TRANSCRIPTIONS

A large part of my practise routine is transcribing other piano players solos. This page is a collection of some of the transcriptions I've done, with links to YouTube videos of me playing them, as well as the PDF's in full. At the bottom is a collection of some personal hints and tips I have discovered, as well as some general information for those who are interested in developing their transcription skills. 

Brad Mehldau's solo on 'Almost Like Being In Love'


Full transcription:

1. When beginning a transcription, it can be helpful to familiarise yourself with the song. Learn the melody, the chord sequence, listen to other versions of the same tune. This will help when you're transcribing as these things can all give you clues as to which notes the player may pick at certain times. 
2. Break it down into small chunks. Focus on the first four/eight bars, or the first phrase or two, and try to get that section perfect before moving on. Slowing the transcription down using an app is a useful tool for practise and clarity, but be wary not to use this as a default setting; it's helpful to get to know how a solo sounds/feels at full speed too. 
3. When playing along to the record, the ultimate goal that I work towards is to make it sound like one instrument. This is to say that, your playing is matching the transcription so accurately, that a listener would just hear the sound of one person's solo. Of course to do this perfectly for a whole tune is near impossible, but it is a nice achievement to go for. 
4. Using pre-transcribed PDF's or transcription books can be really helpful to save time, or to look at a particular tune/artist in a greater detail of analysis. Feel free to check out some of the transcriptions I have done on this page, which I will update regularly. 
5. Do bear in mind though, that these PDF's do not give an accurate sense of how a transcription feels. Lots of piano players can move around their time-feel, playing slightly behind or ahead of the beat, and no form of notation will ever be accurate enough to portray that perfectly. The best way to fully interpret a player's style is to play/practise these transcriptions along with the record.