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Transcription suggestions for beginners - solo or comping

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by ninnlangel, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. ninnlangel

    ninnlangel Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2005
    France, Switzerland
    Hi everyone,

    I am finishing a master's in jazz pedagogy, and my thesis is a sort of method book for a beginner (to be used with/by a teacher).

    The goal is to have a selection of transcriptions of rising difficulty, which would attempt to both give the student a solid technique, while acquiring some traditional jazz language and repertoire, therefore minimizing the amount of time spent on boring Simandl-type exercises. I am not trying to open a debate about proper technical work here. It obviously needs to be done, in one way or another, but it's much more motivating to learn music rather than chromatic exercises at first, especially for a teenager.

    Obviously, there is a lot of music out there, and I thought it would be interesting to call for suggestions from other teachers as to what they use with beginners...

    My idea is to have the first few transcriptions be comping, two-beat, Bb or F blues, and find some recordings where the tempo is slow and the bass player doesn't go up the neck.

    Then, gradually, venture into easy solos and walking lines which stretch on the first couple positions etc.

    Any suggestions are welcome! Also, if you know good books on the academic side of transcribing as pedagogical tool for jazz, I'd be happy to hear about them too. I have only David Liebman's article so far.

    Thanks in advance for all your ideas, and very best wishes for 2013!

  2. charlie ford

    charlie ford

    Dec 30, 2012
    Urbana, IL
    One of my first solo pieces was jack the bear.
  3. ninnlangel

    ninnlangel Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2005
    France, Switzerland
    That's a good one, but it's way too difficult for the first pieces... You need to have some chops together before you can play that.
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