Every day we receive countless variations of what, why, where, who, when, and how to transcribe questions in our inbox.
Should I transcribe lines or whole solos? Do I need to transcribe from the recording or can I just use a transcription book? Who should I transcribe? Do I have to transcribe Charlie Parker? Can I transcribe modern players? Is it okay to slow down the music I’m transcribing? What’s the process of transcribing? Did the great players of this music transcribe?
All of these and the others that come up are all great questions because they deal with something that is so necessary to learn how to play jazz and improvise the way you want: transcribing.
What should I transcribe?
What should I transcribe? Should I start somewhere in particular or just jump in head first? Should I do a whole solo or single lines?
Knowing what to transcribe can be difficult. There’s so much out there and you could literally do any of it. The best place to start is with the basic units and forms of jazz. So what does this mean? It means you start with something as simple as a major chord. Transcribe one line over a major chord and you’re on your way; acquiring useful language over these building blocks is essential.
The basic units and forms I’m talking about are: single chords (major, minor, dominant, half-diminished, etc.), ii Vs, minor ii Vs, blues, rhythm changes, and super common standards.
Does this mean you … Read More