The Village People – Y.M.C.A.

That iconic trumpet introduction… You’re out somewhere and you hear it start. People look at each other and smiling, thinking “are we really gonna do this?” The answer is always “YES!” Even at the start of a Green Day concert I once took my daughters to, with the entire Green Day audience at full voice and the YMCA dance moves.

Anyway, towards the end of Bandhub’s time online I notched up 400 recordings. To mark the milestone I decided to throw a Bandhub party, inviting community participation from many of the friends I had made there. This transcription and recording were the results, including an impromptu wah-wah trumpet solo to fill in the instrumental chorus.

My sincere thanks to Alberto Rossi for this fine video edit!


Village People - Y.M.C.A. Trumpet Trombone Sax Violin score and chats. Transcribed by Gary Badger -

Transcribed by me and free for you to use.

What do you think? Please leave a comment and let me know.


My EPIC Bandhub Collab Collection

I enjoyed three fantastic years collaborating with others to make music on Bandhub, until its recent sad demise. For the uninitiated, Bandhub was an online music collaboration community where I made > 400 recordings, making music with people from across the planet. After my early days of hanging out there, initially assessing the lay of the land and understanding potential, I did my very best to test the boundaries of Bandhub by organizing and creating collabs that I thought would be “epic”. My quest to engineer epic collabs had me trying to record performances that differentiated themselves from others.

Here’s a collection of the collabs I organized that I’m the proudest of because:

  1. They were truly unlike others on Bandhub;
  2. My wonderful Bandhub buddies and co-conspirators trusted me and totally bought into my unusual ideas, with lots of feel-good moments; and
  3. Most of these collabs were transcribed by me. I’m relieved to say that charts were available for the others, so transcribing wasn’t always necessary.

Gonna Fly Now (Theme from “Rocky”)

We recreated the original 1976 Hollywood recording, doing our very best to capture the energy and excitement of that ground-breaking soundtrack. The transcribing, arranging, and project management consumed an entire Xmas break for me. Bringing the team together and seeing the adrenaline rush of excitement as this built, was truly special.

Download my transcription: Gonna Fly Now (Theme from “Rocky”).

Chuck Mangione – To The 80’s

My tribute to my musical hero, Chuck Mangione. I love this one because it was challenging to transcribe Chuck’s solo by ear, and even more challenging to play it in the flugelhorn high register. But I really tip my hat to my good buddy James Wilkas for his magnificent tenor sax solo, incorporating much of Chris Vadala’s fine work into his own.

I’d never known anyone to cover this tune before, so it felt like a rare, untapped opportunity. To top it off, I was honored to learn from Chuck’s niece that Chuck himself saw and heard the video!

Download my transcription: Chuck Mangione – To the 80’s.

Joe Cocker – The Letter

Our careful recreation of Joe Cocker’s live performance, at a time when we had all the right people at the right time to pull it off. This is super-tight!

A beautiful memory too of our superb backing vocalist Gea, who we tragically lost recently. This song and recording will always remind me of her. I loved it before, and I love it even more now.

Download my transcription: Joe Cocker – The Letter.

Monty Python’s Life of Brian (Opening Theme)

There’s a recurring theme of dumb ideas taking hold and blossoming into something big. This one came about, not surprisingly, while enjoying the Life of Brian opening cartoon sequence and admiring the trumpets in this Goldfinger parody. Then, after convincing Claire she should sing and perform the unorthodox lyrics, she absolutely stole the show!

Download my transcription: Monty Python – Brian Song.

Shirley Bassey – Goldfinger

Hot on the heels of Life of Brian, we found momentum and enthusiasm to stretch things further and pull together the original theme song that inspired it. We stretched to bring in French horns and even real timpani. Leveraging Brendan Champion’s Free Horn Charts, the amazing Ynping tweaked the string orchestrations to create an epic string section. Finally, Claire once more dug deep to pull off the most extraordinary Shirley Bassey-esque performance. Very proud of this one!

Hunters & Collectors – Stuck On You

Given that I’d rarely ever played with strings before a few years ago, it sure says something about the talent of my friends to see violins feature so heavily in my Epic Collab Collection. This time, my very good friend Amanda Tse plays some truly beautiful, heartfelt violin lines as we play this stripped-back Australian rock ballad.

