Play-Along with Gerald Clayton on Strasbourg/St. Denis

Here’s a recording I made of myself playing along with Gerald Clayton’s piano solo on Strasbourg/St. Denis from Roy Hargrove’s Earfood album.

There are a few times in the solo where Gerald plays multiple notes at the same time in the right hand. I did overdubs with the saxophone to try to cover all of that.

Here’s a rundown of the gear I used to record this:

DAW: Logic Pro X
Interface: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
Microphone: Cascade Fathead II with Lundahl transformer
Plug-ins: Eventide Ultra Channel, Apple Platinum Verb

Barry Harris Half Step Rules

The video above was filmed at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, NL. It is part of a collection of video chronicling workshops that were given by pianist Barry Harris between 1989 and 1998. That collection can be found on the Barry Harris Videos channel on YouTube. There is a lot of great information there. Dr. Harris’s career has spanned over half a century and at the age of 85, he continues to perform and teach.

In the video, Harris outlines and demonstrates a set of rules for dealing with descending dominant (Mixolydian) scales. The basic concept is that in particular circumstances, the addition of half steps is necessary to insure that chord tones (1, 3, 5, b7) occur on downbeats instead of upbeats.

In the handout below, I wrote out the rules outlined by Dr. Harris in the video. Harris briefly talks about rules for the Major scale, but only mentions the use of a half step going from 6 to 5 before returning to the discussion of the dominant (Mixolydian) scale.


Transcribed: You Stepped Out Of A Dream – Dexter Gordon

A Swingin' Affair












Here is Dexter Gordon’s solo on You Stepped Out of a Dream from his 1962 album, A Swingin’ Affair.

You Stepped Out of a Dream – Dexter Gordon Solo by eddierich

Transcribed: Lester Leaps In – Sonny Stitt

A couple post back, I played along with the recording of Sonny Stitt playing Lester Leaps In. I had learned the solo by listening and listening to it and playing along and figuring it out. I mentioned in that post that I wasn’t planning on writing it down


After working with it for a few weeks, I decided it might be better to write it down. I was at a point of extracting and isolating vocabulary. I find this to be easier if I can see it. With that said, and without further ado, here it is.


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Upcoming Events!

I’ve got a couple of really cool shows coming up that I wanted to share. The first one is on March 13 at Red Rock Casino with a new band called The Dirty. Check out the website to get a feel for what we’re doing.

The other show is with the Rockie Brown Band. That’s coming up on March 22nd at the Downtown Container Park. Rockie Brown Band is also in the studio now recording an album. I’ll be posting some photos and videos from the sessions soon.
You can find more details about the gigs by clicking on the Events tab at the top of the page.

Playing with Sonny Stitt – Lester Leaps In


This is a solo I’ve been working on recently. No plans on writing it down at the moment.

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Transcribed: DMT Song – Flying Lotus
















I was interested in the chord movement in this song so I transcribed it.



Transcribed: There Will Never Be Another You – Woody Shaw



One of the first transcriptions I posted on this site was Kenny Garrett’s solo on There Will Never Be Another You. It comes from Woody Shaw’s “Solid” album. I’ve always liked this record since I bought it, but I had never learned any of Woody Shaw’s solos until now. It’s cool to see the different ways Woody plays outside and how he resolves those lines. I also enjoying seeing how clear and deliberate each phrase was. As a listener, I had the feeling that, at the end of each phrase, Woody Shaw waited until he was ready with a strong melodic idea before playing again.

As always, I used Transcribe! for learning the solo. This time around, I found a really cool feature. You can slow your selection down to whatever speed you’d like and export it as a .wav file. It will play at your selected speed and you can choose the number of times the selection repeats. Really cool stuff! After exporting the file at half speed, I put it on my iPod, kept it on repeat in my car, and sang along. That really helped me get a good feel for the time and articulation.

The solo was, of course, originally played on trumpet, but it is playable on tenor in one of two ways.
1. In measure 20, beginning on the E on beat 2, play the rest of that phrase up an octave, and then play the rest of the solo as written.
2. For a good altissimo workout, play the entire solo up an octave. This is what I did and it doesn’t get too crazy/awkward aside from measures 16 and 17.
3. Trumpet players – Please forgive me if there any idiomatic trumpet devices (half-valves, etc.) that I didn’t notate. If you see/hear anything like that, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll make any necessary changes.


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