Musical Teeline has been shortlisted for an NCTJ Award for excellence in the multimedia category. Thanks to everyone who has used the site, especially those who have shared it, tweeted about it and suggested songs. I look forward to developing the site to make it resource that everyone can use to make learning Teeline a bit easier and a lot more fun.
Two reasons for posting this: First it's a short but tough test of Teeline dexterity and secondly it was the favourite song of legendary DJ John Peel who died ten years ago this month.
There are not many words in the song and the outlines are not that tricky but they go at quite a speed and repeated use of easily confused words like hold, her and have make it the shorthand equivalent of a tongue twister. The verses are repeated so you get two bites of the cherry.
An easy slow one with several common words and useful word grouping. This is great for beginners but also a good break if you've been struggling with 100wpm dictations. Concentrate on getting those outlines nice and smooth and neat.
Green Day's classic song is great for word groupings and special outlines and also dealing with unusual words. The opening lines are full of easy words including 'time', 'listen' and 'all at once' then you're suddenly hit with words like 'melodramatic' and 'neurotic.' You may get one or two such awkward words in the exam. The trick is to roll with the punches; get something written down and carry on. The fact that it's an unusual word will help you recall it afterwards but if you stop to think you'll get left behind. For example, I've written 'melodramatic' in full in the sample transcription below but I only managed to write 'md' when I first attempted it. That's about as much as you need to recall it if you've got the rest of the sentence down.
A nice steady piece with some good vocabulary from Bob Dylan. It's useful for practising CN blends. Cannon is a particularly tricky one but unlikely to come up in an exam. With a bit of practice this song's easy to do.
This early classic from Radiohead goes at a gentle pace but is packed with essential vocab and theory. There's the 'A' indicator for 'ang' in angel, the 'cn' blend for skin and perfect abbreviated to perf. 'Creep' could be written with the 'P' intersecting the 'C' but I prefer to write it in one stroke. I've transcribed the clean version because you're not going to get the f-word in an NCTJ exam!
Having featured an Oasis song it's only fair to feature one by Blur. To The End is a nice easy one to transcribe. I'll let you off the backing vocals. As with any NCTJ dictation there are one or two words that might trip you up but it's mostly plain sailing.
Thanks to Douglas Adams for suggesting this one. Douglas is working toward 80wpm at the moment. If you can do a solid transcription of this, the 80 should be no problem. It's worth practising a few times to really nail the useful vocab and word groupings it contains.
Now that I've passed 100wpm I feel I can write with some authority on how to learn shorthand. Check out my tips for passing your exams here. They're ideas I found most useful and things I wish I'd known earlier.
Kris Krisofferson's often covered classic covers a range of vocabulary with some complex outlines making it a great challenge but slow and clear enough to be achievable.
'Breakfast' is a cumbersome word to write out in full. I've shortened it to 'b'fast' but there are other ways of shortening and simplifying it which may work better. Also don't bother writing the title out in full. Stick to the first letters.
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A smashing tune from The Kinks and a good Teeline dictation. You don't want to be writing Waterloo Sunset out each time so I've shorted it to WS. I put the S over the W to make a distinctive outline; it even looks a bit like a sunset. You may find something else works better for you. It also includes slightly fiddly but handy word grouping 'as long as.'
This classic by Rod Stewart takes a fair bit of stamina but there are a few instrumental breaks to get your breath back including a mandolin solo famously mimed by Radio 1 DJ John Peel on Top of The Pops. Thanks to Emma Marie Webb for the suggestion.
What songs have you transcribed? Please share them here or on Twitter.
Johnny Cash's Nine Inch Nails Cover shouldn't be too painful. It goes at a moderate pace with time to catch up but it took me a couple of attempts to get outlines which were legible. There are a number of common words and word groupings. The 'in the end' word grouping is a crucial time saver.
No prizes for transcribing the chorus of this one and the lyrics are easy too if you remember the special outlines and word groupings. This song is full of them. The first line could have been lifted from a Teeline textbook.
Among the word groupings is the very useful 'all over the' written with an 'a' indicator over the following word. Three words with a single small dash makes this an essential time saver. All over the place / world / country are more likely to come up in NCTJ dictations.
The Manic Street Preachers' 1996 hit is a comfortable length and pace and full of special outlines which frequently come up in the NCTJ. The verses repeat a couple of times giving you a chance to perfect your outlines.