Download my transcription: Hunters & Collectors – Stuck On You.

Grimethorpe Colliery Band – The Floral Dance

Yeah, this is where it started to get silly and included fancy dress. I had this idea that we could pull off a full brass band performance in the British style with just four people. Ably assisted by my very good friends Craig Catarinich, Andrew Mayes, and Ross MacDonald, we made a very good attempt at it. Sadly, we ran out of time and the opportunity to fill out the lower brass instruments, but there’s enough here to show that it could be done.

Herb Alpert – Behind The Rain

Cheesy late-70s funky disco taken too seriously; this piece was just itching to be hammed up and some trumpet ego exercised. But there certainly are some jazzy chords and dramatic accents to capture attention.

What I liked the most about this collab was that none of my collaborators were even the slightest bit aware of this stuff, but took a leap of faith and trusted me with it anyway. The result far exceeded my expectations.

Download my transcription: Herb Alpert – Behind The Rain.

No Nonsense – Hawaii Five-0

Too silly? Naah. Australian ska band No Nonsense released a vinyl EP entitled Around Tuit, late in the 1980s. This unique arrangement of the Hawaii Five-0 theme was on the B-side. This was a chance to have some fun with friends on a theme…

Download my transcription: No Nonsense – Hawaii Five-0.

Woody Herman – The Golden Wedding

I traveled interstate with my webcam and recording equipment to record my Dad playing this clarinet solo as well as the rest of the reed section. The one and only recording of Dad and I playing together, so we did it in style as a full big band.

A very special memory, with an exclamation point at the end when Dad nails the last note of his clarinet solo and then turns to me with a look of surprise as if to say “Please tell me you got that!”

Sting – Fortress Around Your Heart

A moment in time when I knew that we had the right people to capture a credible version of this, one of my favorite Sting songs, closing out his 1985 album Dream of the Blue Turtles. Except, of course, that Branford Marsalis’ brilliant soprano sax parts are played by me on trumpet, as best I was able.

Wonderful hints of Sting can be heard in vocalist Jason Osborne’s performance, while the sound of the original recording was totally nailed by Chris Carli (guitar), Neil Davidson (keys), Ross MacDonald (drums), and Luciano Baêta (bass and video production).

Download my transcription: Sting – Fortress Around Your Heart.

The Streets of San Francisco

Transcribing and recording this complex beast had long sat in the too-hard basket. But I felt that if I could untangle the tightly woven horn parts then I stood a good chance of the other musicians being able to nail the rhythm section parts. As it turned out, once on paper the horn parts weren’t that complex after all! Too many good things to say about this one…

Download my transcription: The Streets of San Francisco.

Cantina Band – Star Wars (Jazz Edition)

I heard this on YouTube and simply had to copy it. Who else do you know who has attempted a serious recording of this tune?

Village People – Y.M.C.A.

The beauty of the Bandhub community was that it was just that; a community of people. I pulled together 25 of my favorite people to help me celebrate my 400th Bandhub collab, just weeks before the kiss of death was put on Bandhub. This is a pretty fine level of community participation!

Download my transcription: The Village People – Y.M.C.A.

Don Ellis – Princess Leia’s Theme

A unique jazz-influenced arrangement of John Williams’ classic theme as recorded by trumpet virtuoso Don Ellis. I pulled together a 34-piece Bandhub orchestra to play charts that I transcribed by ear. I love the way that this arrangement builds from very little to a major musical climax, before quietly slipping away into a galaxy far away. Too many musical highlights here for me to single out any one of them over another.

Download my transcription: Don Ellis – Princess Leia’s Theme.

The Ballad of Gilligan’s Island

A practical joke backfired on me, and before I could blink my good friends made a meal of this cheesy jingle. But it caused us to consider, and really pay homage to, the studio musicians who are called upon to play silly ditties but do so with complete professionalism. So as we played, this was another case of “ridiculousness, taken seriously”.

Download my transcription: The Ballad of Gilligan’s Island.

Carpenters – Superstar

I’ve never had the slightest interest in the Carpenters and their music, although that sometimes puts me at odds with other people (including one I’m married to!). But when my friend Ynping was interested in singing the lead vocals and transcribing strings, this was an opportunity not to be passed up. French horns became flugelhorns, and an oboe became a soprano sax. But we were still able to blend the instruments and vocals (lead and backing) beautifully to closely mirror the Carpenters’ original.

