San Diego Saxophone Lessons

San Diego Saxophone Lessons
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Monday, May 6, 2013

Transcribing: Rhythm Changes

Here's a transcription I recently did of the first part of Sonny Stitt's "The Eternal One" from the reissue CD "Low Flame". I believe this was originally released on 1964's "Shangri-La". The tune is rhythm changes, and is based off of the riff from the song Eternal Triangle but with the standard chord changes on the bridge.


I've been working on improving my chops in some of the more difficult keys, so for this transcription, I pitch-shifted the audio from Bb into A before I started learning it (for you fellow tenor-players, that puts us in the key of B). This was a great way to get all those tasty licks that are idiomatic to the key of Bb into another key.

Transcribing is an excellent way to improve your time-feel, tone, phrasing, intonation, ears, technique... well... it improves everything! It's also a great way to learn the specific articulation of other saxophonists. After repeated practice and careful listening, the nuances of the articulation, scoops, bends, and vibrato all become more apparent. To me, that sort of stylistic information is the most important stuff. Anyone can play the notes, but copping the feel of the original is the ultimate goal.


Read part II of this post here.

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