Transcribe – ‘So What’

In this course we are going to transcribe Miles Davis’ solo on ‘So What’ from his seminal album Kind of Blue.

Kind of Blue is one of the most important albums of the 20th century, in any musical genre. Recorded in March 1959, Kind of Blue is widely regarded as one of the top 5 jazz albums of all time.  ‘So What’ is the opening track and makes it clear to the listener that this Miles Davis album is going to be different from what came before it.

Featuring John Coltrane on tenor, Cannonball Adderly on alto, Bill Evans on piano, Jimmy Cobb on drums and Paul Chambers on bass, it highlights Miles’ strength as a band leader.

Miles had already explored modal jazz with Gill Evans on his ‘Birth of the Cool’ recordings, but it was Kind of Blue that set modal jazz, (especially for Miles Davis) as the direction for most of the 1960’s and early 70’s.

In this short, four lesson course we are going to focus on the TRUMPET solo, not the saxophone solo.   I want you to capture the essence of Miles’ ‘minimalist’ approach to soloing, his use of repetition, space and rhythm.



Lesson 3 – ‘B’ section and last 8

Our final video lesson on our So What Transcription project covers the middle 8 or ‘B’ section of the solo and the final ‘A’ section (or the last 8 bars of the form.)


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!