Download my transcription: Carpenters – Superstar.

Happy Birthday, MzMieux

I saved this one until the end of my Epic Collab list. It’s like no other collab, and it serves as a reminder that it was the people that made Bandhub so special. Knowing that Claire’s birthday was on the horizon and that she has so many warm friendships across the planet, I organized this surprise party for her. Bandhub allowed “unlisted” collabs so I was able to track down a bunch of special people and record this secretly for weeks in readiness for the big day. Then, overnight on the morning of her birthday, I published it.

“Surprise” would be an understatement. “Shock” and “disbelief” were more accurate after Claire casually logged on around 4:30am and was hit with that. 🙂


Joe Cocker – With a Little Help from My Friends

Love this! Here are my horn charts for trumpet, tenor sax, and trombone.

It’s quite likely this song should be written in 12/8, but I went with 3/4 for simplicity’s sake. Also, I didn’t bother counting nearly 4 minute’s worth of rests. I’ll leave that to you to count your own bars or find your own cues for coming in.


Joe Cocker - With a Little Help from My Friends - Trumpet Tenor Trombone charts. Transcribed by Gary Badger -

Transcribed by me and free for you to use.

What do you think? Please leave a comment and let me know.


Don Ellis – Alone Again (Naturally)

Trumpet virtuoso Don Ellis recorded his cover of Gilbert O’Sullivan’s composition in 1972 and released it on his album entitled Connection. The arranger of this tune, Don’s pianist Milcho Leviev, turned a somewhat dreary and corny song into something bouncier and more entertaining, and I’m sure the musicians in the studio had fun with it in the process.

I always hear tiny reminders of Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree, and also MacArthur Park in this song. Noticeably all of the same era. But, I digress…

I transcribed each note by ear, and also added a couple of my own ideas to the bridge for a little more contrast. When it came to playing and recording, in the spirit of Don I played parts of the tune with a Cry Baby Wah pedal, adding it to my trumpet and flugelhorn lines.

These charts are for trumpet, flugelhorn, tenor sax, trombone, flute, violin, cello, guitar, keys, and bass. I’ll fall over in shock if someone else ever uses these charts, but I’m so thrilled to have met the challenge to transcribe them and to have had the opportunity to record this myself.


Don Ellis - Alone Again (Naturally) - Score & Parts. Transcribed by Gary Badger -

Transcribed by me and free for you to use.

What do you think? Please leave a comment and let me know.

Be sure to check out my other Don Ellis transcriptions!


Glen Campbell – Yesterday, When I Was Young

I recorded this for my good friend Hank, who loves singing Glen Campbell songs. Sadly this one wasn’t finished before Bandhub shut down, but here’s the chart anyway.


Glen Campbell - Yesterday, When I Was Young - Trumpet. Transcribed by Gary Badger -

Transcribed by me and free for you to use.

What do you think? Please leave a comment and let me know.


Chuck Mangione – Aldolvio

Chuck recorded this song for his 1994 album The Hat’s Back, and then again for his 1998 Chesky album The Feeling’s Back. This transcription and recording are based on the latter.

I transcribed and recorded my parts about two years ago, but only recently added the other instruments and made something of this.


Chuck Mangione - Aldolvio - Flugelhorn Violin. Transcribed by Gary Badger - Chuck Mangione - Aldolvio - Chords Bass. Transcribed by Gary Badger -

Transcribed by me and free for you to use.

What do you think? Please leave a comment and let me know.

Be sure to check out my other Chuck Mangione transcriptions!


Farewell, Bandhub. I will miss you!

Bandhub, one of my favorite creative outlets, is closing down on March 15, 2019. I will lose the opportunity to make music and collaborate with so many talented people globally on this wonderful platform. This is very sad news for the Bandhub creators and the thousands of members Bandhub Collabswho formed the online music collaboration community. We forged some very strong friendships and stretched our musical domains to new highs.

