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B3 Instruction A La Mr. Smith, Help?


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Ok, I am going to swallow my pride here and say that . . . I am a B3 wanna be. I can comp ok and I love the sound but I just don't have the skillz for those rippin' solos and such. I've been listening to some Jimmy Smith to bone up and I love his style but I just can't seem to get some of the stuff he does. Do any of you know of some good instructional material on traditional B3 technique in this style (or also the gospel style, I like that too.)?



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My suggestion is to find a Jimmy Smith blues tune or some other song that you know the chords to, then record it to your hard disk. Open the song in any waveform editor (Wavelab, Cool Edit, Peak, etc.). Zoom into the solo that you're trying to copy licks from. Loop a few notes of the solo. Match them to your B3. Get them exactly as he played them. Notate them if that helps you. If the few notes are too fast or you're still not getting it, you can zoom down to a single note and loop it. You should be able to match that note then move on. This method is laborious, but the hard work tends to etch the lines in your memory and they will become part of your musical vocabulary (if you want them to be). I've found that when I've tried using someone elses transcriptions, for me at least, it is in one ear and out the other. Once you learn the riff in the original key, transpose it to the other keys. Soon you'll find that you're coming up with your own variations that are in the sytle of JS, but are your own.


There are software programs available that are specifically for transcribing, but I'd try this method first to see if this way of learning works for you. Another advantage is that now you can borrow from any artist, any song. You don't need to wait for the sheet music.


I've learned countless riffs by slowing down 33 RPM records to 16 (the old players used to have that speed). Dropped it down an octave and cut the speed in half.


Hope this helps.


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