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I want to score parts to for two trumpets, but have only a little experience in music notation. Fairly simple parts I can edit in Cubase Score editor, but how do I indicate different places where the trumpets enter? Do I write out the parts and simply indicate a bar number at the start of each, leaving out all other sections, or - since it is simple parts and can be recorded in separate takes - just score each section and refer to each during the recording session? I'd like to make it as easy as possible for the player.

  • I'd prefer the last couple of bars of the instrument playing before the trumpet part starts, with bar numbers marked, to be shown on the trumpet sheet. But it depends on how well the player reads. – Tim Feb 14 at 10:15
  • If the trumpets are being recorded separately, then all you need is some metronome going so they know how fast to play. align the recording to the "click-track" . Or are you planning to feed the other instruments' outputs to the trumpet players via headphones? In that case, yes, write a couple measures' worth of cues for them. – Carl Witthoft Feb 14 at 14:14
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While some cue notes are useful, as suggested by commenters, they require advanced type setting (smaller notes and transposition, possibly also a different clef).

Actually the standard solution is, to write a complete score with multi-bar rests, indicating how many bars are to be skipped, but containing everything else, like general pauses, fermatas, rehearsal marks and performance instructions.

This is, what most instrumentalist are used to, so it requires the least explanation.

The metronome approach works for simple pieces, which don't have any of:

  • tempo changes
  • time signature changes
  • repeats

or for pieces, which are understood after first listening, so the respective entry is obvious.

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  • Imagine the poor old triangle player, having to count 248 bars, and getting mixed up around 200... Those cues are so useful - written out with/out transposition, along with which instrument it is. – Tim Feb 14 at 22:34
  • @guidot is quite right for a traditional, 'all-together' performance or recording session. But I think the circumstances here are a bit different. – Laurence Payne Feb 16 at 18:39
  • @Tim see the famous Punch cartoon "Life of the One-Note Man" – Carl Witthoft Feb 17 at 14:21
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Traditional practice is to score the whole thing, including rest passages. But in this special case, which I take to be a one-off recording session under your guidence, scoring just the passages to be played is fine. You can play the track in the trumpet player's (just one player, recording both parts?) headphones from just before the entry, indicate where he comes in and rehearse it as many times as necessary.

If any particular 'feel' or 'groove' is involved, it will help a lot if he's hearing a rhythm section rather than just a click. And, if it has to meld in with a vocal, give him at least a guide vocal to work with. Much better to give him the resources to balance musically than to have to fix it later in the mix. And if you have a synthesised trumpet track already recorded, play it to him. It's quite possible that it contains more information than your 'little experience in music notation' knows how to convey!

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