I am continuing to transcribe and learn a jazz standard each month to try and get better at this genre. And recording myself to keep myself honest.
March’s song is My One And Only Love because I thought, “why not try to learn a ballad?” I started by making a playlist (“My many one and only loves”) and listened to twenty versions of this song, settled on the version by Grant Green as the one to transcribe, and wrote it out (just melody this time — most recorded solos are generally embellishments of the melody). Green’s version has a slightly different melody and chords than the standard, and is in Eb instead of C.
I recently got a Focusrite Scarlett for recording and the audio quality difference is, unsurprisingly, night and day compared to just recording with my webcam mic. The guitar is straight into the Scarlett, then I am using Guitarix with a Fender Twin Reverb-like amp model to get the clean sound. The bass/drums are a JJazzlab midi track. I’m using pipewire in place of Jack to route and mix the audio sources. I’m really pleased with this setup, and after years of Linux audio being, well, Linux audio, it feels like pipewire finally got things right (even on the oldish version Debian stable ships that disclaims any responsibility).
Here’s a full song with improvised solo.
Things for me to work on after having watched myself:
- It’s a bit shaky on the B7 -> Bdim -> Cm transition. I kept missing the b5.
- I got a bit behind the chords on the last chorus and had to play catch-up.
- The solo is generally in the right key centers but not outlining the chords very well or having much development.
- I tend to play way behind the beat, even though (I think) I have it clicking away in my head. This is something I’ll need to focus on because it makes the whole thing sound sluggish and weird.
Although I still like the melody, I got bored of this one pretty early on, so next month I’ll pick another uptempo bebop standard to learn.