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Rhythmic & Chordal Playing
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Cello Lessons: Transcribe a Solo

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We've learned handful of jazz melodies,
and a boatload of jazz concepts
that are gonna get us improvising,
and expressing our own
personal voice through all of
these different types of harmonies and
But a key part to developing
as a jazz musician is learning
vocabulary from really great
jazz musicians of the past.
So you need to transcribe a solo.
What does that mean?
Well, let's say you love
a certain solo from Tenor Madness.
Let's say you love Sonny Rollins,
so on Tender Man as well,
you can listen to it enough times so
that you can simply play along.
Transcribing, you can just
learn a solo by ear, but
what it literally means to
transcribe is to write down.
And so it's really helpful to
write down a solo note for
note, and even writing in
the ornaments of a great musician.
And when,
then you can imitate that and learn so
much from it and
it will feed your own improvisations.
It's hard, though, especially for
fast jazz tunes to be able to pick out all
the notes that an improviser is playing.
So there are some softwares that
will allow you to slow down recorded
music to any tempo you want.
I've been using a software called the
Amazing Slow Downer for a number of years.
And you can take any MP3, whether it's
a bluegrass tune or a jazz solo, you can
slow it down as slow as you need it And so
you can really hear things note by note.
There's another software
a lot of people use called,
called Transcribe, coincidently.
So look into one of those and
those will really help you when
you're transcribing a solo.
Of all the tunes we've already learned,
I want you to simply pick your
favorite solo from your favorite tune.
And that's what you should transcribe.
The best thing to transcribe
is the thing you love.
Because when you transcribe it and learn
it and memorize it, it becomes your own.
So, for a video submission, this is gonna
take you a while to transcribe a tune.
It can take a few weeks to
transcribe a full solo.
But you could start with
just one chorus of a solo.
That won't take you nearly as long.
If you just do one chorus of a blues solo,
it might only take you an hour.
But after you transcribe it and
write it down, I want you to play it along
with your recording a bunch of times, and
even get to the point
where you can memorize it.
If you get to the point where
you have the solo memorized,
I want you to submit a video of you
playing it with the original recording.
I wanna see how well you're matching
the solo that you transcribed.
And that's the process
we're gonna go through.
And this is what's gonna turn
an intermediate jazz improviser
into an advanced jazz improviser.
Is literally by stealing as much as
you can from all the great
jazz musicians of the past.