View Full Version : On transcribing by ear
06-24-2009, 10:23 PM
So I want to venture into transcribing solo's by ear (mostly to improve my own improv), but am unsure exactly where to start. Could anyone recommend a good song or two that would be good for the beginner transcriber?
strat a various
06-24-2009, 11:47 PM
So What- Miles Davis
Blue Monk- Thelonius Monk
Any blues-based Kenny Burrell tune
06-24-2009, 11:53 PM
Best solo to start with? One that you have heard a million times, love and can't live without playing. Transcribing is hard, but it will be much harder if you pick a solo someone else recommends that you haven't even heard before.
If it's blues improv, I agree about Kenny Burrell (even tho he's a jazz player). Chitlins Con Carne is a nice simple blues tune (always transcribe melodies first before you transcribe solos!), and the head and first 2 choruses - at least - are entirely in C blues scale, with a lot of useful little licks.
Miles is good because he's so simple. (It's not what he plays that matters, but what he doesn't play....)
And Monk is one of the wittiest improvisers of all time. Blue Monk is a great beginner 12-bar - but has some challenging chromatics (and rhythms).
For rock, Dave Gilmour is pretty simple and musical. (The two solos in Comfortably Numb make a nice beginner challenge, with two different approaches. The first one is easy, and follows the chords. The 2nd is much lengthier and more detailed, but is all minor pent.)
Otherwise I agree with rockinrob: always start with a solo you love, that you've heard so much you can sing it (in your head if not out loud).
For jazz solos, it helps to know a little theory beforehand, or at least to have a chord chart (and to know the melody).
For blues, you don't need any theory (tho you do need to know minor pent/blues scale/major pent).
06-25-2009, 02:23 AM
A solo you can sing note for note with AND WITHOUT the cd.
A solo you can sing note for note with AND WITHOUT the cd.Hey I've been playing 43 years and still can't do that. Give the guy a break! :)
06-25-2009, 06:07 AM
This is a serious answer..........
A solo you have to learn for your covers band, and you can't fnd a tab for.
I've managed more of those than any others, and I'm total crap at it.
Thre was a groovy Led Zep cover of Rock'n'Roll that started with the Stairway intro that I did OK with too, for some bizarre reason.
06-25-2009, 06:15 AM
Start with the little childrens songs that you know, and then build it up. I did that and it work for me and for many of my students.
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