Tony Williams’ “Walkin’” Solo

Tony Williams' "Walkin'" Solo

UNF drum set student Stefan Klein recently transcribed the classic Tony Williams solo from the Miles Davis classic “Walkin’.” However, the solo sounds very freeform, and it’s difficult to notate with a steady pulse. My suggestion was to transcribe the solo in 4/4, but shade the time nuances to correspond to the rhythmic pushes and pulls. As an instructor, my idea is not that you play the solo exactly, but really understand Tony’s concept, phrasing, and rhythmic ideas. Once you master the style, you can use the ideas with your own approach. And Stefan did just that. Here is a basic transcription of the first 13 bars. Please study Tony’s drumming. He was one of the true jazz drumming innovators.

danny gottlieb
Get the How To Tune Drums Minibook when you subscribe to our newsletter