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What I learned transcribing today...

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by mojazzmo, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. mojazzmo

    mojazzmo Member

    Apr 21, 2008
    Vancouver, B.C.
    Hey, All.
    I was working on a cool little jazz blues tune from Martino's "El Hombre" album called Blues for Mickey-O and discovered more proof of some wise words from of one of my favourite musicians, Scott Henderson. In my constant struggle to improve as a musician and improviser, I have made "phrasing" my number one aspect of playing to work on. About a year or so ago, I stumbled onto an excerpt from a Scott Henderson dvd where he was talking about phrasing. He listed, in his opinion, the 3 most important aspects of phrasing. 3) melodic line 2) the shape or contour of the melodic line and lastly and most important was 1) Rhythm of the line. Back to today and writing out Martino's first couple of solo choruses and he repeats this simple rhythmic phrase all over. When you just listen to it, it sounds great and you may not realize why but when you see the notes on the page the pattern jumps out at you. For this reason, I am a fan of writing out transcriptions. I have found the same thing in so many transcriptions lately of solos that I thought were great.They all had very strong rhythmic motifs. The shape of the line and melody may differ but because the rhythm is the motif, it just works and sounds brilliant. In my earlier years I was always looking for the magic, cool scale and chords etc.. and largely ignored the rhythmic aspect and now it has become the greater part of my focus. Just thought I would share. Any thoughts on this or phrasing are welcome.
  2. steven.rogers

    steven.rogers Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2006
    Transcribing is a great tool. I just finished transcribing Trane's solo in Moment's Notice and I wrote it all out in Sibelius. You don't really notice it that much when you're listening, but I realized that Trane plays some of the same patterns and rhythms over and over again. And they're often really simple but really effective.
  3. SoCalSteve

    SoCalSteve Member

    Dec 22, 2005
    Left Coast
    I transcribed Kossoff's solo to Fire and Water and it was a great learning experience. Just figuring where best to play the notes on the fretboard in relation to the previous and upcoming passage is a learning experience in itself.

    FREELESSONSNOW Senior Member

    Feb 12, 2009
    Well said. I seem to better pickup things that I work out on my own rather than resort to tablature. Right now I am tabbing out a Ronnie Earl solo. he does things that I have never thought of : )
  5. musicofanatic5

    musicofanatic5 Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2006
    New England
    dunno nothing about transcribing and "tabbing" (that's a verb?), but the rhythmic thing is where it's at! I love taking a phrase and subdividing it and superimposing three over four, etc. and...well, it gets me all kinds of trouble, which is great!
  6. Mandoboy

    Mandoboy Member

    Jan 10, 2009
    Boston MA and environs
    Steve Vai said transcription is great for your musicianship and psychiatrist :)

    It is some of the best time you can spend as a musician.

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