Learn From the Best: DEXTER GORDON



Transcribing is still the best way to learn how to improvise.  Often times, I transcribe bits and pieces and never write anything down. My main goal is to quickly acquire small melodic phrases to use in my soloing, or to figure out just what that artist was playing for the sake of curiosity.  On occasion though, I will take the time to write out a solo in order to analyze it.  I'll just look and listen to it without trying to play it.  That is what I did with this one.  Here is a list of devices Dexter Gordon uses in the first three choruses of his solo on "Stanley The Steamer" from his 1969 recording Tower Of Power.  Notice how clear he plays ideas!

1. Melodic Sequence
2. Descending Arpeggio
3. Blues Scale
4. Triadic Material
5. Digital Pattern 123

His solo begins at the 0:32 mark:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4zS54IBt6Q&list=PLrUkdEXIMqeV85BsIswh1hOSBaTWzxpS-&index=3

Happy practicing! Happy listening!

James
 

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