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I'm a music ed major and one of our requirements is that every semester we have to do a jazz transcription. My professor told me to do Take Five because apparently it's easy for a first transcription. I'm supposed to write it down then memorize it.

But first to write it down I'd have to know what key it is in and which note the sax part starts on.

Also does anyone have any tips on doing transcriptions? It's my first one and I'm mainly a classical saxophonist! Thanks!
 

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Learn to sing phrases as you work to transcribe them. If the lines move too fast for you to pick out, try importing the selection into an app like Audacity (freeware on the net) and use the "change tempo without changing pitch" effect. It helps if you can figure out the key signature before beginning the solo. When doing this, be sure to determine whether it's minor or major.

I'm the jazz saxophone instructor at a university, and assign transcriptions to students every semester. I know that the first one is difficult for most students, but it gets much easier with time. It also does wonders for your ear and understanding of style and phrasing.

Randy
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What works for me is to learn the song by heart ..... memorize for the younger folks .... figure out the harmony then slow down the tricky bits
 

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Take Five is written in Eb minor (concert pitch).
Some folks play it in Dmin or Emin.
The melody begins on the 5th.

'Transcibe' is another slow down software app available.
 

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Are you supposed to transcribe the melody and the solo, or just one of those?
For a first-time-transcribing, that'd be a hefty assignment.
Nonetheless, the best thing to do is to have your horn in your hands while you stop-and-start the recording. If you need to, figure out one note at a time.
As mentioned above, the tune is in Eb minor. The bridge moves to the relative major (for what that may be worth to you).

best of luck!
~
Rick
 

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As mentioned above, the tune is in Eb minor. The bridge moves to the relative major (for what that may be worth to you).
The above is true; however, if you're just doing the solo and not the tune, the solo stays in Eb minor (C minor for alto...) -- no bridge -- on the Brubeck/Desmond versions of the tune (and I'm guessing here that you're transcribing the original "classic" Paul Desmond solo from Time Out...).
 

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Do any of you block out the rhythm first and then figure the notes, or just do all at once?

Agree with the suggestion about memorizing the solo by ear first, where you could hum, whistle, or sing it. That will save time.

There are some good tools you can use with a computer to slow it down if needed. Not sure what instrument you play, I would be using your horn or a piano to work it out as you notate. Are you notating in concert key, or the key for alto sax (Eb)?

That's great solo to do, very melodic not too busy. Not overly complicated rhythmically.

Sorry I don't have a lot of help for the OP. Funny, I could probably quote parts of this from memory, but I've never been disciplined about transcribing. I've worked on a few things in the Omnibook etc. But, I've only really completed one solo transcription and a few tunes where I sat down and notated it. Otherwise, i tend to just pick out bits and pieces of things by ear....

I know some of you all have done a lot of trascribing - from a playing perspective how has it sitting down and working it out helped develop your own jazz voice or otherwise affect your playing?

Shawn

ps Sorry for the slight thread detour...
 

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Once you have it transcribed I'll check it for ya ..before you hand it in LOL. ...... been playing this one on sax then guitar then sax again since 65.

I even have what I recall is a first edition sheet music version it it somewhere in the pile of sheet music.
 
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