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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, what's everyone's take on sharing transcriptions? This question is mostly directed towards teachers, school/university teachers or private lesson teachers.

I know alot of students when they start learning the saxophone and start transcribing hate figuring the stuff out by themselves. I was one of the students who hated to transcribe because I felt like it was taking too long and wasn't helping enough. Over time I realized that it WAS helping ALOT, and it's gotten alot easy the more I do.

So as a second question, to those who are in favor of sharing transcriptions, as references, or for analysis, have any of you thought about forming some kind of website/project to offer free transcriptions to students? Not like some of these websites where they will take requests and then charge, I mean things you've already transcribed and written out. Another aspect of this would be to help up and comers (such as myself) who are still learning by going over transcriptions they've done, and making corrections on notation.

The point would be to have a large number of transcriptions in one place, organized, and available to fellow players, as well as available to editing and correction.

Well, this is what I've been thinking about for he last little bit, so let me know if I'm on to something, if it's already been done, or if I'm crazy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've used his website many times before, and it is a great source...for Michael Brecker transcriptions. I am thinking a website similar to the michaelbreckerliverecordings.com but including any artists. I would including transcriptions starting with Lester Young, including Dexter, Sonny Rollins, Hank Mobley, all the way through a few Chris Potter transcriptions.
 

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My take on sharing transcriptions: excellent sight reading experience, and if you know the tune it's kind of neat.

But I agree with your later view. To really study a solo, and really get inside it, you need to do the transcription yourself. The most beneficial work done in transcribing is the listening/picking up part. IMHO writing it down is the actual waste of time, as you mentioned, that turns people off.
 

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I completely disagree. I find that writing it down and seeing it on paper allows me to really understand the harmonic construction of the solo. So I can see how the notes relate to the changes and how the lines move through and connect the changes. Trying dictate the notes to paper without the aid of the recording is a real workout, certainly no waste of time. But I can understand where you are coming from and respect that opinion.
 

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saxymanzach said:
I completely disagree. I find that writing it down and seeing it on paper allows me to really understand the harmonic construction of the solo. So I can see how the notes relate to the changes and how the lines move through and connect the changes. Trying dictate the notes to paper without the aid of the recording is a real workout, certainly no waste of time. But I can understand where you are coming from and respect that opinion.
I'll stand corrected on my comment - I didn't mean to bluntly imply that the act of writing it down is a waste of time. I'm very happy to have written out some of the transcriptions I've done, and it has been useful. In the context of the original post, transcribing was alluded to as a laborious experience for novices. I just wanted to point out that not every note needs to be written down all the time. (All work and no play makes Jack quit sax, buy an electric guitar and download badly transcribed tabs...)

My greatest learning has taken place in playing the solos I've worked on - learing them by ear 1 phrase at a time on my horn, sometimes 1 note at a time when it's fast, and internalizing them. I've covered much more material than I could have if I had written down every note. Heads, too. A head I learn by ear stays with me. Off the page, I forget if I don't play it often.

Multiple learning styles exist...each to his own.

It sounds like you'd agree with me though, that doing the transcribing work yourself is important regardless of your learning style.
 

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I've done a lot of transcription and get my students to do the same. I used to write them down but nowadays I'm pretty sorted with my harmony and I prefer to learn them without writing them. I don't feel the need to 'collect' solos but I have 6 or 7 solos that I might play each day from memory to warm up. One or two of those I can play in all keys.

It's good to analyze other people's transcriptions, just as it is the analyze scores and any music. It's also good for reading; but the real deal with Jazz is what you transcribe yourself.

I've been surprised once or twice when I've heard people online who have transcribed a lot. I think some people transcribe without really taking on board what they're listening to (maybe because computers make it too easy). There's one well known online source who, to my ears, doesn't outline the harmony at all when he plays. Maybe some people would be better sticking with and understanding just one or two solos until the meaning of them is deep down in their gut.

Jamie O'D
 

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my site has been up and running for years - I gave up updating it 'cause I guess I was hoping for more feedback / discussion about the solos I'd put up for free download - many thousands of folk have just surfed over, helped themselves and never even said "Thanks".

Some even tried to sell my free stuff on ebay. :x

I've transcribed many more solos, but I can't see the point in editing/preparing them and carefully laying them out in the software exactly like I'd want for no reward ,so I just keep them on paper, (some on semi-finished & some are complete) and use them myself.

Transcribing's a great way to learn, especially if you concentrate on 4 or 5 players who play in reasonably similar styles [ I was working on Stitt, Mobley, Tubby Hayes, Dexter, Ralph Moore & late-career Getz - a sort of "in", melodic, light-hard-bop tenor style, I suppose] - OTOH if you transcribe Bechet and Brecker, or Zoot and Zorn, you'll end up with a very interesting style :cool:


30 free solos @ my place:

http://www.geocities.com/andyw129/

[ say "thanks", why don't ya....... ]

-A-
 

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DanCraven said:
I'll stand corrected on my comment - I didn't mean to bluntly imply that the act of writing it down is a waste of time. I'm very happy to have written out some of the transcriptions I've done, and it has been useful. In the context of the original post, transcribing was alluded to as a laborious experience for novices. I just wanted to point out that not every note needs to be written down all the time. (All work and no play makes Jack quit sax, buy an electric guitar and download badly transcribed tabs...)

My greatest learning has taken place in playing the solos I've worked on - learing them by ear 1 phrase at a time on my horn, sometimes 1 note at a time when it's fast, and internalizing them. I've covered much more material than I could have if I had written down every note. Heads, too. A head I learn by ear stays with me. Off the page, I forget if I don't play it often.

Multiple learning styles exist...each to his own.

It sounds like you'd agree with me though, that doing the transcribing work yourself is important regardless of your learning style.

Very good points. I will add that I haven't written down every solo I have transcribed, and probably won't. No doubt that learning solos by ear is the most beneficial way to do it. I always make sure I learn it all the way through by ear before I put it to paper.


And AndyW, looks like a cool site. Thanks! I hope you someday decide to update it again.
 

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Pete Thomas said:
And what about the legality of it? (Copyright)
I see absolutely no problem in that respect. I think if you are a jazz artist you take the possibility of people transcribing you as a given. I know that I would be flattered if some one wanted to study something that I played. I just can't find a problem.
 

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I agree, I wouldn't mind people transcribing what I improvised, in fact I'd be flattered that they might even consider it.

No, I was talking about the composition copyright.

Like it or not, an improvisation on Autumn Leaves (for example) is still a copyright of the composer and author.

I'm not arguing for or against, just pointing out a legal situation here.
 

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I have several thousand transcriptions I share w my friends - everything from sax, trumpet and trombone etc.

My book, The Rufus T. Spartacus Songdex, an index of popular music collections has about 400 citations of fake books, song books and individuals that provide transcription, free and otherwise, a 600 page plus book is in the final editing stages and will be finished, hopefully by Jan 1st.

Last spring I offered it to Harri, via one of the mods, an opportunity to sell it on this web site for a small donation ($10) to SOTW - my way of making a contribution - but I never heard anything.

PS if you do transcriptions and have a substantial amount (25 or more) and want your web site included in the book, PM me. Hurry
 
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