritten notes are unclear to everyone, and it turns out that on three little requests I spent about 20 hours working, rewriting, recording, transposing, and driving myself mad.
Thankfully, however, I have come across some amazing resources for buying sheet music for incredibly low prices, which have been written by various groups, so I wanted to share my knowledge with you, so that your hair remains attached to your head!
Unfortunately, they might not have the obscure 1910 classics, but this is a great place to start:
I was in touch with a woman named Kate. She was so helpful, and sent me their full catalog of something like 500 selections of popular songs. And each one was only $5! and 10 for $40! I was so excited to speak with her, and I'm so excited to recommend them. A reception usually is around an hour, so if you don't have any sheet music at all, you can buy an hours worth of reception worthy material from their site for only $40. Fantastic.
I found him on youtube, and I'm going to attach the full list he sent me in the next blog. He's pretty awesome (and now I'm following him on twitter) So check him out! email@example.com . Let him know I sent you, and maybe he'll give me a discount the next time around!
More expensive than the other options, if you're on the hunt and can't find what you're looking for, this might be a great place to look.
There are loads more places you can find sheet music, you just have to really scour the internet, and often music is expensive. I love to support musicians like myself, especially when it means the price is affordable enough that I can really manage to do it comfortably and easily. So I hope that this is helpful for you, and that your string quartet sounds infinitely groovier because of me. If you have any other ideas for awesome places to find inexpensive string quartet sheet music, give me a buzz. I'd love to share it!