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


Hang in there!. Any mistake we all make in transcribing will help us the next time to be a bit better. You do fine work!


One great benefit to these transcription requests is that I get exposed to music I have never heard. This has an awesome groove to it!


Giant are an amazing band. Dann Huff is a monster and is now a top Nashville producer.

@Medium_Attempt What about this Cynic solo? It starts at around 3 minutes:


I tried it but that synth (or whatever) is so confusing to my ears :face_with_symbols_over_mouth: I’m not sure what pitches or what octave I hear. I’ll have to admit defeat :sob:

Speaking of being defeated:

I had this suggestion on my desktop but somehow it got pushed back by some other tunes. If I accidentally forget some suggestion, you are always welcome to remind it to me :wink:

So, this one confuses me as well. I can write down the pitches (with some weird exceptions like where I hear a note between C and C#) but the tuning…:dizzy_face: Lowest string seems to be C# but I’m not sure about the rest. 3rd string might be F# :roll_eyes: 2nd perhaps C# again :thinking: The rest, I have no clue. I admit a double defeat today. Only beer can save this day now :beer:


Ok cool, I will do that :slightly_smiling_face:

You have the 6th & 3rd string correct.
Perhaps some clues will help?
You can also hear the 1st & 4th strings open in the progessions
In the first measure you can hear 3 open strings being used.

Keep with it man, you’ll get there :slight_smile:
Something like the “The Offspring - The Kids Aren’t Alright” is good for that.
The intro is purely guitar, so no other instruments to muddle things up.
Not sure how developed your ear is, so forgive me if I am saying something you already do.
Focus on the lowest notes, and ignore all other notes, then tab that across all measures.
Then do the same for the highest notes.

Even when transcribing triads, do the same, then work out the middle note last.

If it helps, play a chord progression where the same amount of strings are used on each chord.
Pick out the lowest note, and try to follow that note changing throughout the progression as you play it.


Oh, so this is a game for you? You cruel…:face_with_symbols_over_mouth: :rage:

:smiley: Nah, in all seriousness, I thank you for giving me another opportunity to learn :slight_smile:
Still, I’m confused about the tuning. Ok, I think there is one more open C#. I guessed it to be 2nd string just because it is the closest to the standart tuning note. However, I guess one could have it as 1st string, so that 6th and 1st strings are the same note just as in standart tuning.

As for the rest, the more I listen to it, the more confused I become :exploding_head: I hit the point where almost everything sounds as open string :face_with_thermometer:

Some blind guesses: if the 3rd string is F#/Gb, then the tuning may be Eb standart with 1st and 6th string tuned one more full tone down. Or perhaps a DADGAD one half-step lower. Anyway, if any of these is correct, my ears can’t take the credit for it. They gave up some hours ago.

Thanks for encouragement :+1: I’ll try that song.

Oh, don’t worry about that. You can imagine that you talk to a deaf person and you won’t be far away from my aural abilities. And I definitely won’t get ofended :wink: I’m here to learn - not to pretend that I’m good and argue against everybody else.

Yeah, I have heard the advice of listening to the lowest notes. The problem is that often I simply don’t hear low notes. I don’t know how or why. I simply don’t register them. I’m not going to blame it on some inherited brain/ear problem/disease. For now I just think of myself as having very much underdeveloped ear skills.

That being said, it’s what I’m training right now. One forum friend (could be JakeEstner…I don’t remember, sorry) shared a link in this thread that leads to a nice ear training site. Now I use it to get a harmonic interval and I try to hum both notes, starting with the lower one. Right now I don’t care much about identifying the interval as much as hearing both notes. I am slowly getting better at it and yesterday I tried to do the same with a full triad. Just to test myself :wink: Oh, how I failed…I quickly went back to intervals.
If you have some comments on this approach to exercise my ability to hear lower note, let me know :slight_smile: By the way, I started with fixed root so I knew the lower note in advance. That helped me to break the ice. Now I do it with a random root.


You got it! Your ears can totally take credit for it. :slight_smile:

Though, sometimes it can be like trying to solve a crime.
Trying to find the right evidence to support your theory (of what you are hearing)

I think when one guitar is playing more than one note, the notes blend together due to the tonal similarities and same sound source.

So maybe twin guitar harmonies would be a better place to start? These are often panned left & right, and there’s more of a tonal difference.
Plus, sometimes the melody is introduced before the harmony comes in.

The intro to “Wayfaerer” by “In Flames” does this.
In Flames are full of loads of twin harmony stuff in general.

“Dialogue With the Stars” is another good one with twin harmony.


Good idea! I’ll try that. Right now I’m listening to the tunes you suggested (Wayfarer riffs are cool :metal:)
Also, this will be an opportunity for me to learn some Iron Maiden stuff :innocent:

Thanks a lot for all the help you provided :+1:

By the way, I feel like I should finish my job and notate that Nevermore - Insignificant piece but I need to rest from it. Maybe some time in the future.

While writing this, I’ve listened through few more In Flames tunes. Wow, there’s some cool music! I’ve never listened to them before.


No bother man, I’ve been transcribing music for around 15 yrs. (and now professionally)
I started doing it with no musical background, so it’s totally achievable for anyone haha
Happy to help :slight_smile:

In Flames are amaze, the album Whoracle is one of their best.


This made me think and now I have yet another idea - to transcribe different instruments that play single note lines at the same time. For example, it could be a cello and violin duet or something like that. I already picked the first composition to work on but some things didn’t work out* so I’m doing some other stuff (Glass Prison arpeggios) in the meantime.

