McBride Red Cross Solo & Transcribing Generally

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by Bethelbass1, Dec 2, 2004.


  1. Bethelbass1

    Bethelbass1

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    Does anyone know where I can find a transcription of Christain McBride's solo version of Red Cross from the CD Parker's Mood?
    If not, any ideas on transcribing really fast music besides listening to it a couple million times.
    It's really tough to write out all of the Bop style eighth-note runs he plays at breakneck speed.
  2. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

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    Slow the mother****er down.

    There are any number of computer programs or Clever Devices that allow you to change the speed of a recording without affecting the pitch.

    It's a nice way to get deeper into a solo, slow it down and sing it until it sounds like the solo is coming out of you.
  3. Bethelbass1

    Bethelbass1

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    I downloaded the demo. It helps a lot with hearing the pitches and the rythm is not too complex (it is Charlie parker i.e. eigth-notes, sixteenths, triplets). At that breakneck speed it's hard to identify the pull-offs and open notes, but once I slowed it down those things came out easily. The program works great, but I'l try not to make a habit of using it.

    Thanks
  4. Savino

    Savino

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    There is nothing wrong with slowing music down. You CAN make a good habit of it, People have done this forever. You can not only hear and understand lines better but really examine how the other instruments all fit together. Singing those phrases and trying to grab every pitch is a very important exercise, as opposed to glazing over notes which i hear from students all the time. you have to crawl before you can walk :smug: my 2 cents
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  6. dfp

    dfp Supporting Member

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    if you use some software that can change pitch and speed, take the pitch up an octave. will make it so much easier to pick out bass notes (but some things get lost some times, articulations, ghost notes, etc). pretty much essential if you wanna 'scribe some extended low range notes (b string). fish in a barrell. you just have to take the TIME to do it. best players i know transcribe A LOT.
    I use an old bootleg copy of Transkriber.
  7. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

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    Listen to Savino, he knows whereof he speaks.

    A lot of folks end up transcribing just to get vocabulary, that is to say stuff to play over similar chord progressions. They just want to get the notes.

    But, if you go a little deeper, transcription can be a wonderful exercise in improvisational approach. Play back the solo at half speed and memorize it, so that you can sing along with the solo. Sing it with every little nuance of phrasing and dynamic, every little shade and fillip and turn and vibrato. So that you get to a point that the sound coming out of the speakers and the sound coming out of your mouth is indistiguishable. Then move to full speed and do the same thing. THEN pick up your bass and pick out the notes as you hear and sing them. At this point you are not just getting phrases and notes for vocabulary, you are perfroming the central task of improvisation : HEARING A LINE IN YOUR HEAD AND PLAYING THAT LINE ON YOUR INSTRUMENT. Right now it's Christian McBride, but it could just as very well be your own line.

    Getting to the point that hearing an internally generated musical line and hearing those notes with enough clarity to get them out into the air via your instrument is what improvisation is all about.
  8. godoze

    godoze

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    useless trivia : Anyone know who "red cross" refers to ?
  9. msw

    msw

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    I have always heard that it was Charlie Parker's connection.
  10. Alexi David

    Alexi David

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  11. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

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    It would be great to get a copy of this transcription when it's done.
  12. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

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  13. Alexi David

    Alexi David

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    LOL they need "hooked-on-phonics"
  14. nypiano

    nypiano

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    I've always transcribed in real time. Lots of dinked tapes. Started with sax and guitar solos and then moved to piano. It's hard but I think there is something to be said about the mindset of that type of concentration to get stuff at tempo. At first it's a blur but then you are able to pick things out.
    I think it has helped me in my ability to figure out what people are doing live. I don't think I had that ability until I transcribed a bit.
    For example I bet Gil Evans transcribed Bill's Spring Is Here for Miles 61 arrangement just like I did-click/listen..click/listen play against recording, etc. Why shouldn't I?

