Thursday, May 30, 2013

Herbie Hancock transcription - Three Bags Full

As I mentioned in my last post, one of my summer goals is to transcribe all of Herbie Hancock's solos from his "Takin' Off" record, from 1962.  For years I've had a hang-up about studying Herbie's playing in depth.  I've felt intimidated and ill-equipped for the task.  Anyways, it's time to overcome these feelings of inadequacy.  By starting with Herbie's first solo album, maybe I can work my way up to being able to transcribe, play, comprehend, and incorporate material from his later solos.

I started with track 2, "Three Bags Full".  Now that I have it written down, I'm practicing learning to play small sections along with the recording at a reduced speed.  Learning it slow actually makes it harder to perfectly replicate his "feel".  I'm using the Amazing Slow Downer software program, which I highly recommend.  I transcribed the solo without it at first, and then checked my work at a slower speed and couldn't believe how many details and notes I missed.

You'll notice that I didn't write many of the left hand chord voicings, but used simple rhythmic notation instead.  That's because he's playing mostly stock rootless voicings that all jazz piano students learn at some point.  Scribbling down these notes seemed like a waste of time for my purposes.

I added some analysis, but I'm still analyzing as I go.  I hope to really "get inside his head" over the next few months.

If you would like to listen along as you glance through the solo, here's a YouTube link where someone uploaded it: http://youtu.be/nzkd-N6UrYE
Herbie's solo starts at 3:05.

Herbie Hancock - Three Bags Full solo transcription

Herbie Hancock - Three Bags Full solo transcription

Herbie Hancock - Three Bags Full solo transcription

Herbie Hancock - Three Bags Full solo transcription

Herbie Hancock - Three Bags Full solo transcription

Now, onto "Empty Pockets".

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