Bob Mintzer Blues Solo Transcription in 12 Keys

Here’s another solo transcription I just finished this week. This is another solo from one of my favorite tenor sax players, Bob Mintzer and is from a youtube clip of Bob soloing on a blues in all 12 keys. I love Bob’s playing because it is so melodic and thematic. He always plays ideas that you can grasp on to and that are catchy, yet he mixes in some pretty hip and advanced harmonic concepts into his lines.   In this youtube clip he is playing with Russell Ferrante on piano.  Each chorus of the solo modulates up a half step until they have traveled through all 12 keys.  There are a lot of great ideas in this solo to learn from and you can see and hear how easily Bob navigates through all the keys. This is a great solo to study and work on!

If you have any other thoughts about this solo please feel free to let me know in the comments below. Thanks again to Bob Mintzer for his great playing and all he does on a daily basis to promote jazz music and education. Now I have to pick another solo to start for next week………….

Original Mintzer Blues Solo Transcription in 12 Keys

Below I have included the same solo in each of the 12 keys without any modulations in case any of you want to really delve into one specific key while you are practicing this great Bob Mintzer blues solo.

Mintzer 12 Key Blues Solo transposed to C

Mintzer 12 Key Blues Solo transposed to Db

Mintzer 12 Key Blues Solo transposed to D

Mintzer 12 Key Blues Solo transposed to Eb

Mintzer 12 Key Blues Solo transposed to E

Mintzer 12 Key Blues Solo transposed to F

Mintzer 12 Key Blues Solo transposed to F#

Mintzer 12 Key Blues Solo transposed to G

Mintzer 12 Key Blues Solo transposed to Ab

Mintzer 12 Key Blues Solo transposed to A

Mintzer 12 Key Blues Solo transposed to Bb

Mintzer 12 Key Blues Solo transposed to B

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If you like the lines in this solo or love other tenor players like Michael Brecker or Bob Berg, check out my book “Devastating Minor Lines for Jazz and Funk Soloing”. It contains 100 killer modern 16th note lines in the styles of these players in all 12 keys………You can hear samples and read reviews by clicking on the link below. Thanks, Steve

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I also have a number of great audio and video lessons on a variety of modern improvisation topics.

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Steve About Steve

Steve Neff has been playing and teaching saxophone and jazz improvisation around the New England area for the last 30 years. He is the author of many effective jazz improvisation methods as well as founding the popular jazz video lesson site


  1. Avatar Larry Weintraub says

    Steve: Thank you very much for putting these Mintzer solos out there. This one reminds me of something Steve Wilkerson did when I attended the Stan Kenton Jazz Workshop back in ’74 or ’75. He played a blues solo through all the keys but he also changed styles and sounds at every key change. So for 1 chorus he sounded like Paul Desmond, than Charlie Parker, Cannonball, Art Pepper etc, etc. Anyway, thanks again.

  2. Thanks !

    And,let’s hear it for Adolphe Sax!

  3. I think it’s (mildy) interesting that he modulates each key by going up a half step. There’s a video of Dick Oatts playing a bird blues in all 12 keys and he cycles keys following the circle of fourths. I’m not saying one way is easier/harder than the other, but I’ll bet it’d be a great brain exercise to play this while cycling in different patterns. Coltrane changes anyone?

  4. Avatar Milton Parker says

    Hey Steve Thank you for the transcriptions that you put up here.
    Great stuff, much appreciation for your generosity.
    Would you be able to offer a concert transposition for us concert key people?
    I know….we would get more out of it if we did the transposing ourselves.
    But is it possible with the tech solutions you have available to you to do it?

    Anyway, best wishes and keep up the good work.

    • Milton,
      I can certainly do that. When I get the time I will post those up for everyone. Those are easier to do than trying to put them in Eb as that involves changing many of the lines to fit in the alto range………

  5. Avatar Milton Parker says

    That’d be brilliant Steve,
    Look forward to seeing those when you can get to it.

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