Freddie Hubbard on "One Finger Snap"

During my freshman year of college, I asked Donny McCaslin during a lesson for some suggested solos to transcribe. The first one he thought of, almost immediately, was Freddie Hubbard's solo on "One Finger Snap," from Empyrean Isles (1964), which Donny promptly played for me from memory. I'm a little ashamed to admit that I didn't get around to finishing this solo until relatively recently; I finished a couple choruses, but schoolwork and other distractions kept me from getting through to the end until now. I'd imagine that, because of its vintage and the general ubiquity of these mid-'60s Herbie records, this solo is probably familiar to many people, so I won't say too much more about it. Here's the transcription:

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A few updates from last post: my creative thesis application for the completion of my Bachelors degree in English has been approved! For my senior thesis, I'll be writing a collection of essays about jazz and the culture of musicians with a focus on contemporary issues like the influence of institutionalized jazz pedagogy, the various New York jazz scenes, etc. At least, that's the plan at the moment. 

Also, the second installment of my Arts column for The Harvard Crimson was released today. Take a look if you're interested—it's about something I call "musical gluttony."


  1. I know you posted this 11 years ago, but this is still one of the top Google results for "one finger snap", so it's worth pointing out that the head was originally only 4 bars long, and that Freddie actually improvised the wonderful melody that begins in bar 5! That's why he doesn't play that melody in the alternate take. See the liner notes on Herbie's website for confirmation: (search for "measure").

    1. Yes, that's a great point! One thing people do sometimes is use the 4-bar intro break as a way to change tempo as well (cuing the band to drop out so the soloist can dictate the new tempo using that 4 bar line). To your point, it also makes sense to start blowing after the initial break as Freddie does on the record, rather than playing exactly what he played on the first chorus of the master take (although that's cool too, obviously).


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