Since joining in February 2016, I have recorded more than 400 collaborations and enjoyed honing my trumpet skills in a unique way. Rising to the Bandhub challenge saw me highly motivated to practice during the breaks between gigs and rehearsals when, without the motivation, I would probably have let it slide. It saw me focus much more clearly on my note attack (who wants a recording full of split notes?) and accuracy (unlike recording in a studio, it isn’t possible to “drop-in” new notes to tidy-up mistakes). Playing something from beginning to end, without mistakes, suddenly became even more critical than ever.

I found myself being invited to collaborate with others to play music I’d never heard of before, even in styles I’d never bothered with previously. I still can’t believe I’ve played music by Johnny Cash and Conway Twitty (who I’d only ever known of from being mocked on The Family Guy). But more interestingly I was able to play all manner of rock, pop, funk,Bandhub Logo Motown, and jazz-influenced music that really ticked the boxes for me. Adding to it, I was able to initiate my own collaborations. This was my opportunity to record the music that I was longing to play for my own reasons.

I’m more comfortable playing from written charts than not, so I became highly adept at searching for charts online. But with a strike rate of only 50%, to play the other material I had to hone my listening and transcriptions skills to work out the parts that I was hearing, and then get them down onto paper. Sharing the outputs of that work with the world is the nature of this blog.

I’ve downloaded video and audio of all of my Bandhub work. It amounts to >400 songs and tunes, spanning 29 hours and 53GB on my PC. No wonder server storage costs became a problem for Bandhub!

Bandhub Collage
For someone who only plays trumpet, I stretched it a tad on Bandhub.

Almost all of my blog posts here include a link to a Bandhub collab, so I will slowly work to upload the video of each onto YouTube and update the link in each blog post. This way I can maintain my goal of not only providing my transcribed charts but also a demonstration of how I played each one. It will take me some time to point all of the URLs to YouTube, so I apologize now for the likely broken links that will litter the blog for a while.

There are alternatives to Bandhub, and over the next little while, I will explore those. And there’s a whole Bandhub community of fantastic, talented people across the planet to play with. I’ll continue to collaborate with them to make music online, and for as long as I do that I’ll continue to transcribe music and share it here with trumpet community.

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. Farewell Bandhub, I will miss you!


Carpenters – Superstar

This was very satisfying. I transcribed the horns, while my immensely talented friend Ynping expertly transcribed the strings. And now, despite substituting flugelhorns for French horns, and soprano sax for oboe, we have a transcription that very closely mirrors the original recording.

All that’s left for you to do is to find someone with immense vocal talents to sing it. Like I did!


Carpenters - Superstar - Horns & Strings. Transcribed by Gary Badger -

Horns transcribed by me, strings transcribed by Ynping Mak, and free for you to use.

What do you think? Please leave a comment and let me know.


The Teardrop Explodes – Reward

“Reward” was a 1981 Top-10 UK pop hit for Liverpool post-punk/neo-psychedelic band The Teardrop Explodes. The song was a new discovery for me last week, 38 years after the fact, despite its supposed continued prominence in 1980s alternative pop compilations (according to Wikipedia). Notwithstanding its popularity, I couldn’t find any traces of a trumpet chart, piano sheet, or even a crappy MIDI file for the song anywhere on the internet. So I rolled my eyes, hunkered-down, and set-about learning another one by ear…

The original recording was difficult to decipher, with heavy doses of effects and keyboards all in the wash. Although, I’m confident that this transcription is a very solid representation of the notes that the English studio trumpet player (or players) belted out all of those years ago.

So, finally, the internet now has a trumpet chart for this song!


The Teardrop Explodes - Reward - Trumpets. Transcribed by Gary Badger -

Transcribed by me and free for you to use.

What do you think? Please leave a comment and let me know.


Magical Mystery Tour (Bridge Only)

Trombonist Brendan Champion has made available an absolute treasure trove of free horn charts at I’ve played several of his charts, including The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour, which he arranged for trumpet, trombone, baritone sax, and strings. Without most of those instruments at my disposal, I quickly knocked-up the trumpet solo in the bridge section to more closely align with what I could hear on the original recording.

There’s not much to it, but I thought I’d share in case it’s useful to someone. This can be played in conjunction with the rest of Brendan’s arrangement, with bar numbering kept consistent between the two.


the beatles - magical mystery tour - trumpet solo bridge

Transcribed by me and free for you to use.

What do you think? Please leave a comment and let me know.

Be sure to check out my other transcriptions of music by The Beatles, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr!