Transcribing

I have always been horrible about transcribing musical ideas. I hear things that I love, and then never learn them. Well, that's how I used to work anyways. I recently had a moment where I at once felt completely stupid, and enlightened at the same time. 

I was always told that transcribing solos was the essential way to learn how to play jazz. This not a false statement. I was also at some point early on, told that transcribing was to listen, and then write the solo down. I don't know why really, but this stuck with me, and the task of transcribing things was immediately overwhelming in my mind. 

It was recently explained to me that transcribing can be as simple as playing along with a recording and then repeating the lines you like until you can play them with ease. This process, which can be done very quickly in some cases, is fast, fun, and it really works. It turns out I have been transcribing things for a long time - I often will listen to recordings, and play along with the parts I need to learn. I've done this for last minute gigs, rehearsals, you name it. 

So, Transcribing as it turns out can be as simple as saying, "Oooh, that line was pretty.", then pressing rewind, getting out the horn, and learning it by ear. Presto, you can become a transcribing machine in no time flat!