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Bass Transcription Analysis: “I Start With The Blues” Bob Mintzer Sax Solo, Part 3

Don’t be afraid to make some notes on your transcription! By that I mean to write in where there’s a cool diminished lick, a nice ii-V line, etc. If there’s a cool lick – outline that, and identify stuff you want to come back to.

It’s so valuable to learn licks through the cycle of 4ths, so we’ll be taking the lick from Bar 4 and moving it up a 4th to a new key. So if a lick is in the key of F, when you go up a 4th each time, you cycle through the flat keys, which is super useful especially since jazz standards tend towards flat keys.

Another aspect we illustrate is using some different fingerings for the same lick – this is essential. It opens your eyes to new places to play lines on the neck, but also you may find your fingering works better than a suggested one. Be sure to explore this! We’ll also discuss visualizing arpeggios differently, too, as a side benefit of this approach. Sometimes that enables us to play more harmonically interesting lines.

And near the end of this Part 3 video, I show you how I take another ii-V lick from bar 6 of Letter A and cycle it through the cycle of 4ths and look at ways to use that. Check it out! There’s a ton of cool stuff in this lesson.

Follow along with the transcription and video:

Rufus Philpot is a performer and educator living in Los Angeles who has performed and or recorded with everyone from Scott Henderson, Allan Holdsworth, Virgil Donati and Tony MacAlpine to Randy Brecker, Tom Scott, Gary Novak and Marvin "Smitty" Smith. For more, check out his website.

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