Saxophone Forum


by weinscott
(11 posts)
13 years ago

transcription

What do you think is the most important thing to be gained from transcribing?

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  1. by stutrane
    (15 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: transcription

    It depends how you do it. The most beneficial, in my opinion, is not to write it down until it's finished. You gain a strong concept of tone, fron whoever you're doing, as well as working on your inner ear, training it to instinctively identify a pitch, and helping your rhythm. Lifting licks off records also helps your playing, and phrasing. The other method, usually what I use for harder solos, is to work out a bit, then write it down. What you gain here is an etude of the player you've done, so you can analyse their lines and phrasing. When you transcribe the harmony, you can see how they treat individual chords. Writing the solo down also really helps your reading of rhythms. Each approach has it's benfits, and gives certain areas a lift. Enjoy your transcribing. PS a good starting point for transcribers is to do the solos from Jim Snidero's "Jazz Conception" books- after learning it, and writing them down, compare your solo to what the book says, and instant correction!

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  2. by Saxquest
    (317 posts)

    13 years ago

    Re: transcription

    Scott- I think I may have a different opinion on this than most people. I think one of the most important thing to be gained from transcribing has to do with tonal concept. In other words learning how to apply the sound you hear in your head to the saxophone. When I first started college, I wanted to sound like Dexter Gordon, but I could never get that fat sound of his. I had listened to his recordings 1000's of times, but still I couldn't get it. Finally, I started transcribing some Dexter solos and by concentrating hard on matching his tone while I was transcribing I came across a revelation!!! I never knew that I needed to put that much air through the horn. It seemed that after I got used to it, the more air I put through the sax (with control) the fatter my sound was. It was completely the opposite of what my logical brain was telling me at the time. I would have thought that the louder you blew, the brighter your sound would be. But, alas, that was not the case!!! By transcribing solos, I quickly lost that typical "high schoolish" flabby sound and quickly developed a full fat "Dexterish" sound. Cheers, MarkO

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    1. by winstonbarnaby
      (1 post)

      10 years ago

      Re: transcription

      hi im a young sax player and have been playing two years and am currently playing grade 5 ish music in my individual lessons i have never learnt how to form a sax solo and this is something that I would like to try to do IM playing the blue room on my alto sax and the solo is by lenny niehaus but i want to learn how to make my own If it isnt too much trouble mabye you could reply to me with some tips and tricks email me at winstonbarnabystewart@hotmail.com thankyou very much charlie

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      1. by golferguy675
        (600 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: transcription

        You need to understand that solos are improvised over chord changes. You don't really "make" your own, as you should be making it up as you play. You use the chord symbols as guidelines for what to play. I would say that you need a good chord studies book, and to learn all of your modes, like the most common minor modes(dorian, melodic, harmonic...) and all of the modes based of the major scale(ionian, mixolydian, lydian). That's probably a ways down the road for you right now. Pay a visit to jazzbooks.com, it will have about any book you will need. You will need your teacher to help you with what books you should buy, since he or she knows your ability level.

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        1. by Hexaclon
          (90 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: transcription

          Well.. I have do disagree with you golferguy675. Did you start off improvising practicing chord changes? Well at lest I did not. I started playing over a song. First I started to find the "notes that sound good" then I tried to form some melodies. But, that’s just me. Latter on I learned theory. I really recommend to start improvising by ear then learn your theory. But what the heck I might be wrong my experience is minimal. Good luck dude!! Peace, Love and Music

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      2. by Tenorsaxplayer
        (1 post)

        13 years ago

        Re: transcription

        I agree with Mark on this one. I used to think the exact same thing he thought. I always wanted a sound like Boney James or Sonny Rollins. I bought a Vandoren Jumbo Java tenor sax mouthpiece (I would recommend anyone to buy this mouthpiece before switching from plastic to metal), and it did the trick when I was told that more air was needed to sound like this. Now, I can sound like both of them!

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        1. by golferguy675
          (600 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: transcription

          Do you mean hard rubber to metal, plastic pieces? Plastic doesn't make for a very good mouthpiece. Anyways, a friend of mine has a jumbo java for his tenor, and that thing is insane. It peels the paint off the walls. I find it to be a little bright and obnoxious. And yeah, with a mouthpiece like that, you're going to need more air, as it has a very large chamber. If you have a wimpy small chamber mouthpiece, that's how it's going to sound; wimpy. A lot of times a larger chamber mouthpiece is just what you need to make you push more air throught the horn.

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        2. by Ruben
          (2 posts)

          12 years ago

          Re: transcription

          My tone was bright and thin, sounded like a low alto. I visited a music store and tried out some mouthpeices. The salesperson gave me some advice on tone. I told him I was dropping my jaw to get a deeper fatter sound. He suggested that I "open" my throat. It took a weekend to get the hang of it. On my next practice session, the guitar player noticed my fatter tone. He thought I purchased a new mouthpiece, but the thing I came out of the store that day was sound advice!

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          1. by golferguy675
            (600 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: transcription

            Yeah, if you watch a lot of pros play sax, their throats expand a lot. When you play with an open throat, the sides come out more, and you can get a much better sound. Has anybody ever watched Dick Oatts play? He's in the Village Vanguard, his throat will just about tripple in size when he plays. It's kind of scary, because all of the veins popping out and what not, but he has an unbelievable sound becuase of it.

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        3. by mr. freakjar
          (11 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: transcription

          phrasing....man. totally phrasing.

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          1. by Spunky2sax75
            (75 posts)

            10 years ago

            Re: transcription

            I agree that it helps to put the things you hear to the saxophone. I ca play along with songs very quickly, because I have tried anough that I know ho notes sound. It definately helps.

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            1. by golferguy675
              (600 posts)

              10 years ago

              Re: transcription

              I totally agree with everything said so far; it all helps. But also, transcription helps a lot with hearing intervals. When you transcribe something, if you can hear intervals, all you need is the first note, and you have it all. Transcription helps with that. Jamey Aebersold actually has CDs now that play nothing but just different intervals. It's ear training. Also, you need to analyze solos that you transcribe. Find the changes they're on and see what steps of the chord they are on, and how it fits. If you find somethting you really like, transcribe it and learn it in all twelve keys. When you see what steps, scale, modes, and patterns soloists use, it gives you better ideas and developes your creativity. I also strongly agree with the statement about phrasing. Also with translation. Transcription is one of the best learning experiences as far as improvisation.

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              1. by wesmiller
                (55 posts)

                10 years ago

                Re: transcription

                Well....if you guys have read my other posts you know my background is classical. I can confidentally say if its written down I can play it at sight. BUT, what you are discussing here is what I really respect in jazz players. That ability to write down (or play) what you hear. I can do it after many hours and a valium-its like pulling teeth. As old as I am, guess it will never be natural for me. Be glad you all have this valuable ability. You talk about it with such ease its amazing. Just thought a compliment was due on a board that can get a bit testy.

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              2. by Hexaclon
                (90 posts)

                10 years ago

                Re: transcription

                Hey dude! I belive the ability to play what you hear is not a special talent or gift, its just something you develop by practicing. My teacher told me that John Coltrane sayd that playing jazz is 95% dedication and 5%talent. Just practice it and you will develop it. Hope I helped

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