hey all,
      how do you practice/study transcriptions once they are completed?  normally i take a few licks that i like and take them around all keys and try to throw them into tunes.  yet, i feel like i'm missing a whole bunch of other things i should be doing to get me improvising better.    
  i'd love to hear how you guys tackle these situations.

thanks,
james
There are 2 comments, leave a comment.
i don't enjoy the task, particularly, but i force myself to really analyze the solos before moving on to the next.  

that can mean many things, not just some mode/chord equation.  i like to think the rhythm is the most important, ceteris paribus, to look at closely, if it's not obvious from doing the transcription.  on reflection, i'm not sure that a *really* careful transcription doesn't already involve some fairly deep analysis, even if it's not on the surface, just in the process of performing the task.

you could rewrite the whole thing in forward motion.  you could learn to sing the solos and try to spot-transpose them by ear (especially if it's a good solo).  

very good solos by very good artists can often be a springboard into composition -- whether it's composing a solo or a tune or discovering new (even if it's just new to you) progressions.  i'm not much of a composer, but the things i sometimes try to write are prompted often by, for example, some rhythm that cannonball played or just some ephemeral mood evoked by a soloist.  

when first studying i used to take transcriptions (at the very first, pre-printed transcriptions of red garland or wynton kelly) and play them by memory, then transpose them to a couple of different keys.  it helped with technique, i guess, and rhythmic sense, but in the end it was all a giant waste of time.  there was no sense of investment in the material.  writing material down is the only way to be a *truly* accurate transcriber, but it's also a huge crutch if all you end up doing is playing the material as though it were sheet music.  that was my big obstacle as a beginner, and it's a bad one.  

i'd stick with transcribing lots of music, analyzing it, and letting your mind subconsciously filter out what you can use.  of course, fast runs and whatever else you *need* should be copied religiously by ear at tempo, but that doesn't mean everything has to be.
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