Transcribe – Sax solo on ‘Spooky’

In this course we are going to transcribe the sax solo from the Dusty Springfield recording of ‘Spooky’.

The solo itself is only 20 seconds long and is based around a blues scale.  This course is an ideal starting point if you’ve never transcribed or learnt a solo before.

‘Spooky’ was originally an instrumental song performed by saxophonist Mike Sharpe (Shapiro), written by Shapiro and Harry Middlebrooks, Jr.,[1] which first charted in 1967 hitting #57 on the US pop charts.[2] Its best-known version was created by The Classics IV when guitarist James Cobb and producer Buddy Buie added lyrics centering on a “spooky little girl”.[3] In 1968, the vocal version of the song reached #3 in the U.S. (Billboard Hot 100) and #46 in the UK.[4]

The song’s main riff is sampled in the song “Why’s Everybody Always Pickin’ on Me?” by Bloodhound Gang, released in 1996.  Read more about the song here

Learning solos of recordings is a crucial part of developing ones own musical vocabulary, , tone and above all musicianship.  The course is four sessions long, so let’s get started!

Don’t forget if you sign up for Bronze Membership, you can watch this course for 50p a day!


Lesson 1 Opening 2 bars

All we’re going to focus on in this lesson is the opening two bars of this solo. It is vital to make sure we get this opening correct as the rest of the solo will flow from this.

Lesson 2 Clip 2

So we’re onto Clip 2, bars 3 and 4 of the ‘Spooky’ saxophone solo. In this video lesson I show you the notes for clip 1 and give you a starter for this clip, which is bars 3 and 4 of the ‘Spooky’ sax solo

Lesson 3 Clip 3

This solo keeps on exploring the Blues scale and in this video I guide you through clip 3,

Lesson 4 Clip 4 & the Whole Solo

This is the shortest clip of the four and is a fantastic lick for you to get down on the blues scale. What I need you to do when you have completed this course is to send me a video recording of you playing the solo.


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!