Transcription: Jaco Pastorius’ Solo on “(Used To Be a) Cha Cha”

Among the great tunes on Jaco Pastorius’ self-titled solo debut was “(Used to Be A) Cha-Cha”. His solo is a tricky one, at an upbeat tempo and with Jaco’s trademark melodic and syncopated lines.

Along with Jaco, Hubert Laws (piccolo and flute), Herbie Hancock (piano), Lenny White (drums) and Don Alias (congas) performed on the original.

Here is my take on his wonderful solo on this track, and you can follow along with the transcription (download the PDF):

Good luck!

Download the “(Used To Be a) Cha Cha” Solo Transcription

(standard notation)

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  1. Wow. Nice work!

  2. Mandale tablatura para los pobres… :(

  3. great job! can u write the lead an B part of bass lines?

  4. Awesome, great job! Thanks

  5. Is this a joke? Use a metronome…’re missing whole clusters of notes.

    • You’re the joke for criticizing somebody who is clearly a very competent player. He’s playing it along with the tack to give some harmonic context. Sure, he might be a little more clear if he were using a metronome, but it’d be a whole lot less interesting to listen to in my opinion. Keep kicking ass, player!

    • Bob Howard

      Show us how you would do it asshole!

      • Jukka Haavisto

        Lets keep feelings chilled. But thanks for your support :D I try to put some new videos here as soon as possible.

    • chas laurie

      OK, first things first. When I first heard this I was very impressed. In fact I was inspired to print out the pdf file and get back in to the woodshed and give this a go. I have been playing bass for over 36 years and have long been a Jaco fan. I lifted “Portrait Of Tracy” on a record player when I was 16. Say no more…..
      I converted Jukkas’ play-along track to mp3 and put it into my transcribe program so I could read his chart and listen to his track ( slowed down ). This is when I started hearing discrepancies . Figured the best thing to do was to revert to the original Jaco track to do my lifting. Chart needed some correcting. Hmmmmm. What my initial thought was that the chart may have been a little off, but the play along track sounded pretty good…..Then I saw this comment and began to realize… I was not the only one to hear this.
      I managed to isolate Jukkas’ track and have found glaring mistakes.
      Let me make this clear. I don’t intend for this to be a negative thing….
      We all need to slow down and really pay attention…… Things aren’t always what they seem ….
      And if anyone has a problem with this, I will gladly upload my proof…..

      • chas laurie

        Because what you are really hearing is Jacos’ track…Play along is much quieter….

      • Jukka Haavisto

        I really appreciate that you have spent lot of time with my video and transcription. Yes, there are plenty of mistakes, I don’t deny it. And now I would play it much differently. I have made correction to the pdf-file, I don’t know if those would be updated to file wich is seen here.
        But actually the original music is in left channel and my bass is in the right one. So it is very easy to listen only my bass, unfortunatelly with all mistakes :D

        • Dan Immel

          Chas, it’s not just you, but you had much more class in how you presented it. :) I just downloaded the .pdf yesterday and have started working through it along side a 1/2 speed version through Ableton Live’s 1/2 speed warp function. It’s clear that No Treble didn’t upload a corrected version because I’m not even out of the 1st chorus and my mental pencil has had to make a lot of scribbles if you know what I’m saying. Jukka, you’re the man for putting this up to inspire people and share the Joy of Jaco, but you owe it to yourself, and everyone else now, to ask the staff to put up a corrected version if you’ve done one.

  6. Hi every one!
    My bands debut album is out now! There you can find some nasty bass solos. Album is available at any digital store and Spotify