Adaptive sparse representations have been very popular in numerous applications in recent years. The learning of synthesis sparsifying dictionaries has particularly received much attention, and such adaptive dictionaries have been shown to be useful in applications such as image denoising, and magnetic resonance image reconstruction. In this work, we focus on the alternative sparsifying transform model, for which sparse coding is cheap and exact, and study the learning of tall or overcomplete sparsifying transforms from data. We propose various penalties that control the sparsifying ability, condition number, and incoherence of the learnt transforms. Our alternating algorithm for transform learning converges empirically, and significantly improves the quality of the learnt transform over the iterations. We present examples demonstrating the promising performance of adaptive overcomplete transforms over adaptive overcomplete synthesis dictionaries learnt using K-SVD, in the application of image denoising.