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Transcription Practice - 80's Pop

Discussion in 'RedBanned TV' started by Mike Verta, Aug 23, 2017.

  1. People ask me how I'm able to transcribe pieces during the Unleashed classes so quickly, and I'd have to say the answer is: practice. If I'm near a piano, I usually transcribe pretty much everything I hear - cellphone rings, stuff on TV, whatever. I've been asked to do live transcription a lot, and though I don't really know how or if this particular flavor of it useful, one never knows. Sometimes people just like to see the process...

  2. This was very useful to me.

    I always preferred classical music, which is great in many ways, but made me very stiff. I never improvised or transcribed growing up. I did not really enjoy rock and pop songs (I think I actually enjoy them more now), and I never realized this pedagogic value of such music. All my music teachers, and I had many of them, also neglected to tell me to play together with the records. Then well into my thirties the Matrix reset and I started discovering that every fluent musician that I know actually learned from playing this way.

    I have read many books on harmony, counterpoint, orchestration etc. and what you say about this kind of education is completely true: it is important but secondary to the real world of speaking in sounds.
  3. I'm working on this, but I don't have much of a way to check my work and see how accurate my transcriptions are, or correct my mistakes. I can usually get the right basic chord, but I have a lot of trouble with hearing (inner) voicing and chord extensions accurately, and would like to be able to go back and see how close I was after transcribing by ear. Can anyone recommend a good "80's hits" songbook with accurate notation?
  4. Nope. There are no great, accurate transcriptions of these charts. Some are better than others, but anytime I've had to do live gigs I've had to start from scratch. This is why transcribing things like chamber pieces or other small-group pieces which you can get the sheet music for is so useful. But with the simplest pop tunes, it should be pretty much pass/fail as they don't use sophisticated chords or voice leading, generally!
  5. When played back, use your ears to be the judge. If you're not confident, ask someone else to listen to see if it's correct. Songbooks are notoriously inaccurate for the most part.

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