Cool uses for the Charlie Parker Omni Book


There are so many wonderful phrases that Bird created. When one phrase in particular captures my imagination, i try learning it in all 12 keys.
For example, the measure with the quintuplet on staff 15 of “Celerity.” This phrase so beautifully captures the spirit of the II-V progression, that i could not help trying it in all 12 keys (only at about one third the speed Bird plays it!) Not to turn it into a “lick” that you do mindlessly. It’s more the idea of increasing your vocabulary, so you can speak more articulately.

A second example is the phrase with the triplet at the beginning of staff 9 of “Blues for Alice.” In terms of the II-V progression, this motive consists of SO FA DO LA FA MI RE (5-4-1-6-4-3-2). This seemed like such a compelling riff that i wrote it out in Finale (in all 12 keys) and memorized it. I’ll send you a copy on request.

In fact, i put the entire “Scrapple From the Apple” into Finale. You can then take the Finale file over to Band in a Box, add the chords, and play along with the track.

So far, Bird’s lix have not crept into my solos.  But his spirit of exuberance, fun, and adventure is breathing new life into my practice time.

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