Transcribe – Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Joshua Redman’s take on Santa Claus is Coming to Town is one of my favourite Christmas jazz tunes.  Not only does Josh swing hard on the melody, his solo contains line after line of incredible jazz language.


Santa Claus Lesson 1

This December, I have decided to set you a challenge. I want ALL of you to transcribe as much of Joshua Redman’s version of Santa Claus is Coming to Town as you can. There are 52 clips in the Dropbox folder, (click here to view the link) and you can download the full track here.

Santa Claus Lesson 2

In this weeks video I take you through the opening clips and give you the opportunity to check what you’re playing against me.

Santa Claus Lesson 3

In this lesson I take you through Virtual DJ in more detail and offer some hints and tips on how to transcribe and more importantly I show you how to transcribe by working through some of the clips myself – (and getting them wrong at first!)

Santa Claus Lesson 4 – Your Responses

In this lesson I play you my take, offer some excuses of my own, (and some ideas on how you can still ‘transcribe’ without actually playing it!) AND give you some hints and tips on what Joshua is doing in this recording and what ALL of us can learn from it.


Dan Forshaw

I'm passionate about creating inspirational experiences through music and other arts. A life changing experience under the influence of the music of John Coltrane lead to study in New York and London. My thesis was on the Theology of John Coltrane as expressed through A Love Supreme. I perform across Europe with various jazz groups and teach through my innovative website, I'm a total Apple Geek, Cricket, Rugby, F1 and Football fan and I'm learning to listen opinions before giving my own!