Carl Verheyen's Studio Diary

Guitar Player, November 2011 | Go to article overview

Carl Verheyen's Studio Diary


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

SUMMERTIME IS TOURING SEASON for many guitarists, and I try to keep expanding my musical abilities on the road by practicing wherever and whenever I can. But due to logistical complications I occasionally find myself holed up in a hotel room without a guitar. It was a situation like this where I developed a whole new way to practice.

As you can listen to just about any song you want on YouTube, I decided to transcribe something simple in an effort to practice my ear training. I normally transcribe on the guitar or the piano, but, this time, I decided to try it on the couch! I knew the song "Green Onions" by Booker T. & the M.G.'s was in the key of F, so armed with nothing but a pad of music paper, I attempted to write out the entire B-3 melody. All I needed was the tonal center, and then using my ear and relative pitch, I was able to write it out in standard notation. Next, I tried Steve Cropper's guitar part.

Soon, I was trying solos that were a little tougher. I spent a few hours writing out Miles Davis' solo on "Freddie Freeloader" from Kind of Blue. It was a lot harder, and a few sections were stabs in the dark. But when I was finally able to sit with a guitar and read my transcription along with the recording, I was encouraged. There were a few mistakes, but, for the most part, it was accurate. …

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