Transcribe – Take Five

Take Five is probably the most recognisable jazz tune on saxophone for the general public.  It certainly is the most successful jazz ‘single’ and catapulted Dave Brubeck’s band with Paul Desmond on Alto saxophone to world-wide fame.  We are going to transcribe ‘Take Five’ for our May ‘Transcription Project’.

Make sure you pay attention to the following.

1.  DO NOT under ANY circumstances go hunting for a lead sheet!

2. TAKE YOUR TIME – even just one bar, accurately played is a worthwhile exercise.

3.  LISTEN CAREFULLY – particularly to Desmond’s tone, it has often been copied but rarely bettered.

4.  Tenor players you will need to either play the bridge, or ‘B’ section down an octave or if you’re feeling brave in the Altissimo register.


Take Five Lesson 4 – Solo

Here is the final lesson on the Take Five Transcription exercise. I hope that this lesson, along with the others in this series will enable you to record your work on the transcription this month.


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!