Greetings fellow music lovers.
As you no doubt know, or should do if you’ve been learning jazz, transcribing, learning and analysing the solos of the greats is one of the best ways to get your improv skills cooking. However in my experience a lot of people seem to get put off attempting this – perhaps because they find the idea of transcribing music incredibly daunting.
There also seems to be a strange idea amongst some jazz people that if you’re not transcribing the solo before you learn it, it’s not cool. I think this is ridiculous!
If you think about the entire process of transcribing, playing and analysing, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realise that each part of the process is developing different skills. Yes transcription is hard, but it is also greatly beneficial to your overall playing because of the aural skills you develop in the process. Even a little bit such as writing down a single lick goes a long way! Fortunately transcribing technology has come a long way since the 60s when suburbia was full for the sound of a generation of musicians wearing deep groves into their 45s in a valiant attempt to copy the licks of the masters. Nowdays you can take advantage of computer technology – seventh string software provide a very hand tool called Transcribe which you can try out for free here: http://www.seventhstring.com/
However, there is also great value in learning to play the entire solo and analysing its content, so there is no sense in losing out on the other benefits of learning and analysing solos simply because you can’t or don’t want to transcribe.
Fortunately there are plenty of resources out there with pre-transcribed solos. One in particular that I’ve found is fantastic. Thanks to someone at the School of Music in South Carolina we have a whole ream of transcriptions and references for original recordings at our finger tips. To check it out click here.
Well all the best for now guys. Until next time, get learning those solos!
Originally posted 2013-08-07 17:20:50.