Re: Transcribing?? Solos?? Fun??
1st of all, you have to make sure that the song or/and solo you are going to transcribe is apropiate for your level. Sometimes people want to star in bigger steps than they can handle. When I started to transcribe I tried to transcribe Michael Breker's version of "El Niño"....I dint get pass from the bass line!! It was too mutch for me, I couldnt and cant handle Breker. Start of with simpe melodys then go to dificult stuff.
2nd About finding the key..
Well this is kinda hard to explain...when I try to find the key ...I dont know, I just hear the tonic. I hear the tonic in my head and look for it in my instrument. Or you can transcribe the hole song and then get the key you are in acording to the axidents. Allot of songs end on the tonic.
3rd About the length...
Just take it by part, its not like you hear the hole solo and then figure it out. Take the first five seconds or so, then play it back and fourth until you can sing it that five second part. Then its a matter of making the exact same sound on your instrument.
4th Exercises and tips
This might sound funny but...sometime when im bored and tired of practecing. I watch tv with my horn, and I just try to figure out everything that i hear in the comercials or in the tv shows.. its really fun and its a really good exersice. Also try to figure out melodys that you have in your head... things youve heard allot... things like twinklw twinkle little star, try to figure that out without hearing it. another thing.. you have to hear the music! The more times you hear the song, the better. Ohh and dont worry if its a tenor.
Well dude...hope I helped. Remember, to transcribe you dont needa special talent. If you can hear a note then you can play that note.