This lesson is on digging deep into the song Take The A-Train in one position on the neck.
Really exploring important positions on the neck is what will help you gain the knowledge to play more freely and rely as much on your improvisation as on your licks. The exercises included in this lesson cover some of the basic and less basic arpeggios and pentatonic scales that you can use over Take The A-train.
3 Chorus solo + Annotated Transcription
The 3 chorus solo transcription is my take on how you can improvise on the song. The solo is only using one position of the neck, and still sound musical. In the solo I use devices from the exercises. Furthermore the solo is also giving several examples of how to connect phrases and move around motifs to create a solo that is one long story. Especially When practicing to solo within the limitations of one position it is important to also force yourself to be musical.
The transcription is provided as a basic transcription in PDF and GuitarPro 7. In addition to this I have included an annotated transcription. With notes and remarks in the sheet music this clearly illustrates the different phrases with what is played and also how phrases interact with each other.
Exercises and Analysis
The lesson includes an overview of scales and arpeggios for each of the chords in the song. In this article I have also written a short analysis of the form and some common additional scale choices that I use in the solo.
Take the A train is a 32-bar AABA form. The song is (usually) played in the key of C major. While Take The A-train is considered an easy standard it does work incredibly well as a vehicle for improvisation from swing style all the way up to Joe Henderson’s versions that are landmark recordings in modern jazz.
Topics Discussed in The A-Train Lesson
- Arpeggios used in the solo
- Super-Imposed Pentatonics
- Lydian b7 use
- Melodic Concepts
- Motifs, Call/Response
- Development of the solo
- Video performance
- Annotated Transcription
- Transcription PDF/GuitarPro
- Exercises, scales and arpeggios
- Performance mp3
- Backing track mp3