[Sheet Music]

Lesson 17: Transcription

The Importance of Transcribing

It's very important to get into transcribing heads and solos from records. Some reasons are:

  • it develops your ear melodically, harmonically and rhythmically
  • it is beneficial for your playing, things will simply stick much better than when you learn something from sheet music

How to Get Started

If you're a beginner in this area, start with something simple. Take a simple tune that you can hum to yourself ( and not one of Frank Zappa's guitar solos...) and try to figure it out. There are two schools of thought about transcribing:

  • write down the material
  • learn to play it first, maybe write it down later


You should check out Transcribe!. Transcribe! is a program that allows you to load an audio file and to select a passage for repetition, to slow down the music without changing the pitch and so on... Great stuff, Transcribe! really makes the slow process of transcription much easier and faster! Transcribe! is available for Windows, Mac OS and Linux, it is distributed as Shareware with a 30 day free trial period and can be downloaded from Seventh String Software!

2004 Tomas Karlsson. All rights reserved.