This topic contains 58 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by Wanda Buchalter 3 years, 7 months ago.
May 5, 2015 at 3:05 pm #244
Hello PianoWithWillie students and JazzEdge-ers:
Some of you read and commented on my article about jazz transcription and how it is so important to developing improvisational vocabulary as a jazz player. Many students have asked for more information and material about transcription… and so, without further ado, I give you my TRANSCRIPTION CHALLENGE! And here it is:
I’d like you to transcribe the first 12-bars of Wynton Kelly’s bluesy piano solo on Miles Davis’ track “Freddie Freeloader” from his classic Kind of Blue album.
Here’s what you should do:
- Check out the recording here:
- Focus on Wynton Kelly’s solo (which starts at about the 0:45 mark)
- Figure out the chords (a slight deviation from the standard blues form – check out the Real Book if you need help figuring out the last chord in the form)
- Going small section by small section, figure out the exact notes he’s playing BY EAR. I suggest working in 2-4 measure phrases.
- Practice until you are able to play the solo perfectly in time with the record.
- Notate the solo (ie, write it down, using plain old staff paper and pencil or Sibelius/Finale software).
- Post a video of yourself playing the first 12 bars of the solo and also post your notation (title your video “JazzEdge Transcription Challenge”).
I will post the answer in two weeks. Once you have learned to play the first 12 bars of the solo, we will have a LOT of material that we can discuss and I can show you how to use this material in other aspects of your playing.
GOOD LUCK!!!May 7, 2015 at 10:13 pm #275
Paul suggested recently that I should try transcribing a piano solo. I’ve always wanted to try transcribing but never got around to it, so Paul’s challenge was just the nudge I needed to get started!
I transcribed very short phrases of Wynton Kelly’s solo at a time, it was a slow process but I’ve managed to get the first chorus done! I used an iPhone app (amazing slow downer) to slow down the more difficult bits, although I think Paul suggests not slowing it down if possible. It’s really interesting to see what notes a jazz legend like Wynton Kelly chooses to play over a blues, also how (eg rhythm, articulation) he plays them seems to make all the difference! It can be a little frustrating at times when you’re listening to the same phrase over and over trying to figure it out, but I’m sure it will get easier over time!
I encourage everyone to give it a go!! Good luck!!May 8, 2015 at 9:44 pm #295
I’m thinking about taking the challenge…May 11, 2015 at 1:05 am #317
Hey Melvin –
Please post a video of you playing it!!!May 11, 2015 at 1:06 am #318
Hi Mary Beth –
DO IT!!!!! You will learn SO much – I promise.May 12, 2015 at 6:53 pm #339
I’ve finished my home work on transcribing the first 12 bars of the solo.
What is the best way to send you this ?
Now I have to learn it and put a video on the site ;-).May 12, 2015 at 7:05 pm #340
Hey Thierry, you can email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and Paula and I will see it. Looking forward to seeing your results!May 13, 2015 at 4:31 am #342
Paul, just saw this and may try it. Love this kind of encouragement and challenge.May 13, 2015 at 1:22 pm #344
Uh… did Willie just call me “Paula”…?May 13, 2015 at 1:24 pm #345
Hey Thierry –
Simply include a link to a youtube video of you playing the video. I will post the notation that you submitted to me.May 13, 2015 at 1:24 pm #346
Hey Mary Beth – Waiting to see your great work in here, too! Nudge, nudge…May 13, 2015 at 1:25 pm #347
LOL! auto-correct went to Paula. I meant Ms. Paula 😉 My badMay 13, 2015 at 1:27 pm #350
That’s more like it.May 13, 2015 at 2:19 pm #353
Here’s a video of me playing along with the recording!
Notated transcription is hereMay 13, 2015 at 3:59 pm #355
That’s awesome, Chris! Do it! I’d love to work with you on this – I guarantee you will see the tremendous value of this and notice a difference in your playing right away.
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