Lester Young on Selmer-style guitar

V-dubV-dub San Francisco, CA✭✭✭✭
edited March 2021 in Welcome Posts: 325

Since we all have nothing but time these days, I've been getting back on the transcription train. Here's Lester Young's classic tenor solo on "Oh, Lady Be Good" on a selmer-style guitar. Kinda fun to interpret it with some Django-ish phrasing, which is an accent I will always have in my playing, but especially so on this guitar (Craig Bumgarner #21). Some tenor lines fit very nicely on guitar, and some defnitely do NOT and you can probably read my face to know which those are 😂.

Denis Chang has an excellent transcription of this solo on soundslice:

BillDaCostaWilliamsMichaelHorowitzlangsguitarpickgeese_comMarkAStringswingerLango-Djangorichter4208vanmalmsteenrudolfochristand 7 others.


  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,855

    Unexpected and wonderful!

    V-dub, are you just into Lester Young, or other sax players as well?

    Do you attempt to use Lester’s phrasing in your own soloing, or is this just a one-off transcription?

    Your fan,


    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
  • V-dubV-dub San Francisco, CA✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2021 Posts: 325

    I've always loved Prez, as most jazz people do. First time trying to transcribe him. As for trying to phrase like him, we'll see what sticks! I find it's that way with transcribing, if you can get 1-2 new things out of it that's a win but it really takes a lot of analyzing after the fact.

    As for other sax players: I love Coleman Hawkins too. His 1939 solo on Body and Soul is legendary. Might have to tackle it next, but it's waaay more complex.

  • Posts: 281

    Killer. Really enjoyed that. We guitarist need to copy more horn solos.

  • edited March 2021 Posts: 4,732

    Really cool to hear a solo from one of the masters of the swing where the playing is actually fairly sparse.

    It inspired me to start working on a Clifford Brown solo on Sandu. I learned the second chorus years ago. But it didn't do me much good because I didn't really understand what's going on behind these lines. Now I'll attempt the whole thing. The first chorus might be a possibility only at a lower tempo. He really lights it up during few phrases. But a lot nicely placed pentatonic lines.

    PS by the way I kinda went off the tangent here in the second half, sorry about that. Your playing is really excellent, I enjoyed this a lot.

    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
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