I’m a bit time poor given the gazillion things I’m doing, half doing, or want to do, but I’m trying to commit to making regular video content for my Youtube channel. I have a huge number of ideas, even just making a video for an individual student’s homework is worthwhile, but another source of ideas are from Youtube user comments, or when redditors DM you. There’s always something.
I have a couple of examples to share. First was a request via a direct message on Reddit from a user whom I’d posted feedback to a video he’d shared of himself playing on r/clarinet. I’ve been making a bit of pass time answering questions there.
The request was to transcribe the clarinet solo from the Class of 3000 Theme tune. He offered payment, but I was more than happy to take up the challenge pro gratis. I hadn’t tried transcribing music for a long time, so it was a curiosity to see how long it would take me.
It turns out it only took as long as it took for Olga to do the grocery shopping, albeit the output of that hour was a hastily penciled out music on manuscript.
This is 2020 though, so destroying a cassette tape from constant rewind and play, was not required (I think I did that to a recording of Golden Wedding). The trick to transcribing a video from Youtube is to first get the audio into an audio editor like Audacity and isolate a couple of bars at a time for playback.
From there, it’s a matter listening, playing, listening, sounding out some notes etc and getting it down.
I remember this being a nightmare task as a kid, and to be honest, I’m only capable of hearing melody lines now; there’s no way I could ever hear and write down chords. The solo for this piece was also jazz, went up to a high F# and had syncopation, so certainly not an appropriate piece for a beginner to transcribe.
He was pretty stoked to get the music.
Next up was a comment on Youtube to one of my videos where I’d recorded Tickertape from the Abracadabra for saxophone book. The interesting thing about Tickertape is that it’s the first piece to introduce swing, without actually introducing swing. By that I mean there’s no text explaining swing, but there’s the two-quavers equal triplet instruction written in the music.
I’ve found that it’s a bit tricky introducing swing to students that early at the risk of confusing them, so the video I made for them omitted the swing. A commenter requested a version with swing because they were have a hard time getting it to feel right, so I made one with my typical do-it-all-in-one-shot explanation. I think it was the tied notes that were the stumbling block.
So there you go, two neat videos, the Class of 3000 one being the one that stretched my limited iMovie skills a bit. I even wrote it out in Dorico, one of those gazillion things on my list to learn how to use better.