Gareth Montanarello

Organizing My Music

Updated: Feb 19, 2020

In today's episode of Blog Posts No One Wants To Read, I am going to show you how I organized all of my music. The method of keeping everything scattered around my room in haphazard piles and hoping that I didn't trip over one or all of said piles in the unlikely event of a fire started to not seem like the best way of doing things, so this was definitely a good use of the 45 minutes I would have otherwise spent staring at Instagram.

I'm not addicted, I swear.

Most of my stash.

My collection isn't as large as that of some people I know but it is diverse. Between all the bass music, guitar books, and other random materials, most of my musical interests are represented in some way or another. I organized everything into categories and came up with this list:

  • Bass excerpts/full parts

  • Bass solo/chamber rep

  • Bass methods/pedagogy

  • Bass reference/magazines

  • Jazz: lead sheets, transcriptions, big band charts

  • Composition

  • Full scores

  • Guitar music

  • Guitar reference/magazines

  • Notebooks/blank sheet music

  • Cello/other instruments

  • Misc.

  • Trash

I could and did break those down into further categories, but decided fewer categories was the better option. I then went through and sorted everything into each pile. The end result looked something like this:

As I was doing this, I realized that at least half of what I own I have never even looked at. I also realized that I own a lot of really random stuff...

There are several missing items but I will worry about adding those later since they are all in the bass studio right now. My entire collection of jazz music is there, along with some more bass methods and solo music. A few full scores, a bunch excerpts, my book of Cello Suites, and a handful of other solo pieces are also not accounted for but they got lost during a move a few years ago. The trash pile turned out larger than expected, but that's probably for the better as I am totally not a mild hoarder (and other lies I tell myself).

The last step just involved clearing off a shelf to hold everything. I left off my excerpt binder because it won't fit and I need to add more excerpts to it anyway. This shelf will likely change in a few weeks once I get my other stuff home and I also need to find space for three more binders and my copy of the English Bass Book.

Seeing everything on the shelf makes me think that it's time to go buy some more music. I don't think I have enough...


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