I’m practicing my transcription skills - have any requests?


Recently one member made a request here to help figure out a lick and I did my best even though my aural skills suck to a truly great degree. I am already working on it but I got convinced that I should incorporate some transcribing on top of my current ear training exercises. Now, I know that I am very eager to try things…and then to quit them. So, I created Instagram account where I plan to put my transcriptions. I hope that it will increase the stakes (fear of public humiliation) which should increase my chances of sticking to the transcribing plan :crossed_fingers:

I write this here in order to announce that if somebody wants something to be transcribed, you can write your requests/suggestions here :sunglasses:

Before you do that, few important points:

  • I am really not good at this. Do not expect anything super accurate. Also, don’t even think to submit some kind of hyper speed shred lick or something that is burried deep in the mix.
  • I am doing this only to get better. I ask for suggestions here just because it increases my sense of responsibility when I do something for somebody else.
  • This is definitely not a commercial offer. I’m not asking, nor giving money for anything. (I thought I should make this clear for several reasons)

I guess that’s it. I don’t think there’s anything else to add. Except that I’ve already started with an extremely simple melody from Batman Begins soundtrack. It’s simple, it’s nice, I like it…all the good reasons to start with it :+1:

Introduction: Hakuna Matata

What about the unaccompanied guitar intro to If It Bleeds It Leads, from the Nightcrawler OST?


Oh damn… :fearful: I’m afraid this will be more difficult than I think. Whammy bar will be tricky to notate. Also, I fear that it’s in free time which I hate.
All that being said, of course I’ll try it! Thanks for the suggestion :+1:

Funny how I don’t remember this track from the movie :thinking:
Anyway, the name of this track is killer :metal:


Ok, I was too eager to wait til tomorrow.

First of all, this was difficult. Also, I am very dissatisfied with how my transcription looks :disappointed: I think it’s straight ugly! It happened to be so partly because of notation software limits and surely because of my intellectual limits. Tabs actually look much better than notes.

If somebody attempts to play it while looking at this “pride and joy” of mine, bear in mind that this intro feels very much like free time performance. The rhythms that I notated do not correspond to the music very much. Also, keep your whammy bar in hand all the time and move it gently. And add some modulation effects as well as bit of distortion.

Thanks for suggestion @aliendough :+1: This piece forced me to work on something new :slight_smile: It was also the first time that I used my whammy bar for some actual music :sunglasses:

If somebody has some piece of advice on how to notate music like this, I would humbly accept it :innocent:


that sounds excellent!! thank you.

What programme do you use to transcribe?


Just one more, what about this intro?


are you willing to do orchestral passages also?


Wow, really? :open_mouth: Thanks for the positive feedback. I really appreciate it :+1: And I’m also happy that you found it useful. It was useful for me too :innocent:

I’m using Transcribe! for looping parts (and slowing down when needed) and I notate on GuitarPro5.

Gladly! On the surface, it sounds more manageable than Nightcrawler OST :slight_smile:

Of course I’m willing! The real question is am I capable of doing that :point_up:
I would gladly try it. Just keep it mind that I am merely practicing, so no promises :wink:

Thanks for the activity in this thread :+1:


Done with Perfect Serenity :slight_smile: Thanks for another suggestion @aliendough :+1: It was a nice piece for the morning.

It’s pretty much straight forward intro. However, I still had problems with playing it because I don’t really play acoustic stuff. I pay quite a bit of attention to my fretting hand muting during daily playing so pieces like this, where one has to let ring many notes, prove to be alien. By the way, I did not indicate exact lenghts of ringing notes. It doesn’t really matter that much in my opinion. Just let ring whatever is manageable to you and you’ll be good.
In the tab, I indicated two letters “T” in a circle. In these spots it made most sense to me to fret these bass notes with thumb. If you can play them with different fingers, be my guest :slight_smile:
Oh, and I’m pretty sure about the tempo marking. I played my GP file along with the recording and it sounded pretty much even :innocent: I’m glad about that.

That’s it. Not much more about the performance.
If you want, I can send a GP5 file. I already deleted my previous transcriptions and will also delete this in near future. But if anybody is interested, I can definitely share.


Great topic! There are some legato passage from Vinnie Moore’s old records that I never managed to transcribe properly. But they may just be too hard and it’s probably a crazy idea to try and dissect them note by note… still if you are interested I can point you to a couple of them :slight_smile:


It won’t hurt to try. Well, actually my ego might get hurt :smiley:
In all seriousness, yeah drop something and indicate the exact passage. I can only promise that I’ll try :wink: Learning some legato stuff will benefit me as well.

One caveat: when transcribing guitar, I think I am expected to transcribe exact fingerings the performer used. I myself expect that. But don’t raise your hopes to that level. Unless you give me a video where fretting hand is seen.
That’s why transcribing from other instruments is easier in this case. I can indicate whatever fingerings I feel are the most comfortable and no one can blame me too much.


Your transcriptions are good, keep at it!

I have saved both the Perfect Serenity and When It Bleeds pictures and added them to my transcription archives :slight_smile:


Thank you for accepting :slight_smile:

An example I worked on quite a lot (with relatively little to show for it) is the legato run at about 3:53 of The Thinking Machine (fantastic song by the way):

Maybe I was being over-ambitious though, there is a good chance Vinnie was going on autopilot and even he might not exactly know what he did!

I can share a video of my approximate transcription this evening (played slowly - can’t do it fast), so that you could have a basis to start from - but for now you could give it a listen.

PS: Vinnie sometimes does 3nps shapes with repeated notes between G and B strings, which may be tricky to spot.

