Thelonious Monk - Transcription Exercises

In this thread we explore the style of Thelonious Monk.


Thelonious Monk Biography:

Download full biography: Thelonious Monk Biography.pdf (20.2 KB)

Thelonious Monk is considered one of the most important jazz pianists of the 40’s and the development of the bebop style. Many of his compositions have become a part of the standard jazz repertoire, including ‘Round Midnight’, Straight, No Chaser’, ‘In Walked Bud’, ‘Well, You Needn’t’ and ‘Ruby, My Dear’.

Important Discography To Start With:

Download full suggested discography: Thelonious Monk - Suggested Discography.pdf (17.2 KB)

  • Brilliant Corners - w/ Sonny Rollins and Ernie Henry (sax), Clark Terry (tr), Max Roach (dr) & Paul Chambers (b) 1956 Spotify Link Here
  • Thelonious Alone In San Francisco - solo piano 1959 Spotify Link Here
  • Underground - Mostly Quartet w/ Charlie Rouse (sax) Larry Gales (b) & Ben Riley (dr) (Jon Hendrick (voc) on one track) 1968 Spotify Link Here

What Do These Exercises Cover?

  • Exercises on this thread are built to give the students a deeper view on Thelonious Monk’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.

Transcription Exercise No. 1

We See - Album: Monk

This transcription exercise covers the first chorus of Thelonious Monk’s piano solo on ‘We See’, starting at 0:48s.

Click here for the start of the solo

The Assignment:

Transcribe the missing parts of the following transcription:

We See Transcription Exercise.mscz (20.3 KB)

We See Transcription Exercise.pdf (33.3 KB)

  • Right and left hand : transcribe the missing bars

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!



A post was merged into an existing topic: The Amazing Slow Downer - Transcription App

Full Transcription & Selected Analysis No. 1

We See - Album: Monk

Click here for the start of the solo

Here is the full transcription of the piano solo:

We See Transcription.pdf (42.5 KB)

We See Transcription.mscz (28.5 KB)

And here a selected analysis:

We See Analysis.pdf (224.5 KB)

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




wow… this is just beautiful and complicated/challenging! :grin: … hearing it with the other instruments is like heaven to my ears haha… :heart_eyes:

I’m glad to hear you like it!

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