The Lost Art of Transcribing.....

I can recall encountering transcribing as a method for musical development several times over the last 15+ years. I subscribe to jazzadvice.com newsletters (recommended), researched great players and their methodologies, Bird, John Coltrane, Ray Brown, Jaco etc. to find a common thread, in that all cite transcribing as a 'high priority' study topic ......if you are "serious" about progressing. Well its been an area that I have flirted with, dipped my toe in and out of, usually waining enthusiasm after a short period, and convincing myself something else deserves my practice time focus! 

Well here was another of those moments when the right messages get through to you and give you some direction in life and music. But this time I was going to break the cycle, bring about purposeful change in behaviour and actually complete the task properly, I was gonna learn 1 song from start to finish, using my ears, my bass, and written music. Then I would go back and produce a video play-along and get it up on the site here, with all the work done to give away to the readers for free. 

The good thing about this is from a teaching point of view is it has multiple skill-sets required to complete, wide overall development is possible from this one task, it's a very efficient use of practice time! The added bonus to all the 'skill flexing' going on is that you've been playing out of your box, and analysing someones work. There are small targets to work to, helping maintain interest and motivation (completing song sections etc), and the long term goal to be able to perform it and document as a video performance. As a method it's ticking a few boxes here!

So, 4 days in and i've written it all out in a kinda scrawl, taught myself the basic operations of the notation software Finale (it's good, stick with it!), and have now started to relearn the parts from the beginning of the track. So far i've enjoyed it a lot, it's given me further ideas in which direction to move in development wise for sure,  made me value arpeggios even more, specifically how to approach using them musically (highly desirable). Hopefully in part 2 I'll present the completed video...........see you on the other-side.

 Subscribe in a reader