    Single line stuff I try to sing along with the music. I don't even take it down.
  15. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

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    Yes, but you are a freak of nature. You got ears like radar dishes.
  16. Savino

    Savino

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    Bottom line, John, if you are a beginner, which you're obviously not, I believe it is wiser to slow things down. I too transcribe usually at tempo, but I got there by first slowing things down. As my ears got better the tape got faster. Natural Progression.
  17. ee-san

    ee-san

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    I transcribe at the original tempo using a computer and a shareware sound editor (Cool Edit 96). The advantage of a sound editor over a tape player is the ability to mark a section of the tune (i.e., a piece of the waveform) and loop it over and over without punching buttons to rewind, etc. Looping a short phrase is very effective for burning it into your brain.
  18. nypiano

    nypiano

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    Well we all are beginniners at one time. I recall very specifically the fear in the pit of my stomach (let's see circa 1984?) when I sat down and transcribed and didn't know what the f** was being played. I had to work through it
    There's something to be said for tenacity. Mr. Few Quay..you might be misinterpreting some things of mine as some god given talent when in fact a lot of it was hours and hours of hard work. My early exposure to music--probably also plays into this. Certain complexities in my early memory bank probably helped me feel at home where others might not.

    But I guess the central point your are making is, if you want to learn something you use whatever tools are at your disposal and if you end up in the same place-what does it matter. I could probably agree with that. A small part of me though wonders about the easy access to everything. Perhaps it is a separate argument. To a certain extent I feel that jazz has become oversaturated with materials, methods and easy techniques which to a certain extent has not produced a hell of lot of good music. I think the best music has come from those traveling the traditional route and who have a decent creative head on their shoulders.
    It's basically the "pay your dues" side of the argument. It could be wrong. who knows

    Actually now that I think of it, My brother used to slow some solos down with his reel to reel machine.. I recall specifically some Charlie Parker transcribing. My father transcribed all of the Parker savoy records. The needle in the recordstack method..

    So what the hell am I saying...Ok use what you can but work on that concentration muscle early--don't make things too easy. I have tons of transcription books-virtually untouched. The interaction is important part of the process. So in answer to the very first post about McBride transcription. Do your HW dammit.. Tough love :crying:
  19. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Administrator

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    I agree. I like to also add the step of notating away from an instrument and then checking later. I'll never forget the first time I did this: I took a walkman down to a place called "Rough River", sat down under a shady tree with a tape of Kenny Barron's "Green Chimneys" and a MS book, and just went to town. When I got back to town I discovered that I had gotten a fair amount of pitches wrong, but also that I had gotten most of them right, including the rhythms. It was a real ear-opening experience, kind of like getting your *** kicked, but in a good kind of way.

    These days, I have a setup in my office at home which combines a G4 iMac (or "iLamp", if you prefer) with a CD player with remote, monitor speakers, a MIDI controller, mixing board, and sound module, and the most wonderful transcription software ever devised - SIBELIUS. Last December, I started transcribing by listening to a measure or two of music, stopping the CD (repeating if needed until I could sing the line), then entering directly into Sibelius with no playback. Every 16 bars or so, I'll let the program play back what's been entered just to make sure I'm not way off, then get back to work. Working like this has opened my ears up by miles and miles, and it's actually fun as hell once I manage to get my butt in the seat and get started.

    Just last semester, a student turned me on the the TRANSCRIBE! software, and I have to admit I kinda like it for proofhearing when all is said and done. I used to hate the writing part, but the technology makes it too easy to pass up, and with my ever-failing short term memory I'm always glad to have a hard copy to refer to when I want to sing the entire solo again. I'd say if the technology can be used to help, go for it.
  20. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Administrator

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    I tried to upload a transcription of one of my favorite solos in the world, but I got an "upload manager error" which reads, "File Too Large. Limits are 600 x 600. Your file is 612 x 792." Any techies out there who might know how to resize a file that is formatted for letter-sized paper to fit the upload manager?
  21. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Administrator

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    Attached (I hope) is a wonderfully melodic solo by Drew Gress on "I Fall in Love Too Easily" from the Fred Hersch Trio record "Dancing in the Dark" - one of my favorite records of all time. Jon, if you have eyes at all, I've also got Fred's solo on the same tune, which has some of the most gorgeous over the barline playing I've ever heard.

    Here goes nothing....

    Edit: Transcription removed temporarily as it is being assigned for educational purposes. :)

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