Peter Bernstein: Eronel Guitar Solo

February 14, 2021|
2 min read
  • guitar
  • jazz
  • music

My guitar teacher introduced me to this performance by Group 15 (Tom Aalfs, Peter Bernstein and Jay Leonhart) of the song Eronel by Theolonius Monk.

Peter Bernstein has a guitar solo at the 1:48 mark for which I was provided with a transcription done by Curt Schumate an Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music.

Above all, for me it was a good exercise at reading sheet music and translating it to guitar. I've been using tabs ever since I started playing guitar, and reading music has been something I was always intimidated by. The other difficult thing about sheet music is that when translated to guitar, it is not as trivial to read, because it tells you what to play but not necessarily how or where to play it. It is up to the reader to interpret how to play the tune.

For the first two lines my teacher showed me how he plays those, which is based on his familiarity with the artist's technique, the manner in which it was played (improvisation), experience and personal taste.

It was overwhelming at first, but I quickly recognized the genius of Bernstein's unusual lines and ideas, as well as use of interesting dyads and chords in his solo. To know that this was an improvisation blows my mind. I embraced the challenge and decided to write down the tabs for the solo so that I can remember the lines better. Did the first iteration on my own, and got some of the notes wrong as I am so new to the rules of sheet music (e.g. if a note is marked as a sharp or a flat in a bar, it will remain that way throughout the bar unless noted otherwise).

Through some iteration on this with my teacher I got this (hopefully) closer to how Bernstein would have played it. Some notes in the original transcription were a little off so there is a slight variation in a few places.

Here's the final result presented as PDF and Guitar Pro files.

If you don't have Guitar Pro yet, I highly recommend checking it out, I've been using it for years and it is truly indispensable for composing, reading and practicing music!

© 2023, Dorian Karter