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Jazz Guitar Lesson: Tips for Transcribing


For jazz musicians of all instruments and skill levels, transcribing the melodies and improvised solos of some of the genre’s greatest masters is an essential practice and a guaranteed method for improving your playing, musical ear, and musicianship. Transcribing the work of our musical heroes does not necessarily mean putting pen to paper and applying notes to the staff, although that can be highly impactful. Transcriptions can more simply be defined as dissecting a piece of music by ear, translating it onto your instrument, and being able to perform it.


In this online jazz guitar lesson, award-winning master guitarist, former member of the Stanley Turrentine Quintet, and ArtistWorks jazz guitar instructor, Dave Stryker discusses the benefits that transcribing solos can provide and outlines critical techniques to assist you through the transcription process. Dave even shares a handful of his favorite musicians and their tunes that he’s transcribed over the years that have had the greatest influence on his playing.


LEARN MORE: Want to learn how to play jazz guitar from a master musician like Dave Stryker? Try some free online jazz guitar lessons now!


“Transcribing is the most fundamental way to learn jazz music and expand your jazz vocabulary,” Dave explains. “I always found that my playing improved and I’d elevate to that next level any time I put a little bit of effort into transcribing.”


The practice of transcribing music is rooted in the act of listening. You will naturally pick up on critical facets of musical vocabulary just by listening. Taking the next step to implement it on your instrument will further engrain those musical ideas and they’ll become a natural part of your playing from there.


Musicians and guitarists of all skill levels, from beginner to advanced, can all continuously benefit from regularly transcribing music. To motivate yourself to make transcribing a consistent part of your practice routine, focus on learning pieces that you most enjoy listening to.


“The jazz feel will naturally seep into your playing the more you listen and the more you transcribe your favorite players,” Dave explains. “If you listen to a Kenny Burrell or a Grant Green, you’re going to hear how they really put that time and feel into their music, and that’s really what’s so important.”


To learn more about how to approach transcribing your favorite musicians and how it can impact your playing, dive into this online jazz guitar lesson from Dave Stryker:


Tips for Transcribing with Dave Stryker:




Have you always wanted to learn how to play jazz guitar? Through our comprehensive jazz guitar lessons online and Video Exchange Learning platform here at ArtistWorks, you can learn from internationally renowned players, like Dave Stryker, and get personal feedback on your playing.


Dave’s course starts with the basics and teaches everything from beginner guitar to advanced performance techniques, classic jazz standards, improvisation, music theory, and beyond. So, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced player, all levels are welcome and all students will grow and improve their skills as jazz guitarists and musicians.


Try out some free sample music lessons here and see what makes ArtistWorks courses some of the best online music lessons around!



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