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 Pete Fountatin's Transcriptions
Author: Jeff Forman 
Date:   2000-12-31 21:16

I am desperate to find a book published in 1994 but already out of print. It is called Pete Fountain's Greatest Solos. Transcriptions of 16 solos. I t used to be distributed by Hal Leonard but they don't have it anymore. I found a great dixie/jazz clarinet album by Andy Sherwood and I wrote to him to ask if his stuff is transcribed. He told me that it isn't and that the way to learn it is to transcribe it myself. He then recommended the Pete Fountain book, but i've looked everywhere and can't find it.

I've been playing the banjo for 30 years (in bluegrass bands) and just took up the clarinet in March. The hardest part was learning to read music because in the 30 years of banjo, I played by ear. The notes aren't so bad, its the timing. If I hear it, I can play it in time. My teacher hates when I cheat like that and I've given in, trying to take unheard music and figure out the timing of the notes. But my goal is still to do screaming dixie and/or klezmer. I would love to get the Pete Fountain chops because I hear patterns in his playing and I know that every musician develops licks that repeat in one's "style". I could do a lot worse than to emulate Pete Fountain, I think.

So anyway, if anyone can lend/sell/rent - whatever - the Pete Fountain book, I will be eternally greatful.

Please drop me an e-mail.


Jeff Forman

Reply To Message
 RE: Pete Fountatin's Transcriptions
Author: deebee 
Date:   2001-01-01 06:44

Jeff -

You’ve gotta consider doing it the easy way - and, of course, the easy way IS by transcribing it yourself!

By working out as few as 4 bars per day, you’ve got a whole chorus in around a week, and a complete song in a month.

Whilst transcribing, you’ll be mentally fingering the notes, and, importantly, hearing nuances which might not have been notated in the ready-made version. When you pick up the clarinet, you’re halfway there. (...okay, maybe only a third!...8^)

You’ve been playing a chordal instrument for yonks - feeling the underlying harmonic structure will already come naturally. How does the line fit over the particular changes? How are patterns developed? Regarding any given note: is it from within the chord?... within a related scale?... outside?

I wouldn’t even be put off by any possible rhythmic inaccuracy in your transcription - it is, after all, an memory-aid in your quest to play “screaming dixie and/or klezmer” - it’s not for a doctoral thesis!! In fact, no-one else has to see it. (But rhythmic accuracy in transcription will improve with practice.)

Just break the task down into bite-sized pieces: the song is made up of choruses, which in turn are made up of phrases, in turn made up of notes. There is a finite number of these notes, although this doesn’t seem to be the case at the outset!

Good luck, happy transcribing, and think how much further down the track you’ll be by NEXT Jan 1st...

...cheers!! - deebee

Reply To Message
 RE: Pete Fountatin's Transcriptions
Author: Jeff Forman 
Date:   2001-01-01 13:48

Thanks, Deebee - you are quite correct that the best way is to do it myself. And your comment about my having played a chordal instrument is right on point. And I take it one step farther. Although my banjo playing was (and remains) much more melodic than many typical bluegrass players, I do recognize that with stringed instruments, you can and do play chords, double stops and the like so that chordal flavorings and chordal harmonies are an integral part of the music. But the clarinet is a one note at a time instrument and the mindset is different in that venue. And while I play a lot of scales and scale runs on the banjo, I had never thought of them from the standpoint of where those notes were on a staff. So that transition has been challenging. But you are right, at least my ear is trained well enought that I can hear what is going on and what is going wrong.

I will certainly work on doing the transcribing myself, but I also would love to get ahold of the Pete Fountain work because I think that it might add to the process - whether it speeds it up or not.

Happy New Year and thanks again for the words of encouragement.


Reply To Message
 RE: Pete Fountatin's Transcriptions
Author: Paul Lester 
Date:   2001-01-01 15:49

Hi Jeff;

Try this site:

Hope this is helpful.



Reply To Message
 RE: Pete Fountatin's Transcriptions
Author: Allen Cole 
Date:   2001-01-01 19:57

Hi Jeff,

2 Items on Pete Fountain:

1 - There is also a Pete Fountain book published by Houston Publishing, I think. You might look for it on Jamey Aebersold's website at

2 - Transcribing will really help you get at home with the clarinet--and with your reading of rhythms. I have a website that contains starting points for this kind of thing with band instruments.

You can link directly to the transcribing activity at

There is a reference sheet downloadable in .PDF format (use Acrobat Reader) that will take you from playing something by ear to writing it accurately on paper in 5 easy steps.

Note - I agree with Deebee's approach. When my students first transcribe solos, I just have them write the pitches as open noteheads. With each new phrase we go to a new staff. This way, you actually learn the solo before getting bogged down in rhythmic analysis. Try the reference sheet and let me know if it helps.

Allen Cole

Reply To Message
 RE: Pete Fountatin's Transcriptions
Author: Jeff Forman 
Date:   2001-01-01 21:35

Paul - thanks for the site. It didn't have the Pete Fountain book.

Allen - Jamey Aebersold doesn't have the book anymore. I tell you, I have scoured the net and the world over looking for the Pete Fountain transcription book. In fact, Houston Publishing is out of business. I tried to reach them. I think I'm going to have to fid someone who owns it who will either sell it to me or lend it to me. ARGHHHHHH !!!!!!!!!!!

