ANTHROPOLOGY (Charlie Parker)

There are so many great phrases in this classic solo.   This one deserves attention because of its rhythmic & melodic vitality and its effortless harmonic insinuation.   Click below to see the phrase in all 12 keys.  However, it is better to practice your ear training by figuring out the lick through  melodic extrapolation.   Click here to purchase the Charlie Parker Omnibook with its 142 pages of heads & transcribed solos by Bird.  Click here to hear a play-along version.    (To slow it down or change the key, download the free program “Best Practice.”)ANTHROPOLOGY by CHARLIE PARKER (BIRD) line 14






4 thoughts on “ANTHROPOLOGY (Charlie Parker)

  1. hello

    basically anthropology is played at very fast tempo
    which pproach practice would you suggest as at this tempo it is not possible to think about the chord changes so i noticed that it is easy to let the fingers feading the gaps and difficult to get rid of some patterns or even things that have been practiced during the years that are part of me.
    i know all my scales bebop harmoniques, melodiques….use of chromatisms…
    be bop improvisation is a life practice process so I still learning i try to find out new ways to get it better.
    thanks if you have any suggestions regarding this matter



  2. A wise clinician counselled us to “Practice slow … learn fast.” Type the chord changes into Band In A Box. Practice playing over the changes slowly. After each chorus, speed up the tempo 1 or 2 clicks. It is not very helpful to play too fast at first, because your solo will sound like a robot. You must immerse yourself in an understanding of the tune in order to make an intelligent contribution. Try playing the changes in several keys. In any bebop chart, it is important to note where the II-V-I cadences are and what key each one is in. Since bebop tunes often have internal key changes, i use colored pens to code which section is in which key. If you have the Charlie Parker Omnibook, play thru Bird’s solo as transcribed by Jamie Aebersold so you can better appreciate how Bird conceived of the tune.


  3. Or transcribe the solo yourself. The greats didn’t read the omnibook. It’s not rocket science. It’s discipline. (Which goes for rocket science as well).


    1. Good point, Tommy! Hey, wait, now you’ve got me confused. Rocket science isn’t rocket science? Bird launched a few rockets in his day. As for me, i want to live in a van down by the river. NOT! But seriously, those who have not attempted serious jazz improvisation rarely appreciate the incredible amount of discipline required to master the horn at the level of a player like Bird, Stitt, Mobley, Cannonball, George Coleman, etc. A bigger challenge is to maintain playful joy, while simultaneously practicing with intense discipline year after year.


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