Learning transcriptions of what musicians play is probably the best way to learn jazz and improvised music. It is, however, very challenging. But many musicians, good musicians, use software that slows recordings down.
Use the YouTube web player to slow the video down. You have 1/2 time and 1/4 time.
I’ve heard, back in the day guys would slow the Charlie Parker records down with their fingers to hear what bird was playing. This software does all of that, but with near perfect quality and without any pitch change, so it is exactly the same notes but slower. It loops, you can mark measures, all sorts of stuff. Its really indipensible for speed of transcription, when you learn how to use it.
Transcribe is what I use. I will put up a video tutorial of how to use it soon. It is the easiest and the best slow downer out there, and I’ve tried a most of them. Many of my friends who are really wonderful, and some famous, musicians use Transcribe. They shall remain nameless because there is some sort of stigma around this kind of software, but really many people use it.
Dallas Vietty is a Philadelphia based jazz accordionist and accordion educator. As a musician he performs around the United States. His past projects have allowed him to perform the some of the top music venues: Jazz at Lincoln Center NYC, Iridium NYC, Kimmel Center Philadelphia, Catalina’s Los Angeles to name a few. As an educator Dallas is a pioneer in online accordion education through his learning website rebelreed.com. He is also one of the most in demand workshop and music camp instructors for accordion.