Topic: Transcribing Jazz  (Read 3574 times)

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adone232

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Transcribing Jazz
« on: July 19, 2002, 03:42 AM »
Hey,

How would I go about transcribing a Jazz song? Would I transcribe it as 1/8 notes with a 2/8 notes = 1 triplet note at the start of the transcription, or do it as triplets? The reason I ask is because I have started transcribing "So What" from Kind of Blue (Miles Davis), and it looks very messy with all the triplets for the ride pattern.

Also is there an online real book anywhere? Not just for drums but for Jazz in general also?

Thanks,

- Andrew.

Offline James Walker

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Re:Transcribing Jazz
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2002, 07:13 AM »
Andrew,

Regarding the transcription:

Just write it out using "straight" eighth notes, and at the top of the chart, where you indicate the style and tempo, just write "medium swing" - that'll tell anyone reading the transcription how to interpret the eighth notes you've written.

JW
"I played with Holdsworth, Fripp, and Belew...I wish we drummers could play that differently. Drummers are starting to homogenize into the same guy, which frightens me." - Bill Bruford

rlhubley

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Re:Transcribing Jazz
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2002, 07:17 AM »
As a general rule of thumb, jazz is notated in 4.  Now, that could be 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, etc.  There are however, some tunes that really are in 6/8, 9/8, etc.  You should put something at the top of the piece that signifies the swung eighth notes.  Your method works, but you can also just write "swung 8's".

As for the "real book", I'm sure you can buy it online somewhere.  Here's the thing, that book(although it's as standard as standard can be) is really illegal to own, buy, or sell.  It is widely available, but a bit tricky.  Music stores can't exactly advertise they have it, nor can they display it, but most stores with any kind of selection of sheet music will have it in the back.  This book is great.  It covers everything from Miles to Coltrane to Brubeck to Zappa to Brecker to T. Williams to Bill Evanst to, well you get the point.

Offline James Walker

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Re:Transcribing Jazz
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2002, 07:25 AM »
Quote
Here's the thing, that book(although it's as standard as standard can be) is really illegal to own, buy, or sell.  It is widely available, but a bit tricky.  Music stores can't exactly advertise they have it, nor can they display it, but most stores with any kind of selection of sheet music will have it in the back.  This book is great.  It covers everything from Miles to Coltrane to Brubeck to Zappa to Brecker to T. Williams to Bill Evanst to, well you get the point.

Just note, tho, that if you ever use the book to play tunes (on vibes, piano, whatever), that the illegal "Real Book" is RIFE with wrong notes, wrong chord changes, screwed up forms...some of the tunes are transcribed from obscure recordings with weird chord substitutions...it's a good reference to have, but if you play a tune out of the Real Book, check it against a good recording.

There are also legal "real books" (or "fake books") on the market; some of the best are published by Sher Music:  http://www.shermusic.com/.  These books have licensed the compositions, and often use the composer's own lead sheets for creating their "fake book" version.  Highly recommended.


"I played with Holdsworth, Fripp, and Belew...I wish we drummers could play that differently. Drummers are starting to homogenize into the same guy, which frightens me." - Bill Bruford

Offline Bart Elliott

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Re:Transcribing Jazz
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2002, 07:37 AM »
As for the "real book", I'm sure you can buy it online somewhere.  Here's the thing, that book(although it's as standard as standard can be) is really illegal to own, buy, or sell.  It is widely available, but a bit tricky.  Music stores can't exactly advertise they have it, nor can they display it, but most stores with any kind of selection of sheet music will have it in the back.  This book is great.  It covers everything from Miles to Coltrane to Brubeck to Zappa to Brecker to T. Williams to Bill Evanst to, well you get the point.

I think we need to clarify this a bit more. There is a book called "The Real Book" which is illegal because it's not copyrighted; it's all hand transcriptions. I bought mine, while in college, from a guy who was selling them out of the trunk of his car.  ;)

However, there is The New Real Book which is 100% legal; and there are other books as well. It's published by Sher Music Company, who also publishes another great book, The World's Greatest Fake Book. I own both of these books and highly recommend them.

Also be sure to check out Jamey Aebersold's website for more study materials and play-alongs.

http://www.jameyaebersold.com

What James said is correct; using eighth with a style description should fully tell the performer how to interpret the notation. You can write "swing 8ths" and such ... but it's redundant if you write "Medium Swing", etc. The rule of thumb is always to use the simplest & cleanest notation you can. Obviously you would have to use triplets if you have a group three notes to be played as a triplet. But for the Do bah Do bah or Long/short Long/short stuff ... the two eighth-notes will suffice.

adone232

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Re:Transcribing Jazz
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2002, 10:06 AM »
Thanks Alot,

Since posting this morning, I have gone down town to sunny London and picked up The New Real Book for almost £40! But hey it's worth it..

Thanks again, for the great advice.

- Andrew.

 

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