I’m transcribing a lot these days hence the lack of blogging. I was handed the charts for this gig I’m doing right now (thanks Marcus for the beautiful charts!) and I’m rewriting them so I can pass my charts to others whenever I need a sub. It’s just not nice sharing other people’s charts. I don’t just copy them straight but also listen to the original tracks to see if anything is missing so it feels like transcribing the songs all over again. On top of that I have new songs to transcribe too.
I learn from my transcriptions. The more I transcribe the better I am at it and that in turn benefits my playing. Transcribing is not always fun however. I was transcribing a song last week and it took me more than an hour all thanks to weird chords and lines. Sometimes getting one chord down takes a few minutes i.e. listening to the bass, the melody and then the inner voicing of the chord while the drums and audio artifacts get in the way.
Transcribing is the most direct way to understanding music. It’s not unlike dismantling a microwave oven to learn how it works or making sense of a movie’s dialogues without subtitles. So, are you transcribing your favorite songs now?