- Pick a solo that you enjoy! You’re going to be spending a lot of time with it.
- Be able to sing a section before you attempt to play it, and be able to play it before you write it down.
- Don’t just listen for notes and rhythms – emulate style, articulations, phrasing . . .
- If you know the chord structure of the song, that can help you with the transcription process.
- After you have written down the solo, analyze the musician’s choices given the harmony.
- Practice the solo in multiple keys so you can internalize your favorite licks and add them to you “improvisation toolbox.”
- Recommended solos to transcribe for alto, tenor, and trumpet. (click here)
- Recommended solos to transcribe for trombone and rhythm section. (click here)
- All instruments – transcribing vocalists is a great start! (Nancy Wilson – Little Unhappy Boy; Mahalia Jackson – Motherless Child; Etta James – At Last)