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Songs for beginning transcription

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by Aaron Saunders, Jul 16, 2005.

  1. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    I want to start getting into transcription pretty heavily, but I was wondering if ye old codgers could suggest something to start off with that's a bit more "easy" to hear, transcribe, and play for a beginning jazz bassist (BG of 3.5 years) and someone very new to transcription.

    I've got a couple ideas as far as things go -- transcribing some walking stuff over things that are relatively simple harmonically with a good mix. Started that with the Diana Krall version of Autumn Leaves while practicing for my gig on Wednesday -- just started picking up random bits while playing along to the recording. Also picked up the first bits of the guitar solo, only a couple octaves lower (Anthony Wilson, you are officially a genius. That is, if it was him, but it totally smacks of his playing.)

    Other things I've picked up, as a frame of reference:
    Repeating bass figure to "A Night In Tunisia," and the one in "Fever."

    Any more songs with repeating basslines like that?

    Also, any advice on transcribing bop bass playing? I'm lookin' to start a bop quartet, but the alto sax and the guitarist in question would end up kickin' my ass three ways from Sunday at every rehearsal anyway, I just want to come a bit more prepared. Jazz at Massey Hall's been spinning in my CD player ever since I got it and I'd love to tear right into Charlie's lines, but at the moment, I think that's just a *tad* advanced. As a side note, I found transcriptions of solos by Bud Powell and Charlie Parker in the Phil Woods issue of JazzImprov. Neat!

    Any particularly easy heads? Maybe some bop heads that would lay out well on DB? I recall noting in another thread that trumpet solos lay out nicely.

    PS: This seemed like a fairly obvious discussion so I did do a search, but couldn't find anything relavent at all.

    PPS: I am well aware of the fact I'm making a LOT of threads -- sorry, I'm just really...uh, let's say precocious.

    PPS: Take the age comments in my thread lightly, because that's how I mean 'em (or rather, how little meaning is in them.) I have the greatest respect and appreciation for you guys and the advice you give. If it weren't for y'all, I wouldn't have had that gig on Wednesday, or the coming one next weekend.
  2. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    All Blues by Miles Davis and Killer Joe by Benny Golson are 2 that come to mind.
  3. The Jody Grind - Blues in Bb by Horace Silver
    Las Cuevas de Mario - 5/4 blues by Art Pepper
    The Sidewinder - Lee Morgan with Bob Cranshaw
    Song for my Father - Horace Silver
  4. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Senor Mouse, Chick Corea, if you want an early start on that CPS.
  5. oliebrice


    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
    Nows the Time is mostly very simple, with a nice turnaround thats a little bit harder, Straight No Chaser and Epistrophy are both quite straight forward heads to play (although loads of musical information), ornithology sits quite nicely on the bass if you want something a bit more challenging
  6. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yeah... Monk "Heads" are good to play on bass - like also : "Hackensack" and "In Walked Bud" ...:)

    Freddie Hubbard's "Gibraltar" has got a nice, but simple repeating bass line - for the majority of the tune with a few bars walking.

    'Fever' was mentioned - that's another one where you can play the head on bass - I've done that in an arrangment, although I'm not sure I could remember it all now!! ;) It's mostly a little repeating pattern that moves through a kind of Bluesy progression...?
  7. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Transcribing is like anything else, you have to start slow to build a solid foundation. Instead of trying hard heads or pulling harder to hear background parts out of a tune that's flying by start
    Easy to Hear

    The first thing I transcribed was the opening bass choruses on BLUE SEVEN. Working with Joe I started with Lester Young. Get a half time recorder or software and slow it down so you can hear it. Listen a LOT, so that you can sing and hear the notes you are singing. I've talked about the "Tristano" method of transcription a lot here, do some searches.
  8. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Check out the Grant Green Album "Standards". Trio recording with Wilber Ware on bass and as the name suggests, they recorded songs that you will end up needing to play again and again.

    Wilber Wares solos, while not the most interesting are amazingly simple. Whenever someone says "you should put more space in your solos", I think of this record. Ware really plays sparsely.

    Just a suggestion.