dear all,

i'm a late beginner in jazz piano who wants to get started with transcribing solos, but i'm having a hard time figuring out what to start with.  i need something that sounds nice, for incentive, but which won't be too difficult for an intermediate player.  any recommendations, especially on piano?  i'm thinking of starting with some of chet baker's solos on his album "best of chet baker sings" since they are so melodic and based on the tunes.  what do you think?
There are 14 comments, leave a comment.

since you're doing jazz piano, it makes sense to transcribe a piano player.

a great solo to start with is on the miles davis recording of pfrancin.  for the life of me i can't remember who's playing- might be cedar walton, maybe herbie, but it's a solo that's easy to work with but at the same time has all sorts of good stuff in it to give your fingers ideas when you're working out solos on your own.

also, nat king cole was a heck of a pianist and his older trio recordings (before he stopped playing and only sang!) have some great stuff on them.
If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

Scot is available for skype jazz piano lessons (and google hangouts, phone call, etc...)
Use the contact link at the top of the page.
yes, miles' pianists are well worth looking at...

wynton kelly's solo on 'freddie freeloader' (kind of blue) is a commonly transcribed solo and is a great lesson in jazz blues playing.

red garland's solo with miles on 'if i were a bell' (with that famous intro) is also one that's not too difficult to transcribe but full of good vocabulary.

away from miles' pianists, horace silver's solo on song for my father, from the album of the same name is a masterclass in economy and saying a lot with a few notes.  

a lesser known set of solos well worth transcribing can be found played by herbie hancock on the excellent grant green album 'feeling the spirit'.

hope you find some of these appropriate.

scot on pfancing the piano player is the groove master himself...wynton!!
that's what i was looking for, not pfrancin, but freddie freeloader.  that's a great solo to start out with!
If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

Scot is available for skype jazz piano lessons (and google hangouts, phone call, etc...)
Use the contact link at the top of the page.

i've been working with a teacher for over 6 months now, he has me on a well-thought of method. part of the weekly routine is to do transcriptions.  
they're not really transcriptions per se, because i don't write anything down.  
the most important part of the exercise is singing along to solos. so you have to learn them really good until you feel you click. then if you want, you can play along to them.  
to me, that's been a lot of fun. definitely not a chore. really fun.  
he gives me specific solos to transcribe. we don't do pianists, not yet. mostly wind players. we only study the masters on their best days. we progress mostly chronologically. so i started with louis armstrong, then lester young, then charlie christian, and i've been doing parker for a couple months now. now you might think that transcribing louis is a waste of time, but i don't think so. isolate him and what he plays is actually really good.  

to me, it's not a riff exercise, it's mostly an ear training exercise. you get better at recognizing intervals, various types of swing, and overall, how those guys play with time. each solo has been very interesting. parker has been amazing for me. until i started to really listen, i never knew parker was such genius.  
the other thing is when you try and play horn lines, you force your fingers to do things you wouldn't typically do, so that's a good exercise right there.  

i use transcribe to slow down the records, because otherwise it goes too fast. for example, listen to parker on the ballad embraceable you.  

anyway that's my 2 cents. i guess you should ask yourself why you want to transcribe first. if the intent is to play a piece just like bill evans, then picking up a bill evans book is probably quicker, i don't know...
if the intent is to strengthen the ear, then you can't buy that at the store...
gee, knotty, it sounds like you're working on some sort of tristano method.  your teacher isn't a tristano student, by chance?


i don't claim this is the best method or whatever, but i'm really hooked on it.
actually... respectfully to disagree.  most piano players start by transcribing horn players.  we start by transcribing the great melody players begining with louis armstrong and lester young.  
some specific suggestions:
louis armstron:
   strttin with barbeque sausce
   potatoe head blues
    west end blues
lester young:
    oh lady be good
     taxi war dnce
     lester leaps in
louis and lester were so incredibly consistent you really can not go wrong tackling any louis or lester solo.  horns are melody instruments
pianos are percusions intrumensts.  so horn players in general are much more consistent better soloists than piano players are.  therefore it is in general a more pleasing experience transcribing a horn solo than a piano solo.  transcribing a piano solo can be a little more like transcribing a drum solo...  not that that is a bad thing... but it is harder because when you transcribe percussion you are not helped along by the natural hearing of where a melody is going.  dave mckenna (one of, if not the best solo jazz pianists to ever live) told me he never listened to piano players and never took any of his ideas from piano players, only from horn players.  
all of the best piano players i have known never transcribe other piano players except for occasionally stealling a particular voicing or smaill idea.
i agree mike, i would add the vocalists to that group.  ella and sinatra have been inspiration to me on enough occassions that i
feel drawn to revisit certain songs such as "fly me to the moon" and "blue skies".  the expressiveness of the human voice cannot be denied.
to add, take a sinatra song like night and day or angel eyes and transcribe his vocal melody.  sinatra is a master of altering a melody with added notes so smoothly that you don't notice it unless you're listening for it. is the link to a file i posted here back in 04 dealing with this.....
when learning the solo you transcribed, do you accompany yourself with left hand chords?  
personally i don't have any preference.  i usually start out just learning the melody.  i actually like to learn the melody of the solo in both hands just to make sure my left hand is as strong as my right.

depending on the solo, i might learn the rhythms of the comping chords, or i might decide to transcribe exactly what the pianist is doing. if you hear some great chord voicings it might be worth while.  it's probably always worthwhile to transcribe the rhythm of the comping because it's fairly tied into the rhythm of the solo itself.

in the end, i wind up playing left hand chords with the solo, and probably fairly close to what was on the recording just because i listened to it so much and the comping is such a big part of it.

i know, not really an answer, but i guess in the end it's up to you. the more you get out of a transcription, the more it will come out in your playing as time goes on.
If I'm not back in 24 hours, call the president.

