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How to Transcribe Licks Effectively

Should you transcribe?

I hear this question asked all the time, and the answer isn't quite as simple as you would think.

In today's lesson, I'm going to leave you with a simple, 4-step process that is going to make transcribing 100% worthwhile for you.

Here's a breakdown of the most efficient way to transcribe in four easy steps:

  1. Choose your favorite lick(s) from your chosen recording.

  2. Internalize that lick by visualizing and hearing it in your head, note for note.

  3. Learn to play the lick on your instrument.

  4. Practice molding the lick to fit different chord changes and progressions.

I've spent countless hours transcribing not only through memorization, but also through writing down transcriptions as sheet music. The above is what I have found to be by far the most effective method for truly integrating new jazz vocabulary into your playing, and it will save you a TON of time.

Whether you're working on bebop, modern jazz, neo soul, or really any genre of music, this method will work for learning to really hear what you're working on and it will greatly speed up the vocabulary integration process.


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