Transcribing is the single most effective method of learning how to improvise.
…or so everyone says.
The only problem is it can be a mystery figuring out what the transcription process actually entails. You have your instrument and a collection of your favorite recordings – now what?
The standard jazz resources are good at teaching the theory and technique of improvisation, but when it comes to acquiring jazz language it gets a little foggy…and the truth is, it took me years to figure out what transcribing was and how to use it to improve my playing.
I’m guessing you don’t have years to waste in the practice room. You need to go from guessing at the notes of your favorite solos to quickly acquiring language that you can use every time you improvise.
Before you jump into the practice room to start transcribing your next solo, here are the 3 things you need to know…
I) Is transcribing really transcribing?
If you ask a hundred different musicians to define transcribing, you’ll probably hear responses like: “writing the notes down, memorizing lines, analyzing solos, or stealing language from records.”
But what actually happens in the practice room when you’re “transcribing”? This is the question you should be asking yourself…
Before you pick out a solo or write down a single note you need to know exactly what’s involved in the transcription process, down to the nitty-gritty details. For starters, check out this post: