If you haven’t wanted to put your horn in the case yet and throw it over a cliff, you probably will after watching the video below. It is a strong argument, however, for doing something that probably everyone reading this does not do enough of: transcribing solos and then learning them on your instrument.
I don’t just mean transcribing solos and putting them on paper, I mean learning and being able to play every nuance of that transcription.
Below is a video of a guy who has done just that on Michael Brecker’s solo on the tune Some Skunk Funk – on recorder of all things.
The following is from his own YouTube description:
“Some Skunk Funk” (Mickael Brecker’s chorus) transcribed and played by Benoît Sauvé/Recorder,Flûte à Bec,Flauta Doce*.
*Keyless recorders with double-holes upside-down (recorders for lefthanders)
Amongst the various work methods that I have experimented with in improvisation, there is one that I have found particularly beneficial: transcribing choruses from recordings.
This series of videos reflects part of the work done on a few of these amazing solos.
Why transcribing solos?
Although studying the various scales and chords,and the relations between them,is essential in learning to improve,putting these theoretical notions into practise can be very laborious.
This is why making transcriptions of actual solos can be so useful for training aural perception and instrumental technique,as well as allowing us to analyse the styles of great jazzmen,enrich our musical vocabulary,and thus help develop our own musical ideas.
Watching this will hopefully inspire you to get going on that next jazz transcription.