Solo Transcription for Clifford Brown’s “Gertrude’s Bounce”

Today I decided to share with you my transcription of Clifford Brown’s solo on Gertrude’s Bounce. Picking up a chorus, or transcribing a solo, is a long process, but essential in learning how to improvise in jazz. I wrote a whole article on the process called “HOW TO TRANSCRIBE A SOLO: ASK YOURSELF THESE 5 QUESTIONS.” I advise you to take a look!

Clifford Brown is an exceptional trumpeter born in 1930 and died prematurely in 1956 in a car accident. The main representative of hard bop, he played with Max Roach, Lionel Hampton, Sonny Rollins, Art Blakey and many others. His staccato phrasing is very virtuosic and precise.

Here is my transcription of Clifford’s solo performed on the violin:

A few important points about this solo transcription:


  • I chose to do this recording because I find the solo very interesting, whether harmonically, rhythmically or technically speaking!


  • Working on a solo of another instrument than the violin is really very interesting work. This makes it possible to find phrases which do not flow under the fingers at first sight, and thus not to fall into an automatic game. I really like to pick up trumpeters’ solos, because they have to hear all the notes they play and suddenly it gives very interesting phrases harmonically.



  • Clifford’s playing is very staccato, so I try to imitate him as much as possible and this leads to the fact that I hardly use double legato… This changes the phrasing compared to what I have shown you so far! The idea is to inspire yourself by learning solos that you like and to use elements of them in the same way, diversifying what you draw from as an improviser in order to end up developing your own language.


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