(BTW - I like your site and I will certainly give the "Jeff" transcribing a shot. I'm doing that wiht Andy Sherwood's stuff (quite a challenge, I must say) But I would so much like to find the Pete Fountain one also.



Reply To Message
 RE: Pete Fountatin's Transcriptions
Author: Ken Shaw 
Date:   2001-01-02 23:05

Jeff -

A Modest Proposal:

Try a music library.

Best regards.

Ken Shaw

Reply To Message
 Re: Pete Fountatin's Transcriptions
Author: Kip Scholl 
Date:   2006-07-31 01:48

Did you have any luck locating any Pete Fountain solo transcriptions?

Reply To Message
 Re: Pete Fountatin's Transcriptions
Author: GBK 
Date:   2006-07-31 01:57

Kip Scholl wrote:

> Jeff,
> Did you have any luck locating any Pete Fountain solo
> transcriptions?
> Kip

[ Since this thread began almost 6 years ago, you might email the originator, since he now may no longer be reading the bulletin board - GBK ]

Reply To Message
 Re: Pete Fountatin's Transcriptions
Author: Don Berger 
Date:   2006-07-31 12:56

Good advice above, beginning with deebee [sounds like my initials, guess I'd better be a DEB]. Yes, transscribing "sounds" like an educational enterprise, but at my age, I avoid what work I can. I have found 5 + old P F LP records at garage/estate sales, seldom more than 50 cents each. I copied about 4 on a 90 min. cassette tape for a friend, and played along on both sop and alto cls to find his keys/chords, making up my own licks after hearing Pete's, in partic. playing along with his beginning "straight choruses". Had much fun, learned some tunes that I didn't have in my Zep Meissner Dixieband set [parts for 8] or other old band arrangements. Don

Thanx, Mark, Don

Reply To Message
 Re: Pete Fountatin's Transcriptions
Author: Kip Scholl 
Date:   2006-07-31 16:39

Thanks Don and Glenn,
I have already tried to email and Google the original message author, with no luck.

I would also like to see/buy/borrow the elusive Pete Fountain's Greatest Solos book with 16 transcriptions. I also contacted Hal Leonard and Aebersold with no luck. I have the 1961 Robins music version with 10 solos and piano accompaniment, and it's a lot of fun. That book shows up on eBay every now and then.

I did some transcriptions myself when I was a kid wearing out my families LPs on the Hi-Fi, and it's easier to do today with software. None of the transcriptions that I have seen can really capture the growl/bend/turn/shake stuff that he does so you still need to listen to the recording. I have almost all of the Pete Fountain LPs, and the good news is that many are showing ups as CDs. The genius of Pete Fountain’s artistry is more important to me than I would expect any rational person to understand.

I would appreciate any leads on the Greatest Solos book or any other material for that matter.


Post Edited (2006-07-31 16:55)

Reply To Message
 Re: Pete Fountatin's Transcriptions
Author: Carol Dutcher 
Date:   2006-07-31 21:57

I have this book.

Write to me on my E-mail address.

Reply To Message
 Re: Pete Fountatin's Transcriptions
Author: fskelley 
Date:   2010-11-30 16:45
Attachment:  DYKWIMa.png (8k)

Wow, what an old thread, but good info.

I just finished my Sonar6 transcription of Pete's "Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans"- youtube from 1992 Bravo I totally agree that doing the transcription yourself is the best way to learn, but man these modern tools are so much better than the old days. (I put the audio stream into Sonar and do everything at 1/2 speed, some places 1/4 speed, years ago running tape at 1/2 speed was nasty.)

I wonder if anyone can tell me whether the measures I show here (1:05 in the video), or other places, benefit from Pete's special G# mechanism or forked Bb. If so, maybe I'm trying something even harder than when Pete plays it. :-)

Stan in Orlando

EWI 4000S with modifications

Post Edited (2016-10-07 16:41)

Reply To Message
 Re: Pete Fountatin's Transcriptions
Author: Speeder 
Date:   2016-10-06 00:34

I know this is an old post - but - do you still have the Pete Fountain book?

I am an old retired geezer relieving my stint as a musician from my youth. I have a picture w/ a personal greeting signed by Pete Fountain circa 1967.

Any way to get a copy of those transcribed solos?

I will be generous in my compensation to you.

And, I too will make a donation to this sponsoring entity.

I hope to hear something favorable from you.

Reply To Message
 Re: Pete Fountatin's Transcriptions
Author: fskelley 
Date:   2016-10-06 21:17

I posted some on this thread.

Stan in Orlando

EWI 4000S with modifications

Reply To Message
 Re: Pete Fountatin's Transcriptions
Author: AndyW 
Date:   2016-10-07 14:54

ah yes i posted a little something from Pete in that thread too...

Reply To Message
 Re: Pete Fountatin's Transcriptions
Author: AndyW 
Date:   2016-10-07 16:39

a note for North-American bboarders, the Pete Fountain book should be available as an inter-library-loan from a number of American public Libraries.


(search-tip : it is a "musical score, not a "book")

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