Transcription: Whirlybird

Tune: Whirlybird
Composer: Neal Hefti
From the album: Autumn In Paris
Leader of the session: Count Basie
Recorded: November 9, 1957
CD: Magic Compact Discs DAWE 13
Transcription: starts at 0'32"; ends at 1'06"
Tempo: 248 beats per minute

This transcription illustrates Freddie's employment of voicings that use three notes, two notes, and one note, and is an excellent example of keeping the quarter note pulse while creating a moving melodic line. Essentially, he improvises a walking "cello/tenor" line that complements the walking bass line. The guitar is quite audible in this live recording from the Olympia Theatre in Paris, France.

Also illustrated by this recording is Freddie's subtle technique of varying the length of the sounded quarter note pulse - anywhere from a full beat to a half beat in duration. The transcription does not show all the variations as this would complicate the rhythmic notation. However, it is imperative to state that these note-length variations are an essential component of Freddie's rhythm guitar style.

The guitar part stays within the range of a major 9th, Eb to F. The transcribed notes show only the pitches that can be definitely discerned. For details on playing "one note chords", see the Lessons and Techniques section of this web site.

Transcribed by Michael Pettersen
June 2008

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