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Transcribing/learning fast walking lines

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by antinym, Jun 9, 2004.

  1. antinym


    Jul 17, 2002
    Orlando, FL
    I'm wanting to learn note for note a fast bop tune. Though I can play my own thing to it all day long, I'd like to see if I can learn from the CD. Trouble is after I've got four notes down, the CD is 10 seconds ahead, and all the rewinding, pausing, stopping and starting again is annoying. What methods do you use, or can suggest?


    Sep 13, 2000
    Los Angeles, CA
    Don't try to start at the beginning of the song and go note for note. Break it down like this.

    1. Listen to the song 3 times through without even holding your bass.

    2. Pick up your bass and play along with the chord changes only playing the root. Don't worry about what type of chord.
    (You can easily hear the chord changes by listening to the rhythm guitar.) Write it down, map it out.

    3. Learn it in phrases. Listen to a few bars at a time untill you can sing or hum it to yourself. Use your map here, it can help you with a walking line by leading you from one chord to the next.

    4.Don't let yourself get impatient and start throwing in all kinds of fills. Forcing yourself to listen carefully and learn the line will pay off in more ways than just learning this song. Be relentless.

    Good Luck
  3. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    What you're doing is the method, the only thing I would add is to use a device that slows the music down to half the speed.
  4. A computer would help. You open the sound file in a wav editor, and can see in the waveform where the phrases lie. Highlight the one you want, and have the computer just play that and stop. Try to get it. If that doesn't work, have the computer loop that phrase. Go to the next phrase.

    You can also get the phrase to play at half speed and so forth.
  5. Hi Guys,

    I would like to spend some time working on transcribing. I thought that Weather Reports "A Remark You Made" would not be hard to start off with but I did not make it very far into it.

    Could this tune ever be considered a bit too tricky for "Transcribing Newbies"? I have a few Miles Davis CDs; would they be more appropriate? Would my Rush CD collection be more straight-forward?

    Would it be worth making the suggestion to Lenmonster that musicdojo.com should consider adding Transcribing to their list of courses?

  6. For slowing down a song using your (Windows) computer, you might want to try foobar 2000:


    along with the repeat plugin:

    Repeat Plug In

    Its a great little program and it's free. The plugin lets you select a passage to repeat (over and over...) at a slower speed.

    1. copy foo_repeat.dll to c:\program files\foobar2000\components.

    2. In preferences, playback, DSP manager, enable "Soundtouch_forRepeat" (move to left column)
  7. Wolf


    Jan 30, 2004
    There's a great piece of software called "Transcribe!" (Seventh String Software). It's bassicaly a waveform viewer fitted with an EQ, and a tempo control algorythm (which works VERY well). It also lets you put division marks at every section, measure and beat (I recently transcribed Jeff Berlin's "Chasin' Jason", and this REALLY came in handy).
    Give the demo a try, and let us know what you think. I wonder how I ever transcribed without it....
  8. I second that recommendation. Transcribe! is a very cool piece of software. It will break a segment of sound down into a graph showing the level of each frequency. It then displays that over a piano keyboard to give you some context.
  9. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I'm with Aquanova. I say screw the software, and follow Aquaman, and you'll be okay.
  10. I third that recommendation.

    Hmm, issit grammatically correct so say that? :D