There is a lot of good music out there that has already been played! As a jazz player, you can take advantage of that and learn from the masters. Transcribing jazz trombone players is a good place to start.
Transcribing solos played on your own instrument is smart, even if there might be some technical challenges, you know that it is playable on the instrument. Many times, you will find that what sounds really hip or challenging, is quite logical on the instrument it is played on.
If you are new to the world of transcribing jazz solos, I suggest that you start with articulate artists such as J.J. Johnson or Curtis Fuller. Both their melodies, phrasing and rhythmical patterns are clear, making it easier for you to catch.
Trombone jazz etudes based on famous jazz standards
If you want to play trombone jazz solos, I have written a lot of them based on famous jazz standards. They all start easy and the difficulty gradually builds up for each chorus. If you signed up for my newsletter, you already got one of them based on Sonny Rollin’s Doxy. There are over 100 pages of jazz solos in the member’s section of this site, and more are added regularly. You will find all the solos from my best-selling book “10 Jazz Etudes For Trombone” plus many more. Here is a list of some of the tunes you will be soloing over:
- All The Things You Are
- Stella By Starlight
- Blues in Bb
- Body And Soul
- Rhythm Changes
- Take The A Train
- Have You Met Miss Jones
- On Green Dolphin Street
- All Of Me
- How Insensitive
- Donna Lee
- Night And Day
- There Will Never Be Another You
- Killer Joe
- Take Five
Every note in each solo is there for a reason, and they are written especially for a very special instrument – your trombone! Start your free trial now and you’ll find all the solos in the Jazz etudes section.
Yes, ready-to-go sheet music with trombone solos is great, and I use both my own jazz etudes and other transcribed solos frequently, both when I practice myself and with my students. But the real learning is gained when you transcribe solos yourself. That lets you get under the skin of the player, and you will gain a deeper understanding of the melodic lines when you have to figure them out on your own. It is probably the best ear-training out there for a jazz musician, and I strongly recommend you get started right away. Don’t just go for the notes. Listen carefully to the phrasing, dynamics, and tone of the trombonist you are transcribing.
Start your free trial now and get access to all the jazz solos and jazz etudes for trombone right away – plus more than 2.000 pages of trombone sheet music.
Don’t borrow – steal
Like Pablo Picasso said “good artists borrow, great artists steal”. I encourage you to do so too. Find phrases and patterns in the solos you transcribe and give them some extra attention. Analyze why that phrase got to you, play it in different keys and find spots in other songs where it can be played too. This is a great way to build up your jazz vocabulary, and once you played a phrase enough times, you will start thinking that it was your own all the time, and it will be incorporated into your solo playing. Believe me, I know that to be true ? So start stealing. Fun fact: in the above-mentioned jazz etudes, you’ll find tons of my preferred jazz phrases, stuff I play all the time when I improvise. You are welcome to steal all the phrases you like and put them to (better) use. Lots of the phrases were probably stolen by me, but I like to believe I came up with all of it myself…
Solos by trombone masters
If you, like me, tend to be a little bit lazy once in a while, I have dusted off the Internet and found some great solo transcriptions out there for you. Laziness is good, especially if it means grabbing your horn within a few seconds.
J.J Johnson: I Love You
J.J Johnson & Al Grey: Let Me See
Frank Rosolino: Let’s Make It
Frank Rosolino: Cherry
Curtis Fuller: That’s Alright With Me
Curtis Fuller: Mode for Joe
Carl Fontana: Showcase
Carl Fontana: Polka Dots And Moonbeams
Steve Turre: Chairman of the Board
Andy Martin: Get Happy
Wycliffe Gordon: Jolly Jume Jumey
Thanks to Nick Lariviere, Dave Wilken, and Al Kay for sharing the solo transcriptions!
If you are interested in transcribed trumpet solos, there is a whole lot of them to be found here!
Kelly Bucheger has a bunch of great saxophone solos available at his site. Find out how great Coltrane and Dexter Gordon would have sounded if they were trombone players!
Do you have trombone solo transcriptions that you want to share? Send me an email!