Improv Tip Week #30-Transcribe Yourself - Jason Klobnak Music

Improv Tip Week #30-Transcribe Yourself

I hope all of you had a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Welcome to week #30, which will be the last tip of 2011! Since this will be the last tip of the calendar year, I wanted to encourage everyone to check out Targeting: Improvisation With Purpose one last time and invite you to check it out by going to the link to the right or by going to Jason Klobnak Music. The E-book version works great on mobile devices (which is an instant download available all across the globe) and the printed version is sturdy and sits nicely on a music stand. I’m hoping to have the E-book version available in a few different languages towards the beginning of 2012.

If this is your first time to this blog…welcome! If you’re a returning visitor, welcome back! This week’s tip is called Transcribe Yourself. I don’t know about you, but I prefer listening to good musicians who sound like themselves. The world has plenty of carbon copies of just about everything. It’s refreshing to hear someone improvise from their depths. One way we can develop our personal sound is by transcribing ourselves. The great thing about this tip is that it’s great for every musician, regardless of their developmental stage. Beginners to advanced musicians can gain great benefit by transcribing what they hear in their head. Granted, advanced musicians can do this quite a bit faster (in the moment). But with time-beginners can reach that goal as well.

Here’s a simple 2-step process to get this started. First, without accompaniment, sing a line that you hear in your head. Second, play it on your instrument. Repeat this over and over with the same line or with new lines. If needed, you can write them down. I prefer that you don’t write them down, though, as you’re attempting to make the connection from what you hear to what you play. Eventually, this process will become faster and you’ll be able to make the connection in the moment. The great thing about this is you’re transcribing yourself. The lines you sing are the ones that have stuck with you (you’ve heard it somewhere before) or what is coming out of pure inspiration. Either way, they become personalized by the way YOU heard it and the way YOU play it. If every musician spent some time transcribing themselves, the world would have fewer copies and more unique musicians.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s tip (and start putting it to use into 2012)! Please share this tip (and blog) with your friends, colleagues and students via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other sites you contribute to as I would love to see more and more of our musicians across the globe have their own personalized sound. Let’s make 2012 a landmark year in music that the history books look back on in dedication with its own chapter!

About the Author jasonklobnak

Jason Klobnak is a versatile trumpet player that has been performing as an active musician, author, clinician, composer and educator. His band, J's Ruckus, is Denver's blend of Post-Bop, Soul, Gospel, and Hip-Hop. They perform infectious and up-lifting originals for audiences hungry for a memorable live experience. J's Ruckus released their latest album, Suck Less, in March of 2020 and their first EP, Sermons, in July of 2019. Both were recorded live in front of an audience. Suck Less was recorded to a packed auditorium at Arapahoe Community College's Waring Theater in Littleton, CO. Sermons was recorded in front of a sold out crowd at the Soiled Dove Underground.  The JKQ (the Jason Klobnak Quintet/Quartet) is Mr. Klobnak's Hammond B-3 centered groups. The JKQ released their third full-length album in March of 2018 called Friends & Family. It has been very well reviewed, on numerous Top 10 lists for Jazz radio stations across the country (including Denver's KUVO 89.3FM which named it May 2018's CD of the month), and in Jazzweek's Top 100. Each composition was written for specific family and close friends (that might as well be family). Their second album, New Chapter, was recorded in part thanks to the Pathways to Jazz Grant from the Boulder County Arts Alliance. In 2015 and 2016, New Chapter was in the Top 75 on the Jazzweek charts and on the Top 10 playlists for over a dozen radio stations worldwide. Their first album, Mountain, Move made the Best Recordings of 2013 list from by C. Michael Bailey. His very well reviewed Christmas single, Hark the Herald, in 2016 as part of a creative project with musicians James Roberson and Nathaniel Kearney Jr. Besides the JKQ, Mr. Klobnak is a B.A.C. (Best American Craftsman-custom trumpet), Denis Wick (mouthpiece and mutes) and Westone Audio endorsed artist (ES20 and Tru Customs). Mr. Klobnak has played and recorded for numerous groups ranging from jazz, soul/R&B, indie-rock/pop and gospel. In addition to performing, he has also written two improvisation-based books called Targeting: Improvisation With Purpose and Breaking the Monotony and is currently an adjunct professor and brass instructor at Arapahoe Community College. Mr. Klobnak holds a bachelor degree from Drake University (Des Moines, IA) and a Master’s degree from the University of Denver, Lamont School of Music (Denver, CO).