While taking a break from trying to understand the music publishing industry, I watched one of my favorite YouTube Channels, "First We Feast," which has a reoccurring show titled "Hot Ones," a show that has celebrities taste the entire spectrum of hot sauces from table hot sauce to mirco-batch-taste-bud-murderers. Today, it became incredibly clear that the hot sauce industry has the same battle of appeal versus individuality that composers and arrangers fight each time they put pen to paper.
Writing this was a great exercise in admitting what's wrong with my own arrangements and compositions.
I have charts that fall into each of these categories, which of course was never the intention. Composers don't open up Finale (or Sibelius for you circus animals) with the intention of writing a flop, but it still happens. The cure for missing your target audience is communicating with those who work closest to the age of students you're hoping to engage and figuring out what they're not getting from their current library.
"What do you need this semester?"
"What style do you want more of?"
"What pop tune are you students asking to play?"
"Is one section doing better than another? Let me write a challenging cello part in this next tune."
What are your favorite steel band charts and what hot sauce are they?