[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]

Re: Derek Baily Improvisation TV

----- Original Message ----- 

> with homicide, it's all in the intent. Transcription without a doubt 
> improves ear training, which is crucial for improvisation.

I think this is what is debatable, you think?  I mean, you wouldn't force 
feed this learning approach on all learners I hope....? That seems a bit 
unfair, given all the different types of learning styles and learners out 
there.  This is why modern learning technology incorporates learning 
that address most all major learning styles - textual, verbal, visual, 
kinesthetic, etc. It is a real injustice that many music students have 
probably given up their instruments because some old school teacher has 
attempted to force a particular learning approach on them, that didn't 
complement their individual learning styles. It's a tradegy in my opinion, 
and very sad.

For me, transcription did nothing but take time and elongate/burden the 
learning process. I could learn phrases and licks 50 times faster by ear. 
So, again in my own personal experience, transcription served no value 
except to take more time. I already know how to notate music and read it 
(even sight read basic material), so transcribing stuff that someone else 
already wrote was really a clunky and inefficient way of learning their 
technique, etc.   For me, it just didn't add up how transcribing something 
that someone else already created, could help me be a better improviser.  
went against the grain of my personal learning style, which is the main 
point here. Really interesting topic.


I do it all
> the time myself, informally when listening to music, trying to nail the 
> chord progression and picturing the melody on the fretboard, then going 
> the guitar and seeing how correct I was. Every once in a great while 
> write out the rhythmic values.
> Now, during my time in music school I was constantly harangued to 
> transcribe things in order to "learn a lick and then practice it in all 
> keys". I felt then, and still feel, that this is a terrible approach to 
> improvisation. Stringing pre-fab phrases together...ack. What good is 
> going to do anyone, except to make it seem as if you have an 
> of music you actually don't, and have ideas you don't? I simply refused 
> this approach (didn't help my grades).
> My feeling is that, if you can hum a little melody, you can improvise. 
> Practice should be oriented toward making it so that playing your 
> instrument is easy as humming; the goal is that all thought should go 
> the music you want to hear coming out, not the technical task of playing 
> the instrument.
> Daryl Shawn
> www.swanwelder.com
> www.chinapaintingmusic.com
>> You disagree with my own experience of transcription? How the heck is 
>> that possible? That's like me saying I like strawberry icecream better 
>> than vanilla, and you disagreeing.  :)  My own experience and my 
>> style contradicts everything you say below. That's just one person's 
>> learning style vs. millions of others.
>> Kris
>> ----- Original Message -----
>>>>> I also like Bailey's interpretation of the value of transcribing in 
>>>>> jazz or in learning to improvise. I've never found that as a useful 
>>>>> tool, in terms of making me a better player or increasing my 
>>>>> improvisation skills...maybe making it easier for me to copy other 
>>>>> players' licks and clichés, but nothing from a creative standpoint.
>>> I have to disagree with this. I suppose if you go into transcription 
>>> with the goal of hijacking somebody else's style, that's all you'll 
>>> out of it. But transcription is an excellent form of ear training, and 
>>> would argue that good ears are, if anything, even more important in 
>>> authentic free playing than in the mainstream. And nothing says you 
>>> to restrict your transcription to solo instruments. Try to pry apart 
>>> some of Maria Schneider's dense large-ensemble jazz voicings; even 
>>> though I can do it imperfectly, I think it can greatly improve one's 
>>> clarity of expression.
>>> Brian