Master the Transcription Process: A Step-by-Step Guide to Learning from the Pros

Over the years I’ve attended dozens of masterclasses. Poured through hundreds of interviews with master musicians, and took lessons with the best players I could find. However, after a few years ONE thing kept surprising me – there was a disconnect between what these great players said and what they actually did…

In fact, some of the most important and downright essential concepts for learning this music (practice, ear training, technique) were often passed over with a few words:

“Make sure you can hear those changes. Get that line together in all keys. You gotta know your intervals. Just play what you hear!” 

Solid advice with good intentions, but starkly vague and lacking the nitty gritty details it had taken these players to improve in the practice room. And this is especially true when it came to transcribing solos.

I’d hear the process of learning jazz language described as: “Yeah, I spent a little time checking out some Miles solos,” or “I used to memorize Coltrane lines note for note,” or “You really gotta understand Parker’s language if you want to play bebop…

For years I assumed that I could simply listen to some records, study a few lines from a transcription book, or memorize a couple licks in all keys and I’d suddenly be playing amazing solos.

…but that magical moment never happened because I didn’t realize that each of these statements uttered by great players hinted at a much deeper process – a process that few people even talk about or describe in detail.

For many players the term “transcribing” is familiar…but the who, what, why, and how of the transcription process remains a mystery. And that’s exactly why today’s lesson is going to help you bridge this musical gap.

With a simple Blues solo as our model, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of learning the information from your favorite records. To show you what transcribing actually means, so you can start achieving real results in the practice room.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Effectively listen to a solo that you ...

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