Herbie Hancock - Transcription Exercises

In this thread we explore the style of Herbie Hancock.


Herbie Hancock Biography:

Download full biography: Herbie Hancock Biography.pdf (20.3 KB)

Herbie Hancock has been a part of pretty much everything in the music business. 14-time Grammy winner has been a pioneer in post-bop, fusion, usage of electronic instruments and instrumentation, and in bringing jazz and pop music together in a way that has shaped and influenced younger generations to think more free and to break the barriers between genres.

Important Discography To Start With:

Download full suggested discography: Herbie Hancock - Suggested Discography.pdf (17.4 KB)

  • Empyrean Isles - Quartet w/ Freddie Hubbard (tr), Ron Carter (b) & Tony Williams (dr) 1964
    Spotify Link Here
  • Head Hunters - w/ Bennie Maupin (reeds), Paul Jackson (bass/gt), Harvey Mason (dr) & Bill Summers (perc) 1973
    Spotify Link Here
  • Quartet - Quartet w/ Wynton Marsalis (tr), Ron Carter (b) & Tony Williams (dr) 1981
    Spotify Link Here
  • The New Standard - w/ various artists 1996
    Spotify Link Here

What Do These Exercises Cover?

  • Exercises on this thread are built to give the students a deeper view on Herbie Hancock’s style, soloing, comping as well as an overall look into the tradition of jazz through his artistry.
  • Exercises are transcription-based, following with a closer look into certain details of his playing. This way we can combine ear-training with learning the language of jazz, as well as analyzing closely what is happening.
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Transcription Exercise No. 1

Dolphin Dance - Maiden Voyage

This transcription exercise covers the first chorus of Herbie Hancock’s piano solo as well as rhythm of the left hand comping, starting at 05:40.

Click here for the start of the solo

The Assignment:

Transcribe the missing parts of the following transcription:

Dolphin Dance Transcription Exercise.pdf (47.1 KB)

Dolphin Dance Transcription Exercise.mscz (24.1 KB)

  • Right hand : transcribe the missing parts
  • Left Hand : transcribe the missing rhythms

The full transcription will be posted in 2 weeks with supporting material and an analysis of the solo as well as details about what we can learn from the solo, and how to practice with it.

If you have any questions with the exercise, post them in this thread.

Have fun!


Full Transcription & Selected Analysis No. 1

Dolphin Dance - Maiden Voyage

Click here for the start of the solo

Here is the transcription of the piano solo, including left hand rhythm:

Dolphin Dance Transcription.pdf (55.0 KB)

Dolphin Dance Transcription.mscz (31.2 KB)

And here a selected analysis:

Dolphin Dance Analysis.pdf (254.3 KB)

If you have questions, comments or ideas, please write them to the thread,