Transcription, the act of memorizing improvised solos directly from source recordings without written scores, addresses two of the most important areas for a jazz musician: memory and ear training. This workshop will give you the tools to facilitate the transcription process which improves skills in improvisation, instrumental technique, tone development, expressive nuance, sense of rhythm, and comprehension of the jazz language. Recommendations on equipment, computer programs, digital applications, and instrument-specific recordings will be given to aid in starting a transcription. Strategies on learning, memory retention, and execution of a solo transcription, as well as direct application to enhancing one’s vocabulary and finding an individualized voice, will be the focus of the workshop. Examples on each of the strategies will be given and demonstrated.
Artists Quotes on Transcribing:
“Again, before I even knew what transcribing was and before anyone told me that this was a means of learning vocabulary, I started playing all the solos, not only Miles’ solos, but I would go into George Coleman’s solos, Herbie’s.” —Nicholas Payton, trumpet
“So you really get a taste of the master taking you by the hand saying ‘This is how you play music’…Feeling it physically in your hands, writing it down, contemplating it, trying to assimilate it into yourself so that it feels natural.” —Mark Turner, tenor saxophone
“I can always tell who is transcribing and who is not. You know, you either have the language or you don’t.” —Avishai Cohen, trumpet
“Imitate. Assimilate. Innovate.” —Clark Terry, trumpet
“My approach to developing some sort of thing that can be called ‘your own voice’ is really copy everything in the beginning and don’t pay attention to people that tell you not to copy because ‘you know, there’s no sense in copying’. I think it’s not true.” — Till Brönner
“Transcription is an unbeatable tool as a means to an end. The end being artistic creation, musical freedom, and hopefully, a recognizable style of playing.” —David Liebman, saxophone
You’ve transcribed a great solo from an artist you love, admire and want to sound like. Now what do you do? Being able to use and adapt the materials from your transcription in a meaningful and unique way will add to your personal and creative voice as a musician. This workshop will give you the steps necessary to effectively integrate the jazz language you have learned from your transcription into your own personal playing style. Addressing the process of fully acquiring the language through technical execution, relationship to sound, and application within a chord progression of a tune will be the primary focus of the workshop.