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#1126749 - 08/25/05 06:06 AM Recommendations for transcriptions, please
nickd Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 146
Loc: France
I've been hunting around for note-for-note transcriptions of some of the greats (eg Art Tatum, Bill Evans...) playing standards.

Can anyone recommend specific books, or tell me which to avoid? Preferabbly ones for which a DVD is available.

Thanks

nick

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#1126750 - 08/25/05 09:01 AM Re: Recommendations for transcriptions, please
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
Hi Nick,
No offense intended, but if you really want to improve, consider doing it yourself. It may take a long time, but I promise that you'll grow musically!
_________________________
PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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#1126751 - 08/25/05 11:11 AM Re: Recommendations for transcriptions, please
nickd Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 146
Loc: France
No offence taken. I'm already reasonable competent and rarely use music, but I can't for the life of me work out many of the things that people actually play. The idea was to be able to say "So THAT'S what Tatum is playing" - you know, the bits where he casually plays 10000000000 notes in a couple of bars \:\)

nick

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#1126752 - 08/25/05 06:12 PM Re: Recommendations for transcriptions, please
ipgrunt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 419
Loc: Western US
 Quote:
Originally posted by nickd:
I've been hunting around for note-for-note transcriptions of some of the greats (eg Art Tatum, Bill Evans...) playing standards.

Can anyone recommend specific books, or tell me which to avoid? Preferabbly ones for which a DVD is available.

Thanks

nick [/b]
Nick,

Haven't seen a good transcription yet other than the two or three available at Aebersold, which are transcriptions of the comping along with a few of the play-a-longs. The transcriptions to the first book (played by Jamey), and the book of Miles Davis tunes played by Mark Levine come to mind. Again, these books don't teach soloing techniques, but comping techniques.

I have a couple of the solo transcriptions books..one of Bill Evans playing standards, the other of Monk playing standards. I've learned a few tricks from them, but frankly, you can't really learn how to construct a solo using these books.

Let me put it this way...you can't get much out of analyzing someone's solo unless you can understand what they are doing theoretically. But, if you understand what they are doing, you no longer need these books, ie, you can write your own improv.

One of the catch 22's of learning to play jazz, I guess.

But the comping books do help one's comping technique. The first book teaches fundamentals. The Levine book is an advanced demonstration of 2-handed comping.

If you want to learn to improvise, keep studing the modes, the scales, the chords. Learn to identify the sound of the diminished scale, the wholetone scale (+5 harmony), the dim-wholetone scale (b9-altered harmony), the sound of extended chords (9, 11, 13 and their alterations). Then slow down the recordings you wish to study or sound like (Transcribe is a great! program for this). Then start identifying these scales, chords, modes on the recordings. I often have the laptop on the piano, so I can stop and replay sections, play them on the piano, to be certain I understand what's happening. I've been doing that with Barry Harris' solos lately and it's been quite rewarding.

It will come together. Give it some time, maybe a couple of years, but the ear will begin to hear the subtle differences.
_________________________
-- ipgrunt
Amateur pianist, Son of a Pro

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#1126753 - 08/25/05 06:59 PM Re: Recommendations for transcriptions, please
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
 Quote:
Let me put it this way...you can't get much out of analyzing someone's solo unless you can understand what they are doing theoretically. But, if you understand what they are doing, you no longer need these books, ie, you can write your own improv.
I tend to agree with this. There's no substitute for transcribing things yourself. If you can't hear it, either you're choosing material that's too difficult, or you're not spending enough time on it. Years ago I transcribed a Lyle Mays solo that took me almost three months to finish. Somehow I don't think I would have learned as much if I had simply read it from a book.

That's not to say that there's nothing to be learned from such a book. It's just that it can keep you from really learning the essence of what the soloist was doing.

