Alex Terrier has studied, performed and recorded with some of the greatest musicians both in Europe and the US. A demanded musician and acclaimed instructor, Alex shares his knowledge and thoughts with you. Read More

Hank Mobley “Nica’s Dream” Solo Analysis Part 1

Intermediate, Transcriptions, Video Gallery

Hello ,

Download the analysis

Download the solo in Bb

Download the solo in Eb

Download the solo in concert key

Watch Part 2

Watch Part 3

It’s great to transcribe solos. It’s good for your ear but you need to know what to make of this transcription. I realized I needed to analyze the melody (identifying scale degrees) and simplify the phrases to understand how these phrases were built. This is what I call “zooming out”, to the quarter note and half note level. The half note level shows you the targeted notes on beats 1 and 3, the quarter note level shows you the targeted notes on each beat. Here are a few things to remember when you transcribe a solo:

1. Analyze the melody. Identify the scale degrees. Is this D the 9th of C-7, the 13th of F7, the flat 9th of Db7?

2. Identify what are the targeted notes on beats 1 and 3 (half note representation of the melody).

3. Identify the targeted notes on each downbeat.

4. Identify patterns, approach notes, II V phrases etc… and practice these in 12 keys!

5. Sing the phrases


Related Lessons:

– Other transcriptions

How to memorize a standard

Jazz Theory

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  • Kevin Umaña Says

    I can’t download the solo in Eb

    • Hi Kevin! It works fine on my end. What browser are you using? I know sometimes Firefox can be the cause of the problem.

      I recommend using Safari. The PDF will open in new tab. You will be able to download it to your computer.

      Or you can also right click on the link and save it to your computer.

      Hope that helps and please let me know if that works or if you still have any problem.



  • Rui Pinto Says

    I would like to have lesons with you but I can´t understand your approach, what to do in the lesson above, for me is so confuse, could you clarify better wjat to do on each solo, if a play d, b, and c to approach the solo, then d, eb, and f, means playing triads each approach until the end?
    thanks Rui

    • Hello Rui!
      In this solo, Hank Mobley uses a lot of group of approach notes to target a specific note. This is a very common thing in Jazz and it is important to understand the concept and practice it.

      You can approach a note by a half step below or above and a whole step below or above and you can make any combination.

      I suggest practicing each approach note individually, on the down beat and off beat, target each note of a chord. Let’s say you start with the half step from below, practice this on each note of the major triads. For instance on the C Major triad, the notes are C, E, G, so you play the note B to approach the note C, then the note D# to approach the note E, and the note F# to approach the note G.
      Then practice the approach note a half step from above.
      Do the same work with a whole step below and above.
      Then start using both in any order.
      Then do the same work on minor triads, and of course on major7, minor7, dominant7 etc…

      does this clarify a little bit?

      we talk more about this in these videos:

      in this video we practice different approach notes on the standard Autumn Leaves

      In this lesson we analyze the solo by Joshua Redman over Just you just me and we see the approach note technique

      and in this lesson we study Cannonball Adderley solo on Jeanine and see how he uses approach notes.

      If necessary I will do a video for you to explain.

      let me know if you have any other question Rui.

      And happy new year! with a lot of music!


  • Rui Pinto Says

    thanks clarify a lot, if a pick this solo with your explanation I will have a pleasure to take lessons with you! thanks for your generosity!

    Frohes neues Jahr
    Rui Pinto

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