*Right now I use GuitarPro to notate things but for that piece I decided to use a more general music notation software. I chose the free solution - MuseScore but I need some time to get used to it.

Anyway, if somebody knows some cool examples of different instruments playing melodies a la counterpoint, let me know.
Just to give an example, the composition that I alluded to and plan to transcribe is Chevaliers de Sangreal by Hans Zimmer. Specifically, the version from the DVD concert where cello and violin play together.

Thanks for encouragement. Some days, I need that a lot :sweat_smile:

I’ll check it out. Even if I won’t get any better at transcribing, this thread allows me to discover some cool music that I wouldn’t have listened to otherwise :+1:


Here’s a tune with some counterpoint I like a lot by Brian Eno called “An Ending (Ascent).” It’s all keyboards I believe but has two fairly clear voices throughout. Might be a good exercise for transcribing some countrapuntal lines from a different instrument!


Thanks for the suggestion! :+1:
You are right, with headphones I can hear distinct parts. (I guess there are more than two based on my casual listening :point_up:)
Anyway, that’s perfect! A totally awesome and fitting suggestion! :+1:

However, I’m not sure if I’m going to transcribe this one. I’m afraid that notating rhythms would be a nightmare :dizzy_face: I will try it but these ambient and/or free time compositions scare me in this regard.


That’s a good point… I could see how free time pieces would be a transcriber’s nightmare!


I haven’t made an requests in a while so… what about this Blues Saraceno solo starting at 4.09 (the non-slide guitar one)


Hi, I’ve been away for a while… But I’m back now! :slight_smile:

I’ll see what I can do if you are still interested.
Ah heck, even if you don’t need it anymore, I’ll still work on it. It’s practice anyway :sunglasses:


Welcome back! Yeah sure I would love to try to get pay this solo.


Hello! Would love a transcription of this little gem:

Things to note about this song:

  1. Robert used to re-tune his guitar to random notes (but still valid notes to 440hz) - to get the creative juices flowing - neat trick!

  2. The solo guitar and fripptronic stuff was recorded first - the acoustic stuff was Jammed over the top of it!

I don’t think anyone has tabbed it yet because the tuning issue - so it’s ambiguous as to what tuning to use - that acoustic guitar sounds like a “Crab walk” thing - probably in the simplest pattern possible.

thanks if you manage to tab it!


That’s a nice melodic solo :+1:

Some notes:

  • As always, I’m not sure about the positions/fingerings. I tried to find live version but I only found some video where guitar player isn’t in a frame for the most of the solo.
  • That being said, the solo seems to start somewhere low on the neck.
  • The last note in the first bar is some kind of harmonic. I think it’s 3rd fret on G string but I’m not too sure.
  • 4th bar first note has a slight harmonic and a bend.
  • Three C notes in the same 4th bar. I don’t know what happens there. Perhaps he uses whammy bar on one note, perhaps he plays C note on two different strings as I wrote, perhaps a combination of these two possibilities, perhaps something else. Anyway, it sounds good enough the way I wrote it.
  • 5th bar first note. If the previous fingerings were correct, it makes sense to play it on the first fret. However, it is difficult to bend notes or to apply wide vibrato in such position and that note has quite a vibrato. So it either should be played on another string and a bit higher up the neck or perhaps he has lighter strings and strong hands. Or perhaps he uses tremolo bar.
  • Another sound in 5th bar is sliding up. To my ear, it sounds best to slide from the first fret but it’s hard to do if the previous note was also played on the first fret so I indicated a slide from 2nd fret here. Anyway, this detail doesn’t matter so much.

The rest seems to be more or less straightforward. The fast run also sounds correct.
All in all, the transcription sounds good enough to my ear :innocent:

This was a nice solo. I’ll try to memorize it. Thanks for yet another great suggestion :+1:

Oh…this…this will be complicated :sweat:

First of all, I’m afraid that notating rhythms will kick my ass. (there is no clear beat)

Secondly, I usually am not sure about the positions. In this case, where strings are detuned, it would be basically impossible for me to get the positions the way Robert played.

Thirdly, I guess this could be a case of self-fulfilling prophecy. Explanation: I’m a bit afraid of doing anything related to King Crimson. To me it’s some seriously alien and sacred stuff.

All that being said, I would love to figure out some things Robert plays and I intend to at least try every suggestion I receive here :wink:
But I warn you in advance: I won’t claim much precision in regards to fingerings (and even tuning) and rhythms. The best I can do is to get down the pitches and arrange them in the way which would make sense if played on a standart tuning guitar. The same goes for rhythms: I’ll notate them so it will sound recognisably correct but I don’t think I’d manage to be highly precise. Also, I don’t think that anyone would be able to play it if I wrote highly precise rhythms :grin:

If you’re ok with that, great :wink:
Just to be sure, what exactly would you like to be transcribed? Is it the acoustic guitar part? Electric guitar part? Some particular passage? The whole piece?


Thanks bro! I don’t have my guitar but I’m goonna play this tomorrow when I get in from work. Thanks again man.


Here’s one many surely know - Slash’s outro solo in November Rain. I’m actually mainly interested in the second phrase in that solo, which takes place between 7:39 - 7:52 in the video below. I’ve just never really been able to hear all the notes, and nothing I’ve come across transcription-wise feels authentic to me. If you have the time, I’d be very interested to see what you come up with!