Heartbreak for Beginners

to the rhythm of the falling rain
PDF | Midi mp3

With most of the pieces I’ve pulled together for this songbook, I’ve tried to really strip things down to the basic song for the purpose of making a useful equipment-for-living type lead sheet, as opposed to transcribing the actual arrangement as it might be played by The Viper & His Famous Orchestra (i.e., intro bits, solos, strange things we might do in the middle, endings, etc.).

For this one I have to make an exception, since the song essentially IS the arrangement, through-composed and composed right through.

Listen, for example, to the version we did for our WMSE radio appearance on Feb. 11, 2014 (which you can read about here and here). You’ll hear a short intro from John Peacock…

…after which the rest of the performance pretty much exactly follows what you’ll see in the PDF of what appears in the songbook.

Live on WMSE radio, Milwaukee, Feb. 11, 2014

As stalwart Viper listener (and my friend since we were assigned as roommates in our first-year dorm at the University of Wisconsin-Madison) Mark Kuether wrote when I posted an earlier version of this sheet music on Facebook: “I have always loved that song with the Stylophone. It really adds to the feeling of the song with the halting sound of its notes. To which I replied: “It’s true – playing that thing is like trying to text on a flip phone. There’s a certain pathos to trying to communicate at all.”

Or perhaps you prefer this version where I’m joined by the 6th Grade Orchestra of Lake Zurich Middle School North (with a surprise appearance in the bridge by trombonist Rob Henn)?

Lake Zurich Middle School North 6th Grade Orchestra under the direction of Riley Broach, Spring 2017

the kind of music your great-great-great-grandparents warned your great-great-grandparents about