Giant Steps – John Coltrane’s Solo

Alright, all, below is my transcription of John Coltrane’s solo on “Giant Steps” – all 11 choruses (but not the two chorus he does after Tommy Flanagan’s solo before going back into the head – sorry, you’ll just have to settle for 11).  This time, it comes with a small amount of analysis.   You’ll notice that Trane relies heavily on pentatonics and arpeggiation  (one has to at such a quick tempo).  As an improviser, I find it very reassuring that Trane repeats several licks, in whole or in part, in numerous places, and he by no means played 176 bars of completely original material at ~300bpm.  Examples of repeated licks can be found:

  • Measures 22-23 = 38-39 = 102-103 = 134-135
  • Measure 41 = 47
  • Measures 18-20 = 50-52 = 66-68 = 114-115
  • Measures 25-27 = 73-75
  • Measures 54-56 = 115-117

This is by no means an inclusive list, just one meant to highlight some patterns that Trane worked out that move very nicely through the changes.  Well, enjoy!

 

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One comment

  1. Reblogged this on Bible NT and commented:
    I spent an entire year studying Coltrane’s “Giant Steps,” analyzing it and transcribing his solo. I still can’t play it anywhere near as fast as he does.

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