Scot is available for skype jazz piano lessons (and google hangouts, phone call, etc...)
Use the contact link at the top of the page.
things to consider when shopping for the <a href="">best hard disk drives</a>
if you are shopping for the best laptop hard drive, you're going to have your work cut out for you, especially <a href="">buy laptop hard drive online</a>. finding a reliable hard drive to purchase is not going to be as easy as 123. you may have to spend some time looking around on the internet and doing some comparison shopping so that you can find a hard disk for sale that will satisfy your expectations and meet your needs as well, before you make a determine you can just know about the <a href="">laptop hard drive cost</a> in the field. using a laptop means that you're going to need enough space to store your files, install your software and do everything that you want to do on the computer. there a lot of things to consider when you purchase a new hard drive for your laptop. below, you will find with some of these things are and why it's important to shop around for <a href="">hard disk drives for sale</a> so that you can find the precise laptop hard drive that you want to buy.

1,look for a hard disk drive that has enough space to meet your needs
knowing how much space you need on your hard drive can be a difficult thing. often times, people don't think they need much space but then they come to realize that they needed more than they originally thought. for instance, some people think that they just need to purchase a hard drive that is going to cover their files. for instance, if they have about 10 gigabytes of files, they may purchase just a 20 to 40 gigabyte hard drive. the problem with this is that you are not accounting for the operating system. if you plan to run an operating system like linux or windows on the computer, then you need to purchase a hard drive that has enough space to properly run the operating system and store your files. there are other things to keep in mind as well, for instance, what software are you going to be putting on the computer? software can take up a lot of space on a computer, especially games and software that is very complex. these types of software titles can get up into several gigabytes of space, so you need to have a big enough hard drive to accommodate for these applications.

2,remember that it's okay to go over what you need but it's not okay to go under
of course, you can easily see there are so many <a href="">laptop hard drive for sale</a> online, when purchasing a hard drive, it's okay to purchase more gigabytes than you actually need, just like me, i love installing lots of games, so i bought a big <a href="">sony laptop hard drive</a> in advance. however, if you were to purchase less gigabytes than you actually need, this is not going to be okay because you won't be able to do the things that you want to do on your computer. be sure to shoot for more disk space. keep in mind that installing a hard drive on a laptop can be more complicated than installing a hard drive on a desktop computer. you also need to accommodate for the installation costs when you're going to have a company install this for you. look online and do some comparison shopping so that you can find the <a href="">best laptop hard drive</a> for a price that makes sense for your budget.

need more info about laptop hard drives or purchasing, please go

<br>thank you, useful.
<br>thank you, useful
<br>but to be frank, it doesn't tell in detail what should we do to choose a best one, agree?
<br>i don't think it's good to buy a new hard dirve, why not change the laptop? lol.
Please sign in to post.

Jazz Piano Notebook Series
Scot Ranney's Jazz Piano Notebook, Volume 1 - jazz piano tricks of the trade

Volume 1 of this educational jazz piano book contains 15 jazz piano exercises, tricks, and other interesting jazz piano techniques, voicings, grooves, and ideas Scot Ranney enjoys playing.

buy pdf version - buy coil binding version - videos

Scot Ranney's Jazz Piano Notebook, Volume 2 - jazz piano tricks of the trade you can use today

Volume 2 has 14 jazz piano exercises and tricks of the trade, and quite a bit of it is Calypso jazz piano related material, including some Monty Alexander and Michel Camilo style grooves. Jazz piano education is through the ears, but books like this can help.

buy pdf version - buy coil binding version

Tim Richards' Jazz Piano Notebook - jazz piano tricks of the trade

Volume 3 contains 12 jazz piano exercises and explorations by the acclaimed jazz piano educator, pianist, author, and recording artist Tim Richards.

Tim wrote the well known "Exploring Jazz Piano" and "Improvising Blues Piano" books and has several others to his name.

buy pdf version - buy coil binding version

Jeff Brent's Jazz Piano Notebook - jazz piano tricks of the trade

Volume 4 is by Jeff Brent, a jazz pianist, composer, teacher, and author of "Modalogy" and other acclaimed jazz theory and education books. In this book Jeff shares detailed analysis of transcriptions of live performances. He covers everything from the shape of the songs to the tricks and licks he uses in improvised lines to the ideas behind his lush chord voicings.

buy pdf version - buy coil binding version

Most Recent Discussions
Volume 5 of Scot Ranney's "Jazz Piano Notebook Series" is up and running!
How to Develop Your Improvisation from Beginner to Advanced
Big Chief
How to Play Bossa Nova
Best Pianos for Beginners
How to Reharmonise a song

Volume 5 of the "Jazz Piano Notebook Series" is Available! File Downloads News
One Hour of Relaxing Piano Music
Jeff Brent's Jazz Piano Notebook
Fundamentos Físicos del Sonido
Aprendiendo a tocar PIANO gratis con partitura

Top Sheetmusic Picks

Jazzy Christmas Arrangements
Cocktail Piano
Best Songs Ever, 6th Edition
Christmas Medley
Moana Songbook
Late Night Jazz Piano

Jazz piano education is cool.

be the main character in your own story

Rock on. Follow your passion.

Sign In

privacy policyterms of serviceabout • 50,656 messages 63,069 accounts 53,775 logins Copyright ¬© 1995-2019 by Scot Ranney • website software and design by scot's scripts is For Sale - Serious Inquiries Only