Registered User
Join date: Oct 2012
70 IQ
I followed the transcription method and am currently at section TR105. I transcribed the first two melodies and found it very satisfying. THe music seems to 'click' the most in my head when I'm doing this. The thrill I get from this is amazing.

Transcribing seems, to me, the most coolest way of learning the guitar. And I'd prefer an epic hearing + composition anytime over technique. It seems that the great old guitarists (like Page and Hendrix) got to their level by transcribing the heck out of anything.

So my question is, shall I drop my other exercises(aside warm-up) completely for transcribing? I can go over some techniques if I have trouble with transcribing/playing the melody.
Jazz Musician
Join date: Mar 2010
110 IQ
Well this is very much personal. You will get technique-fixed nerds telling you no and transcribing nerds telling you yes. So i am going to tell ny opinion, yes and no.

I don't think you should drop the rest of your practice completely. In my opinion you should keep up practicing your chords and scales and arpeggios and such, and then do transcribing. You don't have to do technique practice though, as you said, if the piece you are transcribing requires it you will make that an exercise then, but to practice techniques and not being sure whenever you will use them is pointless.

But yes, transcribe away! Transcribe different styles of music, and don't just transcribe guitar parts! Some of the lines i do that my friends ask me "where the hell did you learn that?" are often inspired by saxofon and trumpet players like charlie parker, miles davis and john coltrane, so learn from all instruments! After all, we are all playing notes.
Fusion and jazz musician, a fan of most music.

Quote by Guthrie Govan
“If you steal from one person it's theft, and if you steal from lots of people it's research”

Quote by Chick Corea
"Only play what you hear. If you don't hear anything, don't play anything."
Is SouTaicho Yamamoto-san
Join date: Oct 2007
71 IQ
There's no reason why you can't do both. Transcribing helps your ears and playing guitar helps your guitar playing. Both are good things. As you said, Page and Hendrix did transcribing, but that doesn't mean that that's all they did. Or another example, Guthrie Govan. He did transcribing for YEARS before pursuing a career playing guitar, but I'm sure he also must have practiced for years to get to where he is. But then again, with some of the things I've seen him do, I'm still not entirely convinced he's even human.
Quote by Geldin
Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
v It's Back! :D
Join date: Feb 2004
479 IQ
It seems that the great old guitarists (like Page and Hendrix) got to their level by transcribing the heck out of anything.

Not just the great "old" guitarists. Most really good guitar players have worked plenty on their ears.

So my question is, shall I drop my other exercises(aside warm-up) completely for transcribing? I can go over some techniques if I have trouble with transcribing/playing the melody.

Your choice. If you find you have enough chops to play acceptably in your favourite styles and you really enjoy transcription, by all means go for it.

If you get good enough there's careers in transcription just like guitar playing.

You can always work on your technique when you really want to.
Join date: Jul 2010
1,802 IQ
Well I am a much better transcriber than a player. I'd say it helps a lot to break down songs and to learn what every instrument is doing. Like if I am composing a melody or a riff I can already imagine the complimenting instruments and what they are going to play (or imagine the many options)

I don't think it helps technique that much but it really does overall. You still gotta practice technique a ton and transcribing something awesome that you can't play is a bit depressing. Good luck cheers
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2012
30 IQ
All those things are just means to an end(which is making music), transcribing,honing your technique,learning stock riffs,learning theory etc etc etc.Its a synergy effect.For example:where theory seems to fail you,your ear can pick up the slack and vice versa.There isnt a choice to be made....try to get better at everything and let them come out in your playing naturally.
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2013
20 IQ
I would strongly recommend that you keep transcription in your practice schedule, the more you do it the faster you'll get at it, it's done so much for my soloing, singing and ear training. Plus it makes you focus on the type of music and playing that really makes you tick!

keep transcribing i say!
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2013
10 IQ
Do keep on transcribing it's without a doubt the best way to figure out what the hell is the way to play the music you love. when you transcribe you you make a mental effort to understand the music & it gets deeper under your skin.

Having that said- Just transcribing a solo or a phrase and not practicing it until you play it naturally is kind of missing the point. at the end our fingers go to where they are use to go- to the things you practiced. So- even if you would transcribe all of Gothrie Goven's solos but won't break them down technically & play them on the guitar- your ear will be perfect but your hands won't keep up.
I had a two month of 6 hours practice every day- 5 days a week on transcribing Was Montgomery's solos. Didn't break them down technically & did not understand why I keep on sounding like my old self. a year later I set down & took only three solos I transcribes & played the hell out of them for only a couple of hours every day. after a couple of weeks my sound & phrasing & everything changed dramatically.

So- Transcribe as much as you can but make time to practice what you transcribe.
All the half an hour on alternate picking, fifteen minutes on legato, one hour on sweepiking & 76 seconds on tapping ect. routine- that stuff you can forget. It's all in the music when you practice it you will practice all the techniques but in a musical way.