PPS: There are several excellent covers of this song on youtube, yet nobody plays that lick properly. (I guess one could also argue: does it really matter to play every single note the same?)


Oh man… :smiley: I can only laugh or cry at that lick. (I choose to laugh.) Sure I’ll try it but my first impression is “this is way beyond my skills”. Anyway, cool lick! It would be awesome to get it down.

Thanks for the tip :+1: This might be very helpful.

I’m not sure if it would help me. It may confuse me even more if your notes aren’t accurate. Let’s make a deal: I’ll try this on my own. If I get totally lost, I’ll ask you to upload how you attempted it, ok? :slight_smile:

I’ve been thinking about that. On an emotional level and as a fanboy, I definitely want to play things exactly like my idols do. Also, it can by quite a challenge which would improve my technique. When I think more rationally, my view changes to something like “nah, all I need is to match the sounds or intention. Nobody cares if I choose some different fingering or few different notes in a way-too-fast-to-hear run.” Especially when we consider examples like the one you offered where performer might be playing on “autopilot”. I really don’t think exact notes in cases like this matter that much. What really matters is an intention. And we shouldn’t forget that at these speeds there could be burried quite some mistakes or unintended notes.
All that being said, it would definitely be an achievement to transcribe or to play it exactly as recorded even if it isn’t that important viewing from the standpoint of musicality or performance. So, that’s a challenge! :muscle: I gladly accept it :sunglasses:

In mean time, I’ve transcribed a theme from Brett Garsed’s Undoing (tabs are in my tumblr, the link is in the first post here). It’s a pleasant passage that requires crosspicking. I saw Brett playing this and it seems that he uses hybrid picking. Also, positions/strings are correct based on the same video. I think I’ll use it as a crosspicking exercise for a while. However, things get extreme really fast with these fusion guys so I didn’t even attempt to figure out what happens during the rest of the piece.


holy…this is really cool. I’ve never heard Vinnie Moore before, I mean I’ve been hearing the name for decades but I didn’t know it sounded like this. Impressed!


what kind of software do you have for slowing down the passages? I have the RX4 and I can upload this portion of the passage slowed down but still retaining the pitch if you’d like. I might even help to see the notes in front of you on a spectrogram. Let me know.


ok, thanks so much, it is a short phrase; i’ll upload it later today.


So…sigh :dizzy_face:
I did it. Well, I attempted it and I’m somewhat surprised by the result. I don’t think it’s perfect but I double (triple, quadruple, and many more) checked real recording along with the GP file at full speed and at half speed. It sounds kinda similar. Some notes might be off but it seems that I got most of the clearer notes correctly. However, fingerings is different topic. I can’t guarantee any sort of accuracy in this case. I tabbed it the way it makes most sense to me but I have no idea how Vinnie played it. By the way, I did not indicate any pull-offs nor hammer-ons. Use them wherever possible. I only indicated one slide because that’s where I shifted positions. That’s just my preference. (And one more long slide near the end.)
Another concern is rhythms. I had to slow down this passage to half speed and then to 1/3 speed. In these circumstances one starts to hear all sorts of things. Some of the rhythms I notated could be not intended by Vinnie. Or they could be just audio illusions because when I listen to it at full speed, it all sounds like kind of even notes. So, I’m not totally confident about rhythms.

All in all, I did it. How accurate this tab is…that’s different question :smiley:
I myself could only play along at ~40% speed and only one beat at a time. In these circumstances, it felt good. I’ll work on memorizing it and trying to play along at some tempo. If I’ll discover some mistakes, I’ll update it.

Let me know what you think and how similar or different it is to your transcription, @tommo :wink: I can send you a GP file if you want because just seeing tabs…it’s just confusing.

Edit: I forgot to comment the quirky pause in the beginning. I’m pretty sure that it was not intended to be there but I could hear it quite clearly so I decided to notate it. It doesn’t really make sense and I don’t expect anyone to actually play that pause precisely at full speed. One should just insert some note or prolong something. Nobody will notice it at full speed. Problem arises when I slow down the recording and try to play along. In that case, there is a very clear pause that I can’t ignore.

And so there’s dilemma: to transcribe as accurately as possible or to transcribe in the most practical way :thinking:

Edit2: I noticed a mistake in the chromatic run towards the end. It should be 18-17-16-15 instead of 18-17-15-14. I won’t update the picture now because there may be more mistakes.

Edit3: hopefully the last update. It tried to memorize this lick and to play along at some meaningful tempo. My skills proved to suck too much to play this passage fast. So I compared GP sounds to the real sounds and came to conclusion that my work is largely correct. Sure, I can hear that, for example, Vinnie speeds up a bit in the end of the second full bar but these details sound merely like the artefacts of slowing things down and investigating too deeply.
I think I’m done with this lick. Unless somebody will notice some mistake that I made. Have fun whoever decides to try it besides @tommo :sweat_smile:
(I’m uploading the corrected tab in the place of the previous one.)


Honestly, same here :disappointed: I’ve seen his instructional video but that’s it. And Troy mentioned him somewhere in his content.

I haven’t heard of RX4. I use Transcribe! It works well for this kind of job. It can slow down while retaining pitch as well. On top of that, one can loop parts, mark measures and beats, transpose sound, and there are few more features. And it wasn’t crazy expensive - 50 bucks when I bought quite some years ago. I just didn’t use it that much. Still, I’ll check out RX4. Thanks :slight_smile:


uhhh…Transcribe should work out fine for you. the RX is around $2000 :grin: