Freddie Green Style: Transcriptions

"It's not what you play, but what you leave out that counts. When you leave space in the music, it's easier to hear everyone." - Rick Danko, bassist for The Band

Important: The editors urge all visitors to this page to start with the transcription of "Trav'lin' Light", and then continue with the transcriptions of "I Don't Know", and " Li'l Darlin'".

Being on DVD, "Trav'lin' Light" provided the unique opportunity to hear and to see Freddie play, thus allowing Mark Allen and Michael Pettersen to transcribe his left hand fingerings as well as the notes sounded. This transcription is the Rosetta Stone to Freddie Green's unconventional left hand technique. Based on lessons learned from "Trav'lin' Light", Michael transcribed "I Don't Know" from a video tape recording that features close ups of Freddie playing. " Li'l Darlin' " was transcribed from a CD on which Freddie is clearly heard.

Careful study of "Trav'lin' Light", "I Don't Know", and " Li'l Darlin' " will help every student of Freddie Green better understand the other transcriptions available on this page.

Please note: Transcribing jazz is a difficult art, particularly in the case of Freddie Green. There are no recordings where Freddie plays rhythm guitar without some other rhythm section instrument playing at the same time. This means that the sound of Freddie's guitar is always masked to some extent by piano, or bass, or drums. This masking makes it impossible to accurately transcribe each and every chord voicing Freddie employed.

The transcriptions posted here are meant to promote discussion and provide insight into Freddie's technique. There is no claim of 100% note-for-note accuracy. Please do not rely on the transcription notation alone. It is imperative to also listen to the recording. If you find that the transcription and the recording don't match, trust your ears not the notation.

Please notify the founders of this web site of any correction to any transcription. With your help, the accuracy of these transcriptions can be systematically improved.

Title

Year

Recording

Transcribed by:

9:20 Special

1955

Natural Rhythm

Dr. Lewis H. Dickert, Jr.

After Supper

1957

The Complete Atomic Basie

Jakub Cervenka

Ain't Misbehavin'

1958

Memories Ad Lib

Mark Allen

Ain't Misbehavin' (Freddie's Solo)

1958

Count Basie - Memories Ad Lib

Michael Pettersen

Ain't Misbehavin'

1980

Judy Carmichael - Two-Handed Stride

Michael Pettersen

All Of Me

1963

Count Basie's Finest Hour

Mark Allen

All Of Me

1968

Count Basie - Live in Japan '78

Michael Pettersen

April in Paris

1955

April in Paris

Michael Pettersen

April in Paris

1955

April in Paris

Albert Romani

April in Paris

1955

April in Paris

Jakub Cervenka

Baby Don't Tell On Me

1958

Basie Reunion

Michael Pettersen

The Blues I Like to Hear

1958

Basie Reunion

Michael Pettersen

Blue Lou

1944

Old Manuscripts - Broadcast Transcriptions 1944/45

Michael Pettersen

Blues In Frankie's Flat

1959

Count Basie Live in 1958 and 1959

Michael Pettersen

Cherry Point

1972

Paris Jazz Concert

Michael Pettersen

The Comeback

1955

Count Basie Swings - Joe Williams Sings

Michael Pettersen

Corner Pocket

1959

Cute

Roland Meuller

Count's Place

1962

Count Basie & The Kansas City Seven

Trevor de Clercq

Cute

1959

Cute

Michael Pettersen

The Deacon

1958

Chairman of the Board

Michael Pettersen

Don't Cry, Baby

1959

Basie Eckstine Incorporated

Michael Pettersen

Dr. Feelgood

1986

Timeless Count Basie

Roland Meuller

Easin' It (Comparative)

1962

Count Basie - Live in '62 (DVD)
Count Basie En Concert Avec Europe (CD)

Michael Pettersen

The Elder

1962

Back With Basie

Michael Pettersen

Every Day I Have The Blues

1955

Count Basie Swings - Joe Williams Sings

Michael Pettersen

Four Five Six

1986

Long Live the Chief

Mark Allen

From Coast To Coast

1956

One O'Clock Jump: Ella Fitzgerald-Count Basie-Joe Williams

Michael Pettersen

Good Time Blues

1986

Long Live the Chief

Mark Allen

Goodtime Blues

1986

Long Live the Chief

Dr. Lewis H. Dickert, Jr.

Hail To The Chief

1982

Hail To The Chief! Butch Miles Salutes Count Basie

Michael Pettersen

How High The Moon

1956

Basie In London

Michael Pettersen

I Don't Know

1967

Video: Ralph Gleason's Jazz Casual

Michael Pettersen

I Got Rhythm

1968

Count Basie - Wild & Swingin'

Michael Pettersen

I'll Always Be In Love With You

1937

Count Basie At The Savoy Ballroom

Michael Pettersen

John's Idea

1958

Basie Reunion

Michael Pettersen

Jumpin' at the Woodside

1968

Count Basie - Wild & Swingin'

Michael Pettersen

Kansas City Shout

1958

Chairman of the Board

Michael Pettersen

The Kid From Red Bank

1959

Cute

Roland Meuller

Li'l Darlin'

1968

Count Basie - Wild & Swingin'

Michael Pettersen

Little Red

1955

Natural Rhythm

Michael Pettersen

Love Jumped Out

1958

Basie Reunion

Michael Pettersen

Magic Flea

1968

Count Basie - Wild & Swingin'

Michael Pettersen

Midgets

1956

Joe Newman - I Feel Like A Newman

Michael Pettersen

Moten Swing

1958

Atomic Swing

Michael Pettersen

My Kind Of Girl

1962

Sinatra-Basie

Michael Pettersen

Mutt & Jeff

1958

Chairman of the Board

Michael Pettersen

Nails

1956

Basie In London

Michael Pettersen

Ode To Pres

1979

Count Basie Get Together

Michael Pettersen

Oh Lady Be Good

1962

Count Basie & The Kansas City Seven

Trevor de Clercq

Old Man River

1957

Autumn In Paris

Michael Pettersen

One Armed Bandit

1986

Super Bass

Michael Pettersen

One O'clock Jump

1956

One O'clock Jump

Mark Allen

Orange, Brown, and Green

1975

Rhythm Willie

Mike Rupsch

The Queen Bee

1968

Basie Straight Ahead

Jakub Cervenka

Rat Race

1950

Shoutin' Blues

Michael Pettersen

Secrets

1962

Count Basie & The Kansas City Seven

Trevor de Clercq

She's Just My Size

1954

Sixteen Men Swinging

Michael Pettersen

Shoutin' Blues

1949

Shoutin' Blues

Michael Pettersen

Southern Exposure

1956

Opus In Swing

Michael Pettersen

Splanky

1959

Live In 1958 and 1959

Michael Pettersen

Stereophonic

1954

Count Basie Dance Session No. 2

Michael Pettersen

Sweet Georgia Brown

1954

Jazz Basie Style

Mark Allen

Tally Ho, Mr. Basie!

1962

Count Basie & The Kansas City Seven

Trevor de Clercq

Theme

1981

Basically Count

Michael Pettersen

Time Out

1960

The Count Basie Story

Michael Pettersen

Trav'lin Light

1987

Diane Schuur & the Count Basie Orchestra DVD

Mark Allen & Michael Pettersen

Wee Baby Blues

1956

The Boss Of The Blues: Joe Turner Sings Kansas City Jazz

Michael Pettersen

West End Blues

1956

The Complete Joe Newman - The Basie Days

Michael Pettersen

What'cha Talkin'

1962

Count Basie & The Kansas City Seven

Trevor de Clercq

Whirlybird

1957

Autumn in Paris

Michael Pettersen

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