And while we're on the subject, don't limit your transcriptions to piano. I've found it helpful to my playing to transcribe all sorts of instruments -- even vocals.
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PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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#1126754 - 08/25/05 09:29 PM Re: Recommendations for transcriptions, please
dpvjazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/05
Posts: 287
Loc: phoenix az
First let me begin by concuring with Steve and Ipgrunt you can not bypass the most important part of learning jazz. Transcribing is what all the jazz greats learn in order to converse with spontaniety when playing with others. Man it is your quiet time with these people. It is the time when you decide who relate to and what to work on.
That being said you might want to look at these.
1. The Right Hand According to ART TATUM
by Riccardo Scivales Ekay Music Inc. 333 Adams street,Bedford Hills, Ny 10507. This book not only give some complete solos but really breaks it down for you.
2. Oscar Peterson Piano Solos Hansen House publisher. Whoa all Oscar
3.The jazz piano solos of RED GARLAND by Tony Genge Houston Publishing distributed by Hal Leonard. get to know Red with this one
4. BUD POWELL CLASSICS 9 solos Hal Leonard
transcibed by Richard Tuttobene. learn CELIA and impress your jazz friends.
5. McCOY TYNER 12 originals and standards transcibed by Bob Leso Hal Leonard publisher hope you have some chops.
6. McCOY TYNER Inception to Now Bradley Publications. another Tyner gem
7. CHARLIE PARKER FOR THE PIANO Atlantic Music Corp. Joe Goldfeder Music Enterprises get this
8. CHARLIE PARKER OMNI BOOK get it in the key of C.
9. MONTY ALEXANDER PLAYS STANDARDS Hal Leonard very challanging.
10. THELONIOUS MONK Originals and standards arrange for piano by Charley Gerad Gerad and Sarzin publishing. my hero

Well I hope this get you going but remember to find some tunes on your own and write them out or record them and check it with someone to make sure you are getting it. dpvjazz

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#1126755 - 08/26/05 09:34 AM Re: Recommendations for transcriptions, please
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
dvpjazz,
That's a wealth of information! I love what you said about "quiet time" with the greats. I might steal that from you!!!
_________________________
PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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#1126756 - 08/30/05 01:58 AM Re: Recommendations for transcriptions, please
nickd Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 146
Loc: France
Thanks for all the replies.

I already have a reasonable level of theory and I'm just looking for accurate transcriptions as another tool to help me move along.

I'd love to do transcriptions myself, and I'm sure it would bring me along in leaps and bounds, but a busy job, kids and a new house mean I'm currently extremely "time challenged" - perhaps once things have settled down a bit.

nick

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#1126757 - 08/30/05 10:17 AM Re: Recommendations for transcriptions, please
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
 Quote:
I already have a reasonable level of theory and I'm just looking for accurate transcriptions as another tool to help me move along.

I'd love to do transcriptions myself, and I'm sure it would bring me along in leaps and bounds, but a busy job, kids and a new house mean I'm currently extremely "time challenged" - perhaps once things have settled down a bit.
I understand completely. And please don't think we were beating up on you. Obviously doing the transcriptions yourself is the optimum situation, but that doesn't mean that you can't use an existing transcription as a tool for learning. Good luck to you. Let us know how it goes...
_________________________
PianoWorld disclaimer: musician, producer, arranger, author, clinician, consultant, PS2 aficionado, secret agent...

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#1126758 - 08/30/05 12:20 PM Re: Recommendations for transcriptions, please
esteven1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 47
 Quote:
Originally posted by nickd:
I've been hunting around for note-for-note transcriptions of some of the greats (eg Art Tatum, Bill Evans...) playing standards.

Can anyone recommend specific books, or tell me which to avoid? Preferabbly ones for which a DVD is available.

Thanks

nick [/b]
Nick,

You can never have enough ear training. Do your own transcriptions. Don't go buy retail transcriptions because many times they are inaccurate.

Before computers came along, I used tapes and kept rewinding and stoppping (repeat) to learn from the greats. I have a very good ear because of it. Now with computers it's even easier for someone who's trying to do this becuase you can slow a passage down without changing the pitch.

I'd like to refer you to http://www.seventhstring.com/xscribe/overview.html

This is software worth paying for. Try the free trial if you aren't convinced.

Anyway, as far as Art Tatum, the last thing you want to do is read what he plays. It won't be easy to grasp musically of paper. You have to hear his passages. I guess you could follow along with music while listening but even then, the rhythms are not going to come out the same as written.

If you truly notate what Tatum does in some of his complicated passages it wouldn't be fun to read anyway. It would look like someone spilled ink all over the page.

Imagine sight reading a piece full of Liszt cadenzas... it's more more easy to hear them than interpret them from the music.

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