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New to Transcribing - album or individual tracks?

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I'm just starting to get into transcribing and and wondering if anyone has any opinions on the following...

Looking back to when you started transcribing, do you think it is better to start with doing different songs in different styles of music or to pick one album and concentrate on transcribing the whole thing as a way to get inside that bass player's head and getting a good understanding of their general approach?

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I started just doing the songs I wanted to play but if I was starting again I'd be transcribing songs from lots of different genres and paying more attention to how the bass line was constructed, learning from any many different bassists lines as possible seems more worthwhile to me.

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I think its a case of deciding what it is you want to achieve by transcribing the pieces you choose. Personally, I think that, if you are transcribing for publication (even informally such as on here), you need to be as thorough as possible and complete tracks start to finish are preferred. If, however, it is all for your own study, then you can legitimately transcribe one bar and have achieved your aim. I have posted a large number of transcriptions here ranging from a bass clef version of John Coltrane's entire saxophone work on 'A Love Superme' to individual riffs/licks etc.

What I find is that transcribing a whole album can sometime be a bit pointless as a lot of music is based on repetition and transcriptions of endless bars of the same riff really doesn't achieve very much. At home, I tend to transcribe things I want to examine and understand which can be a little part of a solo or riff rather than massive chunks of material. In short, the purpose determines the content.

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Also it's good to transcribe other instruments other than just Bass,
This is of course good for the pitching/ears, but also gaining a good/better understanding of [Theory] harmony , Rhythm
and chord structure.

Go with what you think you will gain more from.


Garry

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Thanks for the replies. Good stuff. Lots to think about.

I've picked a couple of songs to start with, will work on them and see where that leads me.

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I'm a big fan of transcription - a couple of years ago I took 18 months off playing due to tendonitis and spent the bulk of that time writing down as many different things as possible. I don't get to spend as much time on it as I'd like at the moment but it's one of the most beneficial activities for expanding your playing (not to mention general musicianship).

A few of things that I'd recommend keeping in mind:

- Transcribe a wide range of material, not just bass

- Don't transcribe things just 'for the sake of it'. Go after the things that appeal to you musically, otherwise the value of the transcription process is limited.

- Some people advocate transcribing solely 'by ear', away from an instrument. Whilst this is undoubtedly a very impressive feat, I find it a waste of time. My objective when doing a transcription is to get it on paper (or into Sibelius/Finale) as quickly and accurately as possible. To that end, I use a keyboard and, where necessary, slow things down in quicktime to make sure I've got everything spot on.

- Learn everything that you transcribe. If you've written out something played by another instrument then it might need some rearranging to make it work on a bass.

- Start off small and be patient!


As far as the tracks vs. whole albums question goes, I've only ever done one whole album (Me'shell Ndegeocello's [i]Peace Beyond Passion[/i]). It depends how much you want to absorb the sound of a certain player. Sometimes it's not necessary to even do an entire songs, a couple of licks may be enough!



Tom

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Hey there! Just found this post of Urs & i wanted to get the Peace Beyond Passion transcriptions but the link is not valid anymore i think... i just subscribed to Ur Youtube Channel & see U have a video titled Quick Licks #2 that i'm going to watch immediately, but i was wondering if U could share those transcriptions again ? Please? 

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21 hours ago, outtaseezun said:

Hey there! Just found this post of Urs & i wanted to get the Peace Beyond Passion transcriptions but the link is not valid anymore i think... i just subscribed to Ur Youtube Channel & see U have a video titled Quick Licks #2 that i'm going to watch immediately, but i was wondering if U could share those transcriptions again ? Please? 

I took down the Me'shell transcriptions as I felt I could do them better... I'm in the process of editing them, they'll be back on the site soon.

 

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The whole site being down is an unplanned headache - it appears I got hacked sometime in the last week... Working on having things up and running ASAP!

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