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Out of the Box Strategies for Learning Tunes - Pt 2: Transcribe the Melody

If you have a Real Book, check out the melody to There Will Never Be Another You. I will save you some time. You will see the melody to this great standard written in quarter notes. I challenge you to find a recording of any significant artist playing the melody to There Will Never Be Another You in quarter notes. The bottom line is that jazz fake books are reference guides - approximations and rough blueprints for tunes. To capture the real spirit of a tune, we have to go the purist artifacts we have - the recordings.

Jazz is an aural form, and the best way to learn melodies is by ear. I have written before about how this can be a nice way to start transcription. Learn melodies by ear also develops interpretation and creates a more thorough connect to the melodic content of a tune.

Getting back to On Sunny Side of the Street, which is the tune that links all of this months posts. Take some time to learn the melody by any of the records on the playlist from the last post. Click Here. Learn the melody as presented by a few different musicians. While it is still the same melody there are significant differences from how Lionel Hamptons band is covering the melody versus how it is presented by Stanley Turrentine on the Jimmy Smith Album, or by Gillespie, Rollins, and Stitt.

Taking time to engage in the melodic content through the recordings will create a stronger connection between the emotional aspect of the music, and as a bonus - you will never play There Will Never Be Another You in straight quarter notes!!!

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