Tunes to transcribe by ear

Recently I have started trying to transcribe from recordings and am currently struggling a bit. Would be great to have a list of recordings in the same key as the lead-sheets we use that people have had success at transcribing by ear? Thanks!

Great idea Kester, and welcome to the PianoGroove community area.

We can certainly create some new threads for transcription guidance.

I think it’s a fantastic idea to have a list of recordings that are accessible to transcribe from, and also in the original key.

A little guidance in the interim:

I would recommend starting with an F Blues Recording.

“Phrancing” by Miles Davis is a nice recording to start transcribing with:

One of the main reasons we transcribe is to improve our sense of swing feel and Wynton Kelly is the man to listen to.

It’s very difficult to teach swing feel, articulation, and timing. It’s something that can only truly be learnt from listening, transcribing, and playing along with our favourite records.

We have a transcription lesson on the first 2 choruses of that tune. Check it out here:


Here is the 12 bar jazz blues form in F:

Jazz-Blues-Voicings.pdf (926.4 KB)

Learn these chords by memory so you don’t need to think about them.

And here is the transcription of the first 2 choruses of Phrancing:

Wynton-Kelly-Phrancing.pdf (38.6 KB)

Try playing along with the recording and use the transcription if needed.

Again thanks for your great idea Kester, a list of recordings to transcribe in the original key will be a wonderful addition to the forum. Leave it with me. :+1:

1 Like

Thanks - Will give it ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUMuDWDVd20 This is one of my all time favourites and has always been a dream to play it. It sounds like a jazz blues, does it follow the form?

Thanks again !