Transcription: Freddie Green's Solo on Ain't Misbehavin'

Tune: Ain't Misbehavin'
Composer: Fats Waller
From the album: Memories Ad Lib
Leader of the session: Count Basie
Recorded: October 16 & 17, 1958 in New York City
LP: Roulette R-52021
Transcription starts at 1'39"; ends at 2'23"
Tempo: 88 beats per minute

"Freddie Green never took a solo..." is an axiom often stated about Freddie's recorded works.  This website has already disproved other widely believed myths about Freddie's technique by the use of logic and a rational method of inquiry.  So in that vein, let's now disprove the "no solo" axiom. The following transcription documents a 44 second guitar solo, employing single notes and chords, and played by Freddie Green...the guitarist who "never took a solo."

This recording from 1958 has a laid-back, late night feeling.  Backing up singer Joe Williams is a four man rhythm section, joined by Harry "Sweets" Edison on trumpet.  Count Basie plays organ on every cut.

It is no surprise that Freddie's solo is based on chord forms.  Above each measure is the chord progression and the chord form that Freddie used for his solo.

Techniques employed are:

  1. Sliding into a note or a chord, starting one fret below - see bar 2.
  2. Using mostly chord notes for the solo - see bar 9.
  3. Playing an arpeggio of the chord tones - see bar 7.
  4. Connecting chord tones using non-chord scale tones in between - see bar 5.
  5. Employing single notes and double stops in the same phrase - see bar 6.

The rhythmic notation is an approximation of the exact rhythms played by Freddie. When studying this solo, it is essential to listen to the recording while following the transcription.

Transcribed by Michael Pettersen
April 2011

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