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Good songs for transcription/analysis?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by misterk73, Feb 24, 2003.

  1. misterk73


    Apr 11, 2002
    Flagstaff, AZ
    My bass instructor has told me that it would be a good idea to ALWAYS be working on at least one transcription -- not necessarily note-for-note basslines, but what I guess you could call charts. (All I've been doing so far is identifying the keys, chords, and basic grooves in a song, then constructing new basslines around them.)

    So, are there any recommendations out there for tunes that would be especially useful or valuable for a bass player like me to take a closer look at? (I've got a few years of cumulative playing experience but only a few months worth of music theory, and I'm very interested in exploring jazz and funk right now.)

  2. Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth) is pretty complex. Alot of time meter changes, uses of notes outside they keys, etc.

    You can detect alot of Jazz in it, too.

    Um, other than that, Orion by Metallica has some sweeet basslines after the 4:00 mark, it's an instrumental. About 8 min long or so.

    Um, Ava Maria by Bach will put just about anybody to sleep, good little tune to play.

    Hope I helped. ;)
  3. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    for once in my life by stevie wonder

    james jamerson is on bass

    this is a mover - if you can write it out, it will show you fairly complex syncopated lines
  4. junglebike


    Feb 14, 2003
    San Diego, CA
    bump... I'm looking to start transcribing as well. Any other suggestions?

    What about jazz stuff that's not impossibly complex? Anything played on an electric in that vein?
  5. ConU


    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    Start with standards,anything by Chet Baker is very accessible,his lines sit well on bass and are complete musical statements,Transcribe the head and his solo,then sing them!!(badly like me...)there is a broad width of musical information gained in this type of exercise.
  6. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
    Some tips...

    Try Miles Davis solo on "Oleo" as recorded by him and Sonny Rollins. It's a good excersise since it's not too hard and it's on a common jazz progression (since Oleo is based on "Rhtyhm Changes").

    You could give Sonny's solo a try to , but it's a bit trickier.

    A tip would be to mark out the ii-V-I cadences and analyze what's going on there. And also where the 8thnote runs are and where rhythic motifs are played.

    As a new jazz player, and you're looking at transcription for purely an educational value try mostly transcribing within the style of 32-bar standards along with blueses and "rhythm changes"-tunes. You'll find this useful because they are tunes you need to learn at some point anyway.

  7. ConU


    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    Excellent advice Lovebown!!This is the tradition and the way to acquire the language of jazz...Mile's solo on ''Well you need'nt''is also a good starting point.
  8. junglebike


    Feb 14, 2003
    San Diego, CA
    Interesting... i would have thought you'd want me transcribing bass lines. Wouldn't this be more useful to start out? (Though I certainly see why it's good to transcribe other instruments, too)
  9. ConU


    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    Sure bass is good too:p ,I like horn players because generally there lines are longer and easier to follow rhythmically for starting out,especially chet and some of Mile's playing,a lot of Jazz bass solo's are challenging rhythm wise to get off the page,Some of Charlie Haden's are quite accessible,his solo on ''Backhome blues'' from the Quartet West disc''Now is the hour''is a good place to start.
  10. That song hurts my hand! I can't get passed the first verse on that thing!