Transcribing Solos

(10 posts)

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  1. sandman

    Hi all,

    I would like to hear from other players about solos they have transcribed that proved to be exceptionally fruitful. Of course any tips or opinions people have on the process of transcribing solos would also be appreciated (I'm not looking for some silver bullet and realize there are no real shortcuts, however I would like to hear about people's "effective practices" when approaching transcribing).


  2. Quintricacy

    Sing the solo before you play it. It makes the transcribing process much faster as you've already internalised it. Check out Dave Liebman's thoughts on transcription.

  3. sandman

    Thanks, yes I have naturally done this while listening to the recording (or else I end up playing something on the guitar similar but not the same). Thanks for the link and the input

  4. JorgeRubiales

    I would recommend to work on your short term memory. Try to memorize longer phrases each time, at least to sing them. Use a recorder to measure your success.

    The more you're able to remember, the easier will be to you when you transcribe.

  5. david6strings

    you can work on several different areas trying to play exactly the phrase in the way the player did ( fingers, strings etc) you can transcribe a line then analize it and begin to play it in the same way in standards tunes. for exemple if i got i II V line from grant green, i think well it last two measures , then the next two weeks i play it on every II V and in every V7 chord i see if they last two measures. well for me it's ok in order to increase my vocabulary. i reecommend grant green, wes, jim hall and jimmy raney if you are beguinning.

  6. Matt

    i would consel against transcribing guitarists mostly. guitarists generally have terrible swing feel (ie grant green, not trying to knock him). i'd say if you're going to transcribe, start with early guys (lester young, hawk, stan getz, chet baker maybe, miles) and then work into emulating guitarists, modern stuff.

  7. harmnobean

    @Matt, I respectfully disagree about Grant Green's swing feel. He is, in my opinion, one of the most swingin' and soulful guitarists I've heard!

    Sounds like Kurt knows the benefits of checking out Grant Green, in particular.

  8. rickh

    Sandman: I recommend mainly focusing on short lines that you can adapt and incorporate into your own playing straight away. Best to pick the stuff you really like to listen to the most, why go with someone elses suggestion of artist?

    Matt: That is BS about guitarists and especially Grant Green. Then you contradict yourself by starting with avoiding guitarists and finishing with emulating guitarists. For the record, "start with the early guys" is an overused cliche that is not useful. Transcribe what you like now, there isn't time to mess about with the rest.

  9. Matt

    as i said, i dont mean to knock grant green or guitarists...just giving my opinion. as i said, mostly transcribing guitarists. variety is an important factor methinks.

  10. jorgemg1984

    I actually agree with Matt, I dont like the swing feel of most old school guitar players also - its because their swing is usually something purely rhythmic that comes from the right hand, they play everything staccato and because of that they have to accentuate a lot the rhythmic aspect of swing. In my opinion swing comes a lot from articulation (staccato on the upbeat and legatto on the downbeat) so you dont have to syncopate that much on the right hand.

    But he was a monster player obviously (I also dont care for his tone, this doesnt mean I